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What is Tonsillitis? Symptoms & Treatment

Tonsillitis is a common ENT problem that everyone suffers from. By tonsillitis, we mean the inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat. Tonsils are nothing else but the lymph nodes which are situated on each side and back of the throat. The tonsils tend to work as a defense mechanism and prevent any infection from getting inside the body. However, when an infection gets develops on the tonsils, it is referred to as tonsillitis, and in this instance, they get inflamed. It is a common problem in childhood, but it can occur at any age. The cases of tonsillitis are either caused by viruses or bacteria. If you want to know more about tonsillitis, tonsillitis symptoms, treatment, etc. Then you need to follow this article. In this article, we will have a brief discussion on tonsillitis symptoms, its treatment, prevention, etc.

Causes Of Tonsillitis

Now above, we have discussed what tonsillitis is, and we have got comprehensive knowledge about it. Let us have a discussion on the various causes of tonsillitis.

Tonsils are regarded as the first line of defense of the body against infections. They tend to produce white blood cells, which thereby help in fighting infections. They only combat that virus and bacteria which enters the body through the nose and mouth. But the tonsils are also very vulnerable to infections, and they often get infected by these viruses and bacteria. Microorganisms such as streptococcal bacteria can infect the tonsils and trigger the problem. Apart from this, it is also caused by a common cold, strep throat, etc.

Tonsillitis Symptoms

Now that we have got some knowledge about what tonsillitis is and how it is caused. Let us now have a brief look at some of the symptoms. You should know about these symptoms so that when you suffer from similar symptoms, you can consult the doctor at the right moment without wasting any time.

The major symptoms of tonsillitis symptoms include swollen and inflamed tonsils, but apart from it, there are other symptoms of tonsillitis which are as follows:

  • Throat tenderness or pain
  • Red tonsils
  • Fever
  • A yellow or white coating on the tonsils
  • Headache
  • Ulcers or blisters in the mouth which are very painful
  • Pain in the ears
  • Loss of appetite
  • Neck becoming stiff
  • Muffled or scratchy voice
  • Bad breath from mouth
  • High fever and chills
  • Trouble in swallowing food

Hence, these are some of the common symptoms which can occur if someone is suffering from the problem of tonsillitis. However, the symptoms are somewhat different. The symptoms of tonsillitis in children include inflamed and swollen tonsils along with some other symptoms, which are as follows:

  • Vomiting
  • Drooling
  • Upset stomach
  • Stomach pain

Diagnosis Of Tonsillitis

Before beginning the tonsillitis treatment, the doctor shall first perform the diagnosis of tonsillitis. The doctor will conduct this through a physical examination, and they will look at your tonsils and check whether it is red or not or have pus on them. Similarly, they will also check whether you have a fever or not. Apart from this doctor shall also prescribe some tests to find out the reason behind your tonsillitis. The tests are as follows:

  • Rash– The doctor will check for any scarlatina, which is a rash linked to the strep throat infection.
  • Throat Swab- The doctor might prescribe a throat swab test. Through this, saliva and cells from your throat will be checked for any strep bacteria. In this test, a cotton swab will be rubbed along the throat.
  • Blood test- Another test that the doctor shall prescribe is the blood test; a doctor will prescribe you the complete blood count test and shall look for the high or low number of blood cells to check whether the virus or bacteria has caused tonsillitis or not.

Tonsillitis Treatment

The treatment can be made either at home through home remedies or through antibiotics. It is caused by a bacterial or viral infection; home remedies can make one feel comfortable as well as tends to promote better recovery. The at-home remedies for the treatment of tonsillitis comprise of

  • Adequate rest
  • Drinking adequate water to keep the throat moist
  • Eat comforting foods such as warm liquid, coffee, tea, warm water with honey, etc
  • Doing salt water gargling to get relief from the sore throat
  • Use cough lozenges to get relief from the sore throat

Using the above-mentioned strategies to treat tonsillitis can cure the problem within ten days. And these strategies are also very much effective in the case of children. However, if you want an immediate solution to this problem, then you need to visit your doctor, who will prescribe antibiotics. The most common antibiotic to treat tonsillitis is penicillin, but it will work effectively only when tonsillitis is caused by bacteria. However, if the physician checks that the tonsillitis is caused by a virus, then they may prescribe some other appropriate antibiotic.

Tonsil Stones

The tonsil stones refer to the small-sized lumps which are formed on the tonsils. The other name of the tonsil stones is tonsilloliths. The tonsil stones are not harmful or painful, but they can cause bad breath. They usually look like white or yellow colored pebbles on your tonsils. Individuals may have one or more than one tonsil stones.

The primary difference between tonsil stones and tonsillitis is that the latter is a tonsil infection, but the former is not a tonsil infection. Tonsillitis tends to be more painful and also gives more discomfort than tonsil stones. Unlike tonsillitis, tonsil stones are common, and many people get them but do not even know that they have tonsil stones.

Hence, above, we had a brief discussion on tonsillitis. This will provide you with comprehensive knowledge about tonsillitis, its symptoms, and its treatment. Moreover, we have also discussed tonsil stones. If you experience any of the symptoms of tonsillitis, you should definitely contact the doctor and treat it as soon as possible.

Written by Jagannadh Ch