Tonsils are small parts of the body that are located at the back of the throat.
The word tonsils usually mean the deep pink areas on each side of the back of the throat.
Tonsils are your first line of defense against illness.
They make available white blood cells to help your body fight infections.
The tonsils combat bacteria and viruses that enter your body through your mouth.
Since tonsils function as a defense mechanism.
Helps prevent your body from infections, then when the tonsils become infected, the condition is called tonsillitis.
It is a painful disease caused by swollen tonsils.
It is caused by germs called bacteria or virus. Most attacks of tonsillitis happen in people between the ages of 10 and 40.
An attack begins with swelling and pain in the throat, then it becomes hard to swallow.
Serious cases of tonsillitis may bring fever, headaches, backache, or stiff neck. People may get so sick to the stomach too.
This condition is contagious, and can be caused by a variety of common viruses such as common cold and bacteria.
A common cause is Streptococcal bacteria, which causes strep throat.
Tonsillitis caused by strep throat can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
- Influenza virus
- Epstein-Barr virus
- Parainfluenza viruses
- Herpes simplex virus
The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, sometimes severe enough to block the airways. Other symptoms include;
- Throat pain or tenderness
- Redness of the tonsils
- A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
- Painful blisters or ulcers on the throat
- Loss of appetite
- Ear pain
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
- Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
- Fever, chills
- Bad breath
- Abdominal pain
Tonsillitis diagnose is usually based on a physical examination of your throat.
Your doctor may also take a throat swap culture or perform a rapid strep test.
This is done by gently swabbing the back of your throat close to the tonsils with a cotton swab.
The culture will be sent to a laboratory to identify the cause of your throat infection.
A viral infection will not show on the test, but may be assumed if the test for bacteria is negative.
In some cases, the physical findings are convincing enough to diagnose a probable bacterial infection.
A mild case of tonsillitis does not necessarily require treatment, especially if a virus, such as a cold, causes it.
Antibiotics, may be prescribed without performing a rapid strep test.
Also, if the test reveals bacteria, treatment will consist of antibiotics to cure the infection.
Antibiotics may be given as a single shot or taken 10 days by mouth.
Although symptoms will likely improve within two or three days after starting the antibiotic, it’s important to take all of the medication your doctor prescribes to make sure the bacteria are gone.
Some people need to take a second course of antibiotics to cure the infection.
If the tonsillitis is caused by a virus, antibiotics won’t work and your body will fight off the infection on its own.
But, there are things you can do to feel better, regardless of the cause. They include;
- Get enough rest
- Drink warm or very cold fluids to ease throat pain
- Eat smooth foods, such as flavored gelatins, ice cream, or apple sauce
- Use a cool-mist vaporizer or humidifier in your room
- Gargle with warm salt water
- Suck on lozenges containing benzocaine or other anesthetics
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
For Tonsillitis that are chronic or recurrent, that doesn’t respond to other treatment, or that causes complications, surgery is recommend.
The operation to take out the tonsils is called a Tonsillectomy and it should be done by qualify doctors.
The most painful aspect of tonsillitis is not being able to swallow anything both solid and liquid and that will surely affect the state of health of the whole body.
Most times pain relievers are very essential in stepping down the kind of pain associated with tonsillitis
Wash your hands often, especially after coming into contact with someone who has a sore throat, or is coughing or sneezing.
If you have tonsillitis, try to stay away from others until you are no longer contagious.