Tonsillitis: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment and Prevention

What is Tonsil?

Tonsils are small tissues found at the back of the throat. They act as filters for antibodies, germs, pathogens and infectious material. Sometimes the tonsils trap the germs beyond the limit, resulting in an infection inside the throat. The tonsils are part of the human anatomy and contribute to immunity. Plus, as people get older, they don’t need tonsils for immunity. Infection of the tonsils is called tonsillitis and is quite common in children under 9 years old. The main reason for infection of tonsils is that these tissues contain infectious pathogens and fight them. In the event that they are overloaded with bad pathogens, they get fat. Also, without proper care and treatment, they tend to grow further, leading to the growth of tonsils and the formation of tonsil stones. Tonsillitis can cause sore throat, strep throat, mild fever, and swollen tonsils. Another problem with tonsillitis is that it is recurrent. If proper treatment is not taken in time, it can lead to serious complications.

Fast facts on tonsils

Although tonsils are common problems and usually resolve on their own, people do not see a doctor when they have mild symptoms. Common issues that people ignore are a mild fever, muscle weakness, and a stiff neck or sore throat that doesn’t go away after 2 days. But, the condition should not be ignored. A thorough diagnosis will not hurt you. If you are suffering from a tonsil infection, make an appointment with the ENT doctors at Pristyn Care. There are cases when the infection of the tonsils can cause the throat to swell so much that it causes difficulty in breathing. In some cases, this leads to the formation of tonsil stones.

What Are the Causes of Tonsil Stones?

Tonsil tissue is the first line of defense against bacterial or infectious pathogens that can enter the throat. The tonsils are part of the immune system, producing white blood cells and fighting infections, fighting bacteria and viruses. Unfortunately, the tonsils can also get infections. The condition can be caused by a virus or by a bacterial infection.

Viral tonsillitis: This is the most common reason for tonsillitis because the common cold is usually the source of tonsillitis, but other viruses can cause it as well.

Bacterial tonsillitis: Typically 20 to 25% of tonsillitis cases are due to bacteria and are more common in children aged 5 to 15 years.

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Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis Treatment, Causes, Symptoms

Tonsillitis Definition: Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsils.The inflammation may involve other areas of the back of the throat including the adenoids and the lingual tonsils.The tonsils are lymph nodes, or oval-shaped masses of lymph gland tissue, located on both sides of the throat. An infection of the tonsils is called tonsillitis.

There are several variations of tonsillitis: acute, recurrent, and chronic tonsillitis and peritonsillar abscess. This swelling is usually caused by either a viral or bacterial infection. Tonsillitis is the name given to swollen, red, and tender tonsils.

Tonsillitis is usually a self-limiting condition, ie it gets better without treatment, and generally there are no complications.Tonsillitis is extremely common in children and young people but it can occur at any age. The characteristics of the disease are pain in the throat and trouble swallowing.

Tonsillitis usually begins with sudden sore throat and painful swallowing.

Causes for tonsillitis:

Some important causes of tonsillitis includes:

Streptococcus and glandular fever

When tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, the most common type of bacteria that causes tonsillitis are streptococci.

Glandular fever is one of the viral illnesses which can cause tonsillitis, but there are many other viruses that may also be responsible.These includes: herpes simplex virus, Streptococcus pyogenes (GABHS) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus, adenovirus, and the measles virus.


The following are the most common symptoms for tonsillitis:

Tonsillitis causes include viral infections such as the flu, the common cold, mononucleosis. Streptococcus is the most common bacterial cause. Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with antibiotics, but viral tonsillitis cannot.
Tonsillitis is transmitted most commonly from one person to another by social contact such as- coughs, sneezes, and nasal fluids.
  1. Only about 30% of tonsillitis in children is caused by strep throat.
  2. Only 10% of tonsillitis in adults is caused by strep throat.
  3. There will be pain in mouth with swallowing.
  4. headache
  5. loss of appetite is the common symptom of tonsillitis.
  6. There will be high temperature during tonsillitis.
  7. vomiting
  8. abdominal pain
  9. In tonsillitis, there will be white or yellow spots of pus on the tonsils.
  10. Sore throat – some children complain of pain in their tummy, rather than a sore throat.
  11. Swollen lymph glands under each side of the jaw.
  12. Earache
  13. Headache
  14. Bad breath

Herbal treatment for tonsillitis:

Some important herbal treatments for tonsillitis includes:

Gelsemium 6C: It is a well-known herb for the treatment of tonsilitis. It is mainly used for the healing process of tonsils.

Belladonna 30C: A Homeopathic remedy used for fast relief of acute fever, pain, headaches, sore throat, swollen tonsils, dry cough.

Gallium aperine: (also known as Cleavers):It is an excellent cleansing tonic and has a beneficial effect on all the lymph glands, including the tonsils. Gallium aperine is effective in relieving swollen tonsils and other lymph glands and is also recommended for glandular fever.

Salvia officinalis: It has a beneficial effect on all conditions of the mouth and throat and has well-known herbal astringent, antibiotic and antiseptic properties.


Home remedies for tonsillitis:

Take aspirin if you are an adult, acetaminophen if you are a child, which help to numb the throat.
Stay hydrated. Drink iced beverages or suck on popsicles. Frozen liquids help numb the throat. Try hot teas with honey, and clear soups.
Get plenty of rest.
Avoid cigarette smoke and other irritants.
Fenugreek Seeds: A gargle made from fenugreek seeds is very effective in severe cases of tonsillitis.

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