Tonsils are small glands that are an important part of the human immune system. The condition of infected tonsils is known as tonsillitis. Persistent sore throat is the prime indication of some abnormality in the proper functioning of the tonsils. Viral infection or bacterial infection can be one of the main reasons behind infected tonsils. Tonsillitis later on leads to swelling, inflammation, and pus formation on the surface of the tonsils. These stages of infected tonsils depend on the type of tonsil infection.
There are two types tonsillitis―acute tonsillitis and chronic tonsillitis. Acute tonsillitis is a sudden onslaught of irritation which often leads to inflamed tonsils. It generally affects children and lasts for about a week or so. While chronic tonsillitis is a resultant of recurrent tonsil infections. If neglected, such recurrent infections fail to respond to medical treatments. It is primarily observed in adults.
As stated earlier, persistent sore throat is the most common symptom. Along with it, a person might suffer from several other symptoms, including pain while swallowing, swollen tonsils, common cold, cough, swollen lymph nodes, mild fever, headache, uneasiness, loss of energy or lethargy, difficulty while breathing, aversion and/or loss of appetite, bad breath, ear ache, constipation, yellow or white spots on tonsils, chills, etc. In case of acute tonsillitis, these symptoms of infected tonsils fade away within 2 to 3 days. A patient can show all or some of the above-mentioned symptoms at a time. Basically, they depend greatly upon the cause of the infection.
There are a few things that can lead to tonsillitis, which are―viral and/or bacterial infection or several other allergens. Most common bacterial infection which leads to infected tonsils is caused by the Streptococci bacteria. A person can get his tonsils infected because of viral infection which is mainly spread by water, food or droplet infection from one patient to the other. On the other hand, several allergens can also lead to this problem, which are―pollen grains, food additives, some prescribed drugs, cold drinks, smoking and/or some mechanical injury.
Treatment depends on the severity of the infection. In case of acute or mild tonsil infection, one can find relief by practicing some home remedies, but the course of treatment for chronic tonsillitis can only be decided after thorough physical examination with a sensitivity test. The health care provider examines the inflammation, enlargement, and severity of the infected tonsils and decides the basic path of medication. In case of chronic tonsillitis, a strep test or throat culture can be collected in order to determine the exact cause behind the infection. Blood tests and biopsy can be required in some rare cases.
There are a few general instructions that one must follow in order to accelerate the healing process of the infected tonsils. The person suffering with infected tonsils must take adequate rest and should avoid unwanted physical exertion. Gargling with lukewarm water, salt, and turmeric, and consuming a mixture of ginger juice and honey can be effective for soothing inflammation of the tonsils. One must also avoid any foods that can aggravate the pain, and hence, it is important to drink plenty of liquids instead of solid foods. The individual also needs to avoid cold, acidic, and alcoholic beverages. Avoiding smoking and consumption of packaged and spicy foods is also very essential to stop the infection from getting aggravated.
Along with the aforementioned home remedies, one must also consult the health care provider and follow the prescribed course of medication. These medications generally include antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and/or antibiotic drugs, along with several analgesic and anti-histamine drugs. It is important to complete the course of these medications. Failure to do so can revert the problem of infected tonsils. Remember, the earlier the treatment, the quicker is the relief.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.