The tonsils are lymph nodes that function as part of the body's immune system, keeping germs out of the body by stopping them at the mouth. A bacterial or viral infection may occur and develop into tonsillitis, an inflammation of the tonsils. If tonsillitis occurs frequently, it may become necessary to remove the tonsils surgically.
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Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answered
Tonsillitis, in most cases, lasts 4 to 10 days. A bacterial sore throat may last slightly longer but usually gets better with antibiotics.
In some cases, tonsillitis can become chronic. Surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be recommended for you or your child based on past health and results of physical exams.
Complications of tonsillitis
Tonsillitis caused by strep bacteria that is not treated with antibiotics may result in complications, such as ear and sinus infections or pockets of infection outside the tonsils (peritonsillar abscess). More serious complications, such as rheumatic fever, are rare.
Recurrent and ongoing (chronic) tonsillitis may obstruct the upper airway and cause problems, such as snoring, nasal congestion and mouth breathing. Sometimes chronic tonsillitis can lead to more severe conditions, including obstructive sleep apnea and heart and lung problems. But most children who have sleep apnea and enlarged tonsils do not have a history of tonsillitis.
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