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What is tonsillitis?

Tonsils are two masses of tissue on the back of the throat. The most common problems affecting the tonsils are recurrent infection and enlargement. They are positioned near the entrance of the breathing passage so they are susceptible to germs causing infection. Tonsillitis is an inflammation in one or both tonsils often the result of infection.

What are the common symptoms of tonsillitis?

A person with tonsillitis feels like they have a sore throat, it may be painful to swallow, and they may have a fever. Upon examination, the tonsils may look redder than normal and may have a white or yellow coating on them. Sometimes people notice a slight voice change do to the swelling of the tonsils. Swollen lymph nodes in the neck can also be a sign of tonsillitis.

How is tonsillitis treated?

Bacterial infections of the tonsils are treated with antibiotics. However, if despite antibiotic therapy, the infection persists or if the person is having difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils then surgery may be necessary. The surgery is performed under general anesthesia by an ENT specialist.


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Grabscheid Voice and Swallowing Center of Mount SinaiTel: 212-241-9425

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