What are Inflamed Tonsils?
Inflamed tonsils are synonymous to tonsillitis. These tonsils are the lymph nodes found in the back of the mouth and top of our throats. The functions of the tonsils seem to be unfamiliar to others. The primary function of our tonsils is to filter out the bacteria and other harmful microorganisms responsible for inflicting infection. Basically, our tonsils are our defense and a source of immunity to infections. As our tonsils assume their roles, the possibility of overwhelming them shall cause the swelling of the tonsils. This condition are sometimes neglected especially when inflammation is not that nagging. But take note, persistent recurrence of tonsillitis can cause a grave condition which shall be discussed in complications.
Tonsillitis does not choose its victims. Any person and at any age can be affected with tonsillitis. But this condition is more commonly identified in children. Children at the age of two and below are not common sufferers of tonsillitis. But those who are beyond two years old are commonly affected of this condition.
Types of Tonsillitis
Tonsillitis occurs into different types:
This condition shall last up to 4 to 6 days. This infection is caused by a specific bacteria or virus that commonly affects children who are 5 to 10 years of age.
Chronic tonsillitis is a persistent type of tonsillitis that may cause tiny stone formation. Persistent tonsillitis can also lead to enlargement of tonsils. This can also be unresponsive to treatment which makes it hard to cure.
A person is diagnosed of this condition when they have a clear history of multiple episodes of acute tonsillitis in a year. These frequent episodes can lead to changes of the lymphoid tissues resulting to losing its significant function which is to defend us from infections. This is also due to the scarring that may result from the recurrent infections.
Diagnosis of the condition is attained through a physical assessment. The physician shall look for signs of infection such as the swelling, redness and presence of discharges. Identification of the causative agent is essential in diagnosis as well as in the treatment course. Most likely, the doctor shall perform a rapid diagnostic test with a swab specimen to acquire the possible causative agent. This will take 1 to 2 days for the test to provide a confirmatory result. If there is presence of abscess, the doctor may refer the patient to an EENT specialist.
Inflamed Tonsils Symptoms
Take note that the presenting symptoms are experienced differently by each person affected. Tonsillitis is characterized by signs of redness, swollen tonsils which may have purulent discharges or coatings of white patches. In general a person affected of tonsillitis shall experience the following:
- Sore throat (radiates pain to ears)
- Difficulty in swallowing because of pain
- Muscle aches
- Fever and chills
Acute tonsillitis is accompanied by ear pain when one swallow food or drinks, halitosis is also noted, and drooling with sore throat and fever are experienced. The lymph nodes are found swollen. As strep throat develops, the patient shall experience rash, pneumonia, and ear infection. Body malaise is also to be expected.
Chronic tonsillitis is characterized by persistent infection that includes formation of small stones (tonsilloliths). These stones cause the person affected to feel a full throat or simply the feeling of something is caught at the back of the throat. Halitosis is also noted. Voice hoarseness is experienced because of the obstruction.
Recurring tonsillitis can cause rheumatic fever that gravely affects the young and their hearts.
Inflamed Tonsils Causes
A bacteria and virus can be the root cause of this condition. Tonsillitis can be transmitted through the direct contact from one person to another. The bacteria or virus can be transmitted through a droplet form. But this condition is usually caused by a viral infection. Bacteria called Streptococcus pyogenes is the responsible organism that can cause strep throat. It has been statistically noted that children are affected by strep throat and shall develop tonsillitis by 30%. Only 10% of adults acquire tonsillitis with strep throat.
An inflamed tonsil is sometimes caused by an underlying mouth condition. Diphtheria or mouth ulcers can result to tonsillitis. This may be due to the causative agent that has precipitated the conditions above.
Inflamed Tonsils Treatment
The medical treatment for tonsillitis is to provide antibiotics such as penicillin. Even though the cause of this condition can be viral, the use of antibiotics is provided. Penicillin is the most commonly drug given to patients. This can be given to patients as a single-dose injection. Oral penicillin is also provided. Instances where a person is allergic with the penicillin, erythromycin is given to patients. The treatment course would last for 10 days to a week. Remember that following the treatment course is important so that drug resistance can be avoided. Completing the treatment is very important.
Tonsillectomy is needed to patients when they have recurrent infections. The criteria for the removal of the tonsils are:
- Having five or more episodes in one year
- 3 or more episodes a year for 2 years
- Infections that does not respond to treatment
Self-care at home is preferably done to patients who are suffering from mild tonsillitis. Giving of over-the-counter analgesics are not restricted, ibuprofen or acetaminophen are taken for this condition.
In order to ease sore throat or pain felt by the patient is by using an improvised gargle. Mix a 1 teaspoon of salt with a glass of water (preferably an 8 oz of water). Increasing the oral fluid intake is needed to avoid dehydration.
Another treatment includes the use of lime. This has been noted to be an effective remedy for tonsillitis. Squeeze a freshly cut lime into a glass of warm water and add a teaspoon of honey and a pinch of salt. This should be sipped slowly in order to attain relief.
The use of milk is found to be a good remedy for an inflamed tonsil. Prepare a glass of boiled milk and mix it with a pinch of turmeric powder and pepper powder. This should be taken 3 consecutive nights.
Nutritious diet is very much recommended to patients. These would include dos and don’ts:
- Water and orange juice should be taken many times to provide vitamin C and facilitate healing process. This can also provide relief to patients.
- An all-fruit diet is beneficial to the patient. This would help the patient in getting the right nutrition when he or she is in the recovery process.
- Avoid taking spices, sour foods and condiments in the meals. This would only tend to irritate the throat of the client thus increasing the discomfort. Avoid yogurt, buttermilk and fried foods.