Prevent Tonsillitis

Edited by Shalom, Alma, Anonymous, Robbi and 8 others

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If you're having a hard time swallowing or your throat seems to be painful and sore all the time, then there is a huge possibility that you could be suffering from tonsillitis. Your tonsils play a very important role in the body's defense or immune system which traps microbes or germs before it can enter the airways and potentially wreak havoc and cause infectious diseases. The tonsils also produce antibodies that help fight off infection and boost the body's immune system. If you take a good look inside your throat, you will see two small masses which can be found right on both sides of your throat in the back region - these are what is referred to as tonsils.

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If your tonsils appear to be somewhat red, tender, and inflamed; then chances are you definitely have tonsillitis. Swelling or inflammation of the tonsils is said to be the body's defensive reaction against infection. Typical cases of tonsillitis are usually caused by either viral or bacterial infections. Young children are said to have a much greater risk of contracting tonsillitis than adults, which recur frequently or a number of times in a year. But, generally, one can contract the disease at any age. More so, tonsillitis can be very uncomfortable and painful which can even disrupt your normal day-to-day routine. Social interaction or communication is a vital part of life and this can be severely hampered by this medical condition. For this reason alone, It is absolutely necessary to seek expert medical advice if symptoms tend to worsen over a prolonged period of time. Tonsillitis usually dissipate after 3 days or a maximum span of 1 week with no medical intervention necessary. However, there are a number of home treatment or alternative remedies that you can try in order to alleviate or reduce the self-limiting symptoms of tonsillitis. Prevention certainly is a proactive way of dealing with tonsillitis - it's a way practical and cheaper route to take than undergoing several treatment options. Treatment for tonsillitis vary depending on the causative factors, origin, lifestyle, and certain medical or health variables that should be considered before determining the appropriate treatment for your condition.

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What is Tonsillitis?

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The tonsils or also referred to as "Palatine tonsils" pertain to the two soft pads of tissue masses that can be found right in the pharynx or back of the throat. These are lymph nodes, which are coined to be part of the body's lymphatic or immune system which produce antibodies and function as filters that trap harmful pathogens from invading the body that could trigger infection. These glandular masses consist of cells that function primarily to combat viruses or bacteria that can cause wide-range of illnesses. The tonsils become swollen in response to the infection. Pharyngitis may simultaneously be present together with tonsillitis. This is a contagious disease that are commonly present in children from 6 to 12 years of age; but can otherwise occur at any age. Infections of this type are at its peak during winter and S

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Normal or healthy tonsils would appear pink and average in size. The tonsil size differs from one person to another. It typically reaches its peak size upon reaching puberty and gradually becomes atrophic from then on. On the other hand, infected tonsils usually look inflamed, enlarged or hypertrophic, exudative, red, and cryptic or with pus which appear like whitish, yellowish, or cheese-like spots.

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Major Types of Tonsillitis:

  • Acute Tonsillitis - This can be caused by either bacteria or viruses and is characterized primarily by the presence of sore throat, halitosis, fever, ear pain, difficulty or pain in swallowing, and excessive drooling. This type of tonsillitis can lead to associated illnesses such as acute mononucleosis triggered by the Epstein-Barr virus, strep throat, sinusitis, rheumatic heart disease, and pneumonia; among others.
  • Chronic Tonsillitis - When tonsillitis becomes recurring or repetitive in frequent intervals, then it can be classified as chronic. Due to the recurring infection, the tonsils may form crypts or pockets which harbor tonsil stones or "tonsilloliths" which, when crushed emit a very foul smell similar to that of a rotten egg. The said foul odor is caused by its high sulfa content. This is what causes bad breath in patients with tonsillitis.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis Include

