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A 24-year-old member asked:

does tonsillitis ever spread?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Anifat Balogun
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
Tonsillitis spread: Yes, tonsil infections can "spread" to include pus accumulation in the areas next to the tonsils called the peritonsillar space to cause a peritonsillar abscess. Lymph nodes in the neck can get infected as well. Untreated tonsillitis has the potential to lead to blood poisoning or sepsis. Streptococcal tonsillitis can be complicated by inflammation of the kidneys.
Dr. Pablo Arango
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 24 years experience
It can also "spread" because it is contagious through your saliva
Nov 12, 2012
Dr. Sanford Archer
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 38 years experience
Occasionally: Strep tonsillitis is the usual culprit and the strep organisms can release toxins in the blood causing a rash, arthritis, heart disease and other serious problems rarely!

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A 16-year-old member asked:

Are you able to smoke with tonsillitis?

2 doctor answers11 doctors weighed in
Dr. Russell Faust
Dr. Russell Faustanswered
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 29 years experience
NO: If i told you "no, " does mean that you (or your spouse) will stop smoking? Do yourself and you children a huge favor - stop smoking!
Dr. Nicholas Nomicos
A Verified Doctor commented
A US doctor answered Learn more
Smoking, aside from the long-term negative effects, also affects healing. I know surgeons who have stopped doing elective surgery on patients until they are smoke free for 4 to 6 weeks. We have many aids to help you quit. The biggest aid is wanting to quit. Even cutting down helps. Good luck
Apr 9, 2012
A 40-year-old member asked:

Can I catch tonsillitis from someone else?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Booth Wainscoat
Infectious Disease 21 years experience
Yes: Tonsillitis can result from either bacteria or viruses. Generally, both of these may be transmitted from one person to another & lead to swelling of the tonsils which we call tonsillitis. Often these bacteria or viruses are caught from people who have no symptoms - called "carriers". Only some people who catch the microbes will get the infection. This depends on an individual’s immune system strength.
CA
A 25-year-old member asked:

Can tonsillitis be fatal?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 27 years experience
Ask George Washingto: It is rare to dies from tonsillitis. This could occur with acute airway obstruction... Unlikely, or spread of the infection or abscess formation. George washington actually died from complications from a "quinsy tonsillectomy." a surgical procedure to drain an abscessed tonsil...
A 40-year-old member asked:

Can you catch tonsillitis from your dentist?

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Patrick Melder
ENT and Head and Neck Surgery 27 years experience
Unlikely: Not likely unless there is mucosal surface contact... And even then i would say the chances are still low. While tonsillitis is a bacterial infection and is by definition contagious.. It's not like a viral infection that is easily spread via mucosal surface contact and through the air and expelled droplets and/or inanimate objects (door knobs, keyboards, etc.).
CA
A 34-year-old member asked:

In what way is tonsillitis diagnosed?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Mark Diamond
Pediatrics 46 years experience
Examination: A physical exam, looking in your mouth is the tried and true method. Also a throat swab for strep throat helps identify the cause as occasionally a blood test does.

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Last updated May 11, 2013

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