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Tonsillitis – NHS

Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils at the back of your throat. It is a common childhood illness, but teenagers and adults can get it too.

Check if you have tonsillitis

Tonsillitis can feel like a bad cold or flu. The tonsils at the back of your throat will be red and swollen.

The main symptoms in children and adults are:

  • a sore throat
  • problems swallowing
  • a high temperature of 38C or above
  • coughing
  • a headache
  • feeling sick
  • earache
  • feeling tired

Sometimes the symptoms can be more severe and include:

  • swollen, painful glands in your neck (feels like a lump on the side of your neck)
  • white pus-filled spots on your tonsils
  • bad breath

What tonsils with pus-filled spots can look like

Tonsils with pus-filled spots at the back of the throat.

Credit:

If you’re not sure it’s tonsillitis

Look at other sore throat symptoms.

How long tonsillitis lasts

Symptoms will usually go away after 3 to 4 days.

Tonsillitis is not contagious, but most of the infections that cause it are, for example, colds and flu.

To stop these infections spreading:

  • stay off work or keep your child at home until you or your child feel better
  • use tissues when you cough or sneeze and throw them away
  • wash your hands after coughing or sneezing

How to treat tonsillitis yourself

Tonsillitis usually gets better on its own after a few days.

To help treat the symptoms:

  • get plenty of rest
  • drink cool drinks to soothe the throat
  • take paracetamol or ibuprofen (do not give aspirin to children under 16)
  • gargle with warm salty water (children should not try this)

How to gargle with salty water

  1. Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and stir until it has dissolved.
  2. Gargle with the salty water (do not swallow it), then spit it out.
  3. Repeat as often as you like.

Young children should not gargle with salty water.

A pharmacist can help with tonsillitis

Speak to a pharmacist about tonsillitis.

They can give advice and suggest treatments, like:

  • lozenges
  • throat sprays
  • antiseptic solutions

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you have white pus-filled spots on your tonsils
  • the sore throat is so painful it’s difficult to eat or drink
  • the symptoms do not go away within 4 days

What happens at a GP appointment

A doctor can usually tell it’s tonsillitis by asking about your symptoms and looking at the back of your throat.

You may also need:

  • a swab test to see if bacteria are causing your tonsillitis (a cotton bud is used to wipe the back of your throat)
  • a blood test for glandular fever if symptoms are severe or will not go away

You should get any test results back within 2 or 3 days.

Treatment from a GP

Treatment will depend on what caused your tonsillitis:

  • most children and adults get viral tonsillitis (caused by a virus), which clears up on its own
  • for bacterial tonsillitis (caused by bacteria), a GP may prescribe antibiotics

A GP will usually wait for the test results to tell which type you have.

Surgery to remove your tonsils

It’s very rare that someone needs to have their tonsils taken out.

This is usually only the case if you have severe tonsillitis that keeps coming back.

Causes of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is usually caused by a virus, such as a cold, but it can also be due to a bacterial infection such as strep throat.

Complications with tonsillitis (quinsy)

Complications with tonsillitis are very rare.

Sometimes you can get a pocket filled with pus (abscess) between your tonsils and the wall of your throat. This is called quinsy.

Immediate action required: Call 999 or go to A&E if you have:

  • a severe sore throat that quickly gets worse
  • swelling inside the mouth and throat
  • difficulty speaking
  • difficulty swallowing
  • difficulty breathing
  • difficulty opening your mouth

These are signs of quinsy.

Page last reviewed: 10 February 2021
Next review due: 10 February 2024

Is Tonsillitis Contagious? Learn about Tonsillitis Today

How Contagious is Tonsillitis?

The viruses and bacteria that cause tonsillitis are contagious.

Is tonsillitis contagious by air? Yes. Tonsillitis can be spread by infected people coughing or sneezing droplets into the air and another person breathing them in.

Is tonsillitis contagious by direct and indirect contact? Yes. Tonsillitis can be spread by kissing; also by touching contaminated objects, such as a door handle, and then touching the face, nose, or mouth.

Is tonsillitis contagious in children? Yes. Tonsillitis is just as contagious for children as it is for adults. In fact, the majority of tonsillitis cases occur in children and teenagers.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a viral or bacterial infection that causes inflammation and swelling of the tonsils. Regardless of what pathogen is infecting the tonsils, tonsillitis is contagious.

About 70% of tonsillitis cases are caused by cold viruses such as adenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza, and others.

The remaining cases of tonsillitis are bacterial, mostly Streptococcus pyogenes (strep throat).

How Long Is Tonsillitis Contagious For?

The length of contagion of tonsillitis depends on the severity and type of infection. Tonsillitis from a virus might last from 7 to 10 days, whereas tonsillitis from bacteria might last for several weeks (shorter if treated with antibiotics for tonsillitis). As an approximation, a person with tonsillitis will remain contagious for the duration of their symptoms.

Is tonsillitis contagious during incubation? Incubation is the time between contact with the pathogen and the development of symptoms. For tonsillitis, this typically takes 2 to 4 days. Tonsillitis is contagious for the last 1 to 2 days of incubation. If you think you have come in contact with something that may cause tonsillitis, assume that you are contagious for up to four days, even if no symptoms are present.

How easy is it to catch tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is a symptom of infections like the common cold or flu and therefore is as easy to catch as those conditions. The best way to avoid tonsillitis is to follow the tips below.

Tips to Avoid Spreading Tonsillitis:

  • Wash hands following recommended CDC guidelines, particularly after touching the face, nose, or hands; before eating or cooking; and after using the bathroom.
  • Cough or sneeze into the crook of your elbow. Do not cough into the open air and avoid coughing into your hands.
  • Stay at home until symptoms of tonsillitis go away.
  • Do not share objects such as drinking glasses, utensils, water bottles, or food with other people.

Anatomy of the Tonsils

There are several types of tonsils in the body. All are made of lymphoid tissue and help the body fight off infections. Most tonsils have crypts: small pits that store blood cells and antibodies that help prevent infections.

Types of tonsils:

  • Palatine tonsils — located in the back of the mouth on each side of the throat. “Tonsils,” when unspecified, typically refers to this type of tonsil. “Tonsillitis” refers to infection of the palatine tonsils.
  • Lingual tonsils — located at the base of the tongue in the back of the mouth.
  • Tubal tonsils — located on the wall of the pharynx near the opening to the eustachian tubes.
  • Pharyngeal tonsils — located in the back of the nasal cavity and do not have crypts.

Will Tonsillitis Go Away on its Own?

Tonsillitis may go away on its own in approximately 4 to 10 days. However, some forms of tonsillitis, such as that caused by strep bacteria, may cause health complications if left untreated.

So, when should you see a doctor for tonsillitis? If symptoms have not improved after four days, contact a doