Tonsils- they are a multiple aggregation of
large lymphatic nodules embedded in a mucous membrane. They are
arranged in a ring at the junction of the oral cavity and
pharynx. Their lymphocytes respond to infectious agents that
are swallowed with food and inspired air and they normally subside by
the time the kids are in their teens.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils which results in a sore
It can be caused by bacteria as well as viruses. Tonsillitis is
transmitted most commonly from one person to another by social contact
such as droplets in the air from sneezing. Most of the time,
tonsillitis is caused by a viral infection.
Bacterial tonsillitis can be caused by Streptococcus pyogenes-the
organism that causes strep throat. If left untreated, strep throat may
lead to a more serious condition called rheumatic fever, which can
affect the heart several years later.
The viruses that cause tonsillitis are
often the ones that frequently affect the respiratory system or
breathing. Most cases are caused by a virus and will only require
- Only about 30% of tonsillitis in children is caused by
- Only 10% of tonsillitis in adults is caused by strep
This generally takes place in persons with weakened immune systems.
sore throat remedies that can be bought over the counter.
Symptoms and signs-
- Difficulty swallowing
- Ear pain
- Fever, chills
- Sore throat - lasts longer than 48 hours and may be severe
- Tenderness of the jaw and throat
- Voice changes, loss of voice
- Running nose
- Redness of throat and tonsils.
- Redness of eyes.
- In some cases- nausea and vomiting.
>> Signs of infection (redness, discharge,
swollen lymph glands)
- The doctor will conduct a physical examination. Sore
throats caused by viruses may look exactly like those caused by
- The doctor looks for these conditions:
>> Abscess (a shift in 1 tonsil toward the
center and a shift of the uvula away from the infected side)
>> Airway compromise (muffled speech,
drooling, and inability to swallow)
- The doctor may order diagnostic tests that will look for
strep infection. In some cases, the doctor may start antibiotic
treatment without tests.
- If the doctor performs a rapid diagnostic test with a swab
specimen from the back of the throat, positive results for strep throat
may be available during the office visit. However, it typically takes
24-48 hours to confirm rapid test results of a bacterial infection.
- Rarely, other conditions such as diphtheria, a foreign
body, or cancer may start with a sore throat. If an abscess or a more
worrisome condition (cancer, diphtheria) appears to be present, the
doctor may consult an ear, nose, and throat specialist.
- Greatly enlarged tonsils, i.e. when tonsils meet each other
in midline, can lead to difficulty in breathing.
- Attacks of acute tonsillitis can be associated with
recurrent attacks of pain & infection in the ears.
- When certain bacteria are the causative organisms of acute
tonsillitis and the infection is not resolved it may lead to heart
disease in these patients.
- A child suffering from recurrent attacks has a slow
development & frequently misses out on school.
- In adults, recurrent attacks of acute tonsillitis can
predispose to formation of intraoral abscesses which then present as
a. warm drinks like soups, tea with honey should be given.
b. Patient should do gargles from salty warm water.
c. spicy food and cold drinks should be avoided.
3. Surgery- known as tonsillectomy that is removal of tonsils. In some
cases, a tonsillectomy becomes a necessity; the tonsils become so
enlarged that they can cause difficulty in breathing and obstructive
Role of homoeopathy
Homoeopathic medicines will help in treating the acute phase
of tonsillitis as well in reducing the recurrent attacks of tonsillitis by boosting host
immunity. With the help of these medicines, the chances of surgery can be reduced and even
avoided. In homeopathy, medicines for tonsillitis are normally
selected with the mode of onset and temperament of the disease as well
Tonsillitis symptoms usually improve 2 or 3 days after treatment
starts. The infection usually is cured after treatment is completed,
but some people may need more than one course medications.
Complications of untreated strep tonsillitis may be severe. Children
with tonsillitis related to strep throat or pharyngitis should
generally be kept home from school to avoid spread of illness.
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