Tonsillitis is a disorder involving inflammation of the tonsils. There are two tonsils, situated on either side of the back of the throat and they form part of the body’s immune system.Today, tonsils are recognized for their role in filtering harmful bacteria and viruses that could cause more serious infections. Usually, tonsils do their job well. But sometimes bacteria or viruses get into the tonsils. When this happens, you have tonsillitis.

There are several variations of tonsillitis: acute, recurrent, and chronic tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess. Viral or bacterial infections and immunologic factors lead to tonsillitis and its complications. The tonsils become enlarged and red, and can be coated with a yellow, gray, or white substance.

Tonsillitis is extremely common in children and young people but it can occur at any age. The uvula dangles down from the soft palate between the tonsils. There are other tissues in the body that will produce antibodies to fight infection. Most cases of tonsillitis go away without antibiotic medication.

Healthy and inflamed tonsils

Tonsils are lymph glands or lymph nodes located at the back of the throat where they catch incoming germs before they enter the breathing passage. The adenoids are similar to the tonsils but are located in the upper portion of the throat behind the nose, where they can’t be seen. The tonsils release antibodies into the throat to prevent infection from spreading into the lungs (a useful service to children, who are highly susceptible to ear, nose, and throat infections).

The patient’s history often helps identify the type of tonsillitis (i.e., acute, recurrent, chronic) that is presen.The tonsils (palatine tonsils) sit on either side of the throat and project out into it. Tonsillitis can spread from person to person through throat or nasal fluids – this includes saliva, hand contact or airborne droplets.

When tonsils become so enlarged that a child’s voice changes, it is called “hot potato” voice. This is one sign that the tonsils should be removed.

Causes of Tonsillitis

The common causes of Tonsillitis include the following :

  • Tonsillitis is caused by many different infectious agents, both viral and bacterial.
  • Herpes simplex virus.
  • The influenza virus.
  • Streptococcus (commonly referred to as “strep”) bacteria (the most common cause of tonsillitis)
  • Parainfluenza viruses.
  • Streptococcus pyogenes (GABHS) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV).
  • Cytomegalovirus.
  • Bacterial tonsillitis may be caused by a number of different bacteria , but the most common are streptococcus group A bacteria .
  • Measles virus.
  • Adenoviruses.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Some sign and symptoms related to Tonsillitis include the following :

  • Swollen, red tonsils (often coated with a yellow, gray, or white membrane).
  • Difficult or painful swallowing.
  • Slisters or painful ulcerated areas on the throat.
  • Fever and chills.
  • Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the jaw and neck.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Malaise.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Enlarged glands in the neck.
  • A yellow or white coating on the tonsils.
  • A funny-sounding voice.
  • Difficulty or pain swallowing.
  • The symptoms of chronic tonsillitis include a persistent or recurrent sore throat, difficulty in swallowing or breathing, and foul breath.

Treatment of Tonsillitis

Here is list of the methods for treating Tonsillitis :

  • If the tonsillitis is caused by strep bacteria, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics, a type of medicine that kills bacteria.
  • Give pain-relieving syrup and plenty of fluids.
  • Viral tonsillitis is not treated with antibiotic medications, as antibiotics are ineffective at defeating viral infections, but may be treated with other antiviral medications.
  • In many cases of tonsillitis, the pain caused by the inflamed tonsils warrants the prescription of topical anesthetics for temporary relief.
  • Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in the room where you spend the most time.
  • Eat smooth foods, including flavored gelatin, soups, ice-pops, and applesauce.
  • When the condition is chronic or recurrent, a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils is often recommended.
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