- An inflammation of the tonsils, usually due to a viral infection or, less commonly, a bacterial infection. It is a common type of infection in children. Most cases of tonsillitis get better within a week. A small number of children have tonsillitis for a long time or it keeps coming back. This is known as chronic tonsillitis and may require treatment with surgery. If tonsillitis is recurrent or persistent, or if enlarged tonsils cause upper airway obstruction or difficulty eating, surgical removal of the tonsils, called tonsillectomy, may be necessary.
Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsils.
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 include:
- 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.
- Only about 30% of tonsillitis in children is caused by strep throat.
- Only 10% of tonsillitis in adults is caused by strep throat.
- There will be pain in mouth with swallowing.
- loss of appetite is the common symptom of tonsillitis.
- There will be high temperature during tonsillitis.
- abdominal pain
- In tonsillitis, there will be white or yellow spots of pus on the tonsils.
- Sore throat - some children complain of pain in their tummy, rather than a sore throat.
- Swollen lymph glands under each side of the jaw.
- Bad breath
Some important herbal treatments for tonsillitis includes:
- Gelsemium 6C: It is a well-known herb for the treatment of tonsillitis. 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.