Tonsillitis – Symptoms and Causes of Tonsillitis

The tonsils are fleshy clusters of tissue that lie in bands on both sides of the back of the throat, above and behind the tongue. The tonsils’ major function is to catch incoming germs before the germs cause infections in the throat, mouth, or sinuses. Tonsils contain infection-fighting cells and antibodies that stop the spread of the germs further into the body.

There are 3 main types of tonsillitis: acute, subacute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis can either be bacterial or viral (75%) in origin. Subacute tonsillitis (which can last between 3 weeks and 3 months) is caused by the bacterium Actinomyces. Chronic tonsillitis, which can last for long periods if not treated, is almost always bacterial.

As children grow and develop, the tonsils and adenoids eventually begin to shrink and are probably no longer important in protecting against disease-causing germs. Even in young children, removal of infected tonsils or adenoids does not seem to weaken the body’s defenses. There are many other tissues in the body that are part of the immune system. These tissues, known as lymphoid tissues , also make antibodies to fight against infection.

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

The symptoms of tonsillitis may vary depending on whether the infection is caused by a virus or by bacteria. If your tonsillitis is caused by a virus, such as the flu virus, you may have other flu symptoms, such as a runny nose, and aches in your body. If your tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, you may have a skin rash, or a flushed face.

The main symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat. The throat and tonsils usually look red and swollen. The tonsils may have spots on them or pus that covers them completely or in patches. Fever is also common.

A child with tonsillitis needs plenty of nourishment and rest. If your child finds swallowing so painful that eating is difficult, try serving liquids and soft foods, like nutritious soups, milkshakes, smoothies, popsicles, or ice cream.

symptoms of Tonsilitis may vary on an individual basis for each patient. Only your doctor can provide adequate diagnosis of symptoms and whether they are indeed symptoms of Tonsilitis.

Other symptoms include fever, chills, tiredness, muscle aches, earache, swollen glands in the neck, and pain or discomfort when swallowing. Very young children with tonsillitis may become fussy and stop eating.

Causes of Tonsillitis

The tonsils are lymph nodes in the back of the mouth and top of the throat. They normally help to filter out bacteria and other microorganisms to prevent infection in the body.

Tonsillitis is caused by viruses or bacteria that infect the tonsils. They cause the tonsils to become inflamed and swollen. One of the first symptoms of tonsillitis is a severe sore throat (see sore throat entry). 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.

Viruses are the most common pathogens responsible for tonsillitis in children under the age of 6 years. A number of respiratory viruses can cause tonsillitis, including the Reovirus, Adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), Influenza virus, echoviruses.

The chief cause of tonsillitis is a toxic condition of the system, which is brought to a head by a sudden lowering of vitality, resulting from exposure and sudden chill. The tonsils enlarge and get inflamed when the toxins cannot be got rid of through the normal channels of elimination such as the bowels, kidneys, and skin.