Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis

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Tonsillitis

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Tonsils are a cluster of tissues present in pairs on both sides of the tongue. They are a part of the lymphatic system of your body. The tonsils prevent your body from infections caused due to bacteria and viruses by making antibodies. 

Tonsillitis is defined as the inflammation of the tonsils. It is mostly found in children.

 

What is Tonsil?

Tonsils are a cluster of tissues present in pairs on both sides of the tongue. They are a part of the lymphatic system of your body. The tonsils prevent your body from infections caused due to bacteria and viruses by making antibodies. 

Tonsillitis is defined as the inflammation of the tonsils. It is mostly found in children.

Types of Tonsillitis

The conditions and infections found in the tonsil are different and vary enormously. The types of tonsils are:-

1)Acute Tonsillitis: 

  1. Generally found in young children and teenagers.
  2. It is normally cured with home remedies such as gargling with saline water. It also includes staying hydrated and taking proper rest. 
  3. If the condition and symptoms are found to return frequently or there is no effect of home remedies. Then consider visiting a doctor. 
  4. The condition is primarily found to improve after the consumption of antibiotics.
  5. The doctor usually proceeds with surgery if the recurrence of a similar condition is found frequently.

2. Bacterial Tonsillitis:

  1. This condition is caused by bacteria.
  2. Usually, antibiotics are suggested to treat this condition.
  3. Home remedies are effective against such bacterial infections. They are effective only if the infection is in its initial stages.

  3. Viral Tonsillitis: 

  1. Viral tonsillitis is caused by the virus. It is treated with antibiotics that are ineffective in this case.
  2. Most of the time, this condition is related to infection in some other part of the body. It usually arises as a secondary infection in the tonsils.
  3.  Home remedies are still very more effective in the initial stage of the condition.
  4. It is generally found to be more infectious and dangerous than Acute Tonsillitis

Cause of Tonsillitis

 Causes of tonsillitis

 

  1. Tonsils help to prevent infections from bacteria and viruses, but in the condition of tonsillitis, the tonsils themselves are infected by bacteria or viruses. 
  2. Tonsillitis is widely found in children because they have an immature immune system.
  3. It is important to note that tonsillitis is a non-communicable disease and it cannot be transferred from one person to another, through contact.
  4. Tonsillitis might be caused by both bacteria or viruses (primarily rhinovirus and HIV). In many cases, the common cold virus has also been found to be causing tonsillitis.

 

Symptoms of Tonsils

Symptoms

The common symptoms seen in adults are:

  1. Sore throat 
  2. Painful swallowing
  3. Yellow or white layer over the tonsil
  4. Pain in the throat surrounding region
  5. Vomiting 
  6. A problem indigestion and stomach ache
  7. Continuous Scratchy feeling inside the neck
  8. Throaty voice
  9. Bad breath
  10. Neck pain
  11. In young children, the symptoms of tonsillitis are:-
  12. Drooling
  13. Refusing to eat
  14. Having difficulty in swallowing
  15. Fussy behaviour

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Diagnosis of Tonsills

Diagnosis

A visit to the doctor is recommended when the above symptoms persist for over a week.

The doctor, while diagnosing the patient in case of tonsillitis, may do the following things:-

  1. The doctor asks about the overall symptoms and the period since this condition started.
  2. Test the external tonsil condition using a flashlight for probing the colour and size of the tonsil.
  3. Take a throat culture for a lab test.
  4. A blood test for antibody count is suggested to confirm the presence of any bacteria or virus.
  5. The throat culture test is considered a more accurate test, so doctors often refer to it to know the exact reason for the condition.

 

Treatment option for Tonsillitis

Post Diagnosis

  1. After diagnosing the condition, the doctor follows the following steps to decide whether the condition is caused by Bacteria or Viruses.
  2. Tonsils caused by bacteria are treated with suitable antibiotics and a follow-up appointment is arranged.
  3. If the conditions are worsened then the doctor might consider going for surgery. The surgery performed in this case is known as Tonsillectomy.
  4. It is important to complete the whole course of antibiotics if they are prescribed to you.
  5. This is because even a small amount of bacteria that has been left out can become the reason for iteration of a similar condition.
  6. The conditions usually tend to recur very frequently and cause discomfort.
  7. Tonsils caused by viruses are usually treated with surgery.

Benefits of treatment for Tonsilitis

Taking treatment for Tonsillitis helps in 

  1. Respite from the pain while swolling
  2. Nausea

 

Reviewer

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

Dr. Aman Priya Khanna

MBBS, DNB General Surgery, Fellowship in Minimal Access Surgery, FIAGES

12 Years Experience

Dr Aman Priya Khanna is a well-known General Surgeon, Proctologist and Bariatric Surgeon currently associated with HealthFort Clinic, Health First Multispecialty Clinic in Delhi. He has 12 years of experience in General Surgery and worke...View More

Author

Nikita Tyagi

Nikita Tyagi

BPharm (Jawaharlal Nehru Technical University, Hyderabad)

2 Years Experience

An enthusiastic writer with an eye for details and medical correctness. An avid reviewer and publisher. She emphasises authentic information and creates value for the readers. Earlier, she was involved in making ...View More

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