Health Tip: Understanding Tonsillitis

If your child has had repeated bouts of tonsillitis (inflamed tonsils), he or she probably is a candidate for a tonsillectomy (tonsil removal surgery), the U.S. National Library of Medicine says.

Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils -- infection-clearing organs at the back of the throat -- swell as a result of a viral or bacterial infection. This can lead to trouble swallowing or even trouble breathing.

Almost every child gets tonsillitis, most often when they are 2 years or older, the NLM says.

Typical symptoms include:

  • A sore throat that lasts more than two days.
  • Trouble or pain when swallowing.
  • Feelings of being very sick or very weak.

If these symptoms become severe, seek medical care without delay.


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