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  1. 1
    Headache.
    Throbbing headache with otalgia brought about by the infected tonsils and swollen lymph nodes.
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  2. 2
    Halitosis or Bad Breath.
    The foul odor can be largely attributed to the pus formation or the cheese-like coating that envelope the affected tonsils.
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  3. 3
    Earaches.
    Pain in the ears may be felt due to inflamed lymph nodes.
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  4. 4
    Fatigue.
    Excessive feeling of tiredness can be felt alongside other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and fever, which can wear a person out quite easily than normal.
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  5. 5
    Fever and Chills.
    Tonsillitis of both viral and bacterial origins can exhibit mild to moderate fever with chills which is the body's natural reaction against foreign pathogens that can cause infection.
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  6. 6
    Sore throat.
    This is considered to be the most common symptom associated with tonsillitis. Fever and swollen lymph nodes can also be present. Such symptoms should be carefully monitored by a physician to avoid further complications of developing "strep throat" which, when left untreated, can cause a much serious illness such as rheumatic heart disease.
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  7. 7
    Pain when swallowing.
    Pain can be felt when eating or drinking due to the enlarged and infected tonsils.
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  8. 8
    Swelling or Inflammation.
    Hypertrophy or enlargement of the tonsils with redness and some erythematous or cheesy-like patches can be seen on the affected site.
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  9. 9
    Malaise.
    This refers to a generalized feeling of being unwell or sick, which is mainly the result of fever and infection.
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  10. 10
    Voice changes.
    Deviations in your vocal quality or even temporary loss of voice can be felt accompanied by sore throat and inflammation of tonsils.
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  11. 11
    Nausea and Vomiting.
    Fever and tonsil inflammation can precipitate dizzy spells and vomiting in patients.
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  12. 12
    Furry tongue.
    The infection in the tonsils can spread on other areas of the mouth such as the tongue. The affected tongue may appear furry, red, and with white patches on the surface. The taste buds may also be affected.
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  13. 13
    Peritonsillar Abscess.
    Pus formation can coat the affected tonsils, which appear like white, yellow, or somewhat cheese-like curds. This emit a foul or unpleasant odor.
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  14. 14
    Abdominal Pain.
    Abdominal discomfort can be felt due to the associated symptoms of nausea and vomiting brought about by the infection.
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  15. 15
    Bleeding.
    The tonsils may bleed at some point due to the infection or consumption of extremely hot or cold food and beverages.
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  16. 16
    Swollen Lymph Nodes.
    Pain in the neck, ear, or jaw area is caused by swollen lymph nodes, which is a lymphatic response to infection.
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  17. 17
    Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.
    Cold-like symptoms such as the presence of runny nose, cough, fever, or sore throat are common symptoms of tonsillitis that are of viral origin.
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  18. 18
    Loss of Appetite.
    An infection that may start in the tonsils can eventually spread to other regions of the oral cavity such as the tongue which can affect the taste and result in loss of appetite. Fever and other associated symptoms can also affect a patient's craving for food.
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  19. 19
    Drooling.
    This is most often observed in children who have contracted tonsillitis. Excessive production of saliva can be triggered by the engorgement of the infected tonsils.
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Causes of Tonsillitis

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Tonsillitis is said to be commonly caused by a number of viruses and bacteria. Parasites and fungi can also trigger tonsil infections, but are considerably rare, especially in healthy individuals with robust immune systems. Droplets of these harmful agents are contagious and airborne which can be caught by simply breathing it in or getting in close proximity or contact with infected individuals. These can enter varied mucous membranes such as through the mouth, nose, skin, or eyes. The symptoms or indicators of tonsillitis would typically become evident after 2 to 5 days.

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Adenovirus

This virus is medium sized and not enveloped, and contains icosahedral nucleocapsid with a double stranded DNA genome. It affects the respiratory system.

Rhinovirus

This is the virus that causes a cold. This infection multiplies rapidly in temperatures between 33-35 degrees Celsius, which is why it starts in the nose.

Influenza

This is also known as the common "flu", and is usually caused by the RNA viruses or influenza A and B viruses in birds and mammals. When left untreated, this may lead to pneumonia, which is dangerously common in children.

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Coronavirus

This is quite the opposite of the adenovirus. These are enveloped viruses that have a positive-sense of RNA genomes. It also has a nucleocapsid of helical symmetry.

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV)

This causes most respiratory tract infections and usually occurs during infancy and childhood.

Bacterial infection

This is when the body somehow receives an infection from bacteria. There is a wide range of bacterias out there and nearly all of them cause an infection to some extent. The most common bacteria that can precipitate tonsillitis is the group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS) or what is popularly known to cause "strep throat infections". Other bacterial origins of tonsillitis include diphtheria, Streptococcus pneumonia, gonorrhea, Chlamydia pneumonia, syphilis, and fusobacterium; to name a few.

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Smoking

Habitual smokers have a much higher risk of contracting tonsillitis than non-smokers. However, passive smokers or non-smokers who are frequently exposed to cigarette smoke from others are regarded to be equally at risk of getting tonsil infections with that of people who smoke packs of cigarettes per day.

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Treatment

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  1. 1
    Hydration
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  2. 2
    Intravenous antibiotics
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  3. 3
    Anti-inflammatory drugs
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  4. 4
    Steroids
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  5. 5
    Fever reducing medicines
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  6. 6
    Pain reliever
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  7. 7
    Gargle warm water with salt
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  8. 8
    Lozenges
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  9. 9
    Tonsillectomy
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  10. 10
    Abscess Drainage
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Preventive Methods to Avoid Contracting Tonsillitis

  1. 1
    Practice regular hand-washing.
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    Regularly wash your hands to prevent spreading diseases from one person to another. Tonsillitis, on the average, is said to be more viral than bacterial in origin and are therefore dubbed as contagious. Teach your kids the right way to wash the hands. Take the lead and use good hand washing techniques. Hold your hands in the sink with the palms together and with the fingertips aimed down. Soap your hands well and scrub for about 20 seconds. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Wash your hands before and after meals, after visiting crowded or public places (like schools or malls), after playing with pets, after playing with toys; or engaging in any outdoor activity. Washing in frequent intervals is a must especially if there is an infected individual in the family, which makes every single member of the family susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.
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  2. 2
    Keep a well-balanced diet.
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    Consuming healthy food varieties ensure that your immune system stays strong and is able to function well to stave off the bacteria and viral infections.
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  3. 3
    Keep yourself well-hydrated.
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    Consume the recommended daily dosage (8 glasses) of water everyday to keep your body oiled up for daily functions. Drinking fruit juices which are rich in vitamin C can also help boost your body's natural immune defenses to ward off against any infection. Choose to drink more tea or other healthy options instead of carbonated beverages. Limit your daily caffeine intake.
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  4. 4
    Limit contact with infected or sick individuals.
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    At home or in school, be sure to avoid using or sharing the same eating utensils, towels, toothbrushes, or clothes with that of an infected person. Clean and disinfect table surfaces and other commonly used areas to avoid the spread of diseases. Also, it is advisable to separate frequently used items such as toys, toiletries, or other items and wash these properly to avoid passing the viral or bacterial infection to other people.
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  5. 5
    Always carry around with you a hand sanitizer.
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    You can also pack alcohol and antibacterial wet wipes that you can use when frequenting public places like malls or grocery stores. These are very convenient to use, especially when traveling with kids, which makes you and your family highly susceptible to different allergens or foreign pathogens that can invade the body's immune system.
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  6. 6
    Maintain good oral or dental hygiene.
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    Make sure that you brush your teeth every after meals. Floss daily. Change toothbrushes every 3 to 6 months. Use a good fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash to clean the mouth thoroughly and avoid tonsillitis as well as other similar infections from happening. Get regular dental checkups.
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  7. 7
    Do a lifestyle check.
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    Avoid smoking, drinking, or staying up late at night. This pattern of unhealthy lifestyle can precipitate mouth infections like tonsillitis and is also known to lower your body's defenses against a number of diseases. Also, it is deemed advisable to be preoccupied with a variety of physical activities such as routine workout exercises, yoga practices, or other preferred sports that allow you to stay fit, active, and always on the move.
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Questions and Answers

Respiratory infections affecting the tonsils?

The likelihood that respiratory infections will have an effect on the tonsils is very high. This is mainly because the tonsils are at the opening of the respiratory system and if infections are not controlled right away, it can easily spread to nearby areas.

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This is also the reason why when you are suffering from colds, you feel pain on your throat. That area gets inflamed when you have respiratory conditions. Also, it is important to note that this is a serious matter that should not be ignored as the tonsil is very near the heart. If infections on the tonsil is not addressed right away, these can easily lodge to the heart and may lead to more serious conditions.

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I have tonsillitis, Day 2. Do I need to go to the Doctor for antibiotics?

I have white spots and it is hard to swallow.

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What is a cheesy-like tonsil and does this condition mean that your tonsillitis is getting worse?

Do cheesy-like tonsils resemble cheese and if you have them, is it serious?. I have tried: I am trying to identify the problem by surfing on Google for images of infected tonsils.. I think it was caused by: A virus may have caused my swollen tonsils.

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MY DUTY IS AT NIGHTS, HOW DOES THAT AFFECT THE TONSILLITIS?

IT STARTED OF TONSILLITIS PAIN IN THROAT, A WHITE COLOR SWALLOW PART APPEAR IN THROAT. I have tried: THROAT ACHE

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Categories : Health & Wellness

Recent edits by: Donna, Eng, deaffish

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