TonsillitisTonsillitis refers to acute inflammation of the tonsils, which lie, one on each side of the throat. Chronic tonsillitis is a term applied to cases in which there is enlargement of the tonsils accompanied by repeated attacks of infection.
The tonsils are the oval shaped tissue mass or lymph nodes that are visible towards the back of the throat on both sides, at the back of the mouth. The tonsils are an important part of the immune system which serves as our bodys natural defense system against infections. Tonsillitis is basically an infection of the tonsils. The main function of the tonsils is to filter out bacteria and any other microorganisms that can cause infections. At times however the tonsils themselves can suffer an infection, which may often afflict the throat and surrounding areas. In most cases of tonsillitis the cause is from a viral infection, but at times it may be attributed to a bacterial infection. Tonsillitis could also simply refer to an inflammation of the tonsils and any other lymph nodes towards the back of the throat like the adenoids. Very often the infection affecting the surrounding areas could also affect the pharynx, causing what is referred to as pharyngitis.
Tonsil stones symptoms or symptoms of tonsillitis will depend on the cause and it is not always easy for a lay person to identify or recognize these symptoms. This can be problematic tonsillitis treatment as the appropriate treatment for any condition depends on the underlying cause. This is why it is so important for you to seek prompt medical advice and diagnosis. To get rid of tonsil stones, medical treatment for removing tonsil stones may be used that could include home treatments oral medications and in some cases there may also be a need for surgery. You can also try to get rid of tonsil stones naturally with home remedies. Surgical removal of the tonsils should however be reserved as a last resort when there is no other treatment option available as the tonsils are an important part of your immune system. In the past removal of the tonsils through surgery was quite a common practice, but this is not so common any more. Tonsil removal surgery is now only performed in individuals who suffer recurrent and frequent infections of tonsillitis or tonsil stones and when the condition does not respond to any form of tonsillitis treatment or if there is any kind of serious risk of complications developing.
Tonsillitis or tonsil stones may not always develop independently. At times there may be other causes for the development of the condition and in such a scenario it is necessary that treatment is directed towards that underlying condition. Treating tonsillitis or the swollen tonsils will not be effective if the underlying cause is not eliminated as the condition will continue to recur.
Chronic cryptic tonsillitis refers to a condition where small pits or pockets called crypts develop in the tonsils. These small pockets can trap food and result in small growths in the tonsils known as tonsil stones. These tonsil stones are nothing but particles of dead cells and bacteria which have a foul odor. In very rare cases this condition may become serious if the stones are too big and start blocking the air passages. Tonsillectomy is the only way to cure chronic cryptic tonsillitis. Although this procedure is very effective it can be quite painful and it takes at least 2 weeks or more for the patient to recover.
Mono, caused by the infectious mononucleosis, may also be a cause for tonsillitis. Mono typically begins with feelings of excessive and unexplainable fatigue, as well as headaches and a sore throat. As the sore throat worsens it is also likely to cause inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, resulting in tonsillitis. Similarly there are various other throat infections, mostly viral, that cause severe sore throats, at times resulting in tonsillitis. While the treatment in such situations is directed at the underlying cause your doctor may also prescribe corticosteroids like prednisone to provide relief from the tonsillitis by reducing the inflammation. Treatment should therefore eliminate the cause of the condition while providing relief from the mono symptoms associated with tonsillitis. Coxsackievirus is another viral infection that may be responsible for tonsillitis. This viral infection is accompanied by other symptoms as well, like a high fever and appetite loss. At times the patient may also develop a rash.
Considering the various possible causes of tonsillitis it should be pointed out that tonsillitis is not contagious itself, and symptoms associated with it would however give some indication of the risk of contagion. If the tonsillitis is itself a symptom caused by some infectious disease then there is a risk of that infection being passed on. Similarly, if the cause of tonsillitis is attributed to some other infection, a tonsillectomy, which is the surgical removal of the tonsils, would be of ineffective and in fact ill advised, as the tonsils do play an important role in your immune system. It would be wise to look out for other symptoms that could be indicative of infection such as strep throat symptoms, flu like symptoms, bronchitis symptoms or even rheumatic fever symptoms. If left untreated the tonsillitis contagious period lasts for up to 2 weeks but when treated with antibiotics it usually reduces to just 48 hours. It is safe to say that a tonsillitis infection is contagious through coughing and sneezing, which are responsible for spreading the disease to other people.
If you have trouble identifying the symptoms and are unsure as to whether you are experiencing viral tonsillitis symptoms or not, it may be a good idea to look up tonsillitis pictures and symptoms on the internet.
Symptoms of TonsillitisThe main symptoms of tonsillitis are sore throat, fever, headache, pain in various parts of the body, difficulty in swallowing, and general weakness. The tonsils are seen to be inflamed and red when the mouth is opened wide. In many cases, spots of pus exude from them.
Externally, the tonsillar lymph glands, which lie just behind the angle of the jaw, are tender and enlarged. In severe cases, there may be pain in the ear.
The symptoms of tonsillitis may not be present in children and toddlers, while they also may not be able to explain how they feel and the symptoms they experience, but there may be certain observable symptoms. Tonsillitis symptoms in children would typically include drooling and pain when swallowing, which would be hard to miss. You would also probably observe the child refusing to eat, which would be because of the pain from swallowing. The child would also probably display unusual fussiness when eating. If your child demonstrates any such behavior it would be wise to seek a prompt medical diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
If your child experiences a sore throat that persists or any difficulty swallowing make sure you get in touch with your doctor. Tonsillitis in children can cause complications if neglected or not identified promptly as the difficulty swallowing and eating and corresponding diminished appetite and reduced food intake will cause severe malnutrition and weakness or fatigue. Dehydration could then also be a serious problem.
Tonsillitis symptoms The signs and symptoms of tonsillitis in adults or even in children for that matter will not always be uniform as the tonsillitis or tonsil stones symptoms will depend on the nature of the infection. Enlarged tonsils are however common to adults, children and toddlers. Tonsillitis may be acute, sub-acute, or chronic. Here is a description of the symptoms of tonsillitis based on the type of tonsillitis infection.
Acute Tonsillitis Symptoms:
- You would most likely experience a sudden onset of a throat infection or sore throat that is rather severe and rapidly worsens over time.
- There may also be a moderate to high fever.
- You may also find it painful to swallow any food or even your own saliva.
- You will also probably notice that there is a reddening of the tonsils and enlarged tonsils. There may or may not be any pus present.
- You would also experience a swelling of the lymph nodes in the area of the neck, just beneath the jaws, and they will also be tender to touch.
- In many cases of acute tonsillitis there will be hoarseness of the voice or a loss of voice.
- You would notice enlarged tonsils.
- There is also likely to be some accumulation of pus or a pasty and foul smelling infected material on the pits of the tonsils.
- A sore throat is another common symptom and you may also suffer severe halitosis, which is the medical term for bad breath.
- As with acute tonsillitis, sub acute tonsillitis will also cause some swelling and tenderness of the lymph nodes.
- Enlarged tonsils that are slightly reddened and they will also appear scarred with large pits.
- There would again be enlargement or swelling of the lymph nodes, but they will generally not have any tenderness.
- Frequent sore throat infections are another symptom of chronic tonsillitis.
Causes of TonsillitisThe chief cause of tonsillitis is a toxic condition of the system, which is brought to a head by a sudden lowering of vitality, resulting from exposure and sudden chill. The tonsils enlarge and get inflamed when the toxins cannot be got rid of through the normal channels of elimination such as the bowels, kidneys, and skin. A throat affliction of this kind is also associated with and is the result of chronic constipation, when toxins are reabsorbed into the bloodstream.
Tonsillitis is most commonly a result of viral infections, but in around one third of the cases, a bacterial infection may be the cause. It is impossible to recognize the difference between bacterial or viral infections and only medical tests can help identify the exact cause. There are different possible tonsillitis or tonsil stones causes that could include the following:
- Close contact with any individual suffering a tonsillar or pharyngeal infection could increase the risk of developing tonsillitis.
- A prolonged sore throat caused by an infection could at times develop into tonsillitis.
- Sharing of personal items like toothbrushes with an infected person could cause tonsillitis.
Remedies for Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis Treatment Using LimeLime is one of the most effective remedies in the treatment of acute tonsillitis. A fresh lime squeezed in a glass of warm water, with four teaspoons of honey and a quarter teaspoon of common salt, should be sipped slowly in such cases.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using MilkMilk has been found valuable in tonsillitis. A glass of pure boiled milk, mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder and pepper powder, should be taken every night for three nights in the treatment of this condition. It will bring beneficial results.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using Vegetable JuicesJuices of carrot, beet, and cucumber, taken individually or in combination, are especially beneficial. The formula proportion recommended, when used in combination is 300 ml of carrot juice, 100 ml of beet juice, and 100 ml of cucumber juice.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using Banafsha FlowersBanafsha flowers, botanically known as Viola odorata, are beneficial in the treatment of tonsillitis. About 12 gm of these flowers should be boiled in 50 ml of milk. This milk should be taken hot after being filtered. The filtered banafsha can also be lightly fried in clarified butter and worn round the throat as a poultice at night.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using Fenugreek SeedsA gargle made from fenugreek seeds is very effective in severe cases of tonsillitis. To make such a gargle, two tablespoons of fenugreek seeds should be allowed to simmer for half an hour in a litre of water and then set aside to cool. The entire quantity should be used the same day as a soothing gargle. It will have beneficial results.
Remedy for TonsillitisKeep in mind that tonsillitis should not be treated lightly and while tonsillitis treatment with home remedies and natural methods may be helpful, medical attention is absolutely necessary. Methods of home treatment can be used as complimentary treatment to facilitate healing and provide relief.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using Salt waterThe best way to prevent tonsil stones is to gargle with salt water. This simple home remedy not only helps in removing the tonsil stones but it also prevents the growth of additional stones. This salt water gargle helps in cleaning out the crypts and food particles lodged inside, thereby arresting the development of new tonsil stones.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using ChamomileChamomile tea along with honey and lemon is a great home remedy for providing relief from the symptoms of tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using FigsA paste can be prepared from water and boiled figs and this paste can be applied externally on the throat area to provide a cooling and soothing effect.
Tonsillitis Treatment Using AlumPurified alum can be used for gargling or powdered alum can be applied over the tonsils to reduce the inflammation.
Diet for TonsillitisTo begin with, the patient should fast for three to five days, by which time the serious symptoms should subside. Nothing but water and orange juice should be taken during this time.
After the acute symptoms of tonsillitis are over, the patient should adopt an all-fruit diet for the next three or four days. Thereafter he may gradually embark upon a well-balanced diet, with emphasis on seeds, nuts, grains, vegetables, and fruits.
The patient should avoid spices and condiments as they tend to irritate the throat. Sour substances like yoghurt, buttermilk, and fried foods should also be avoided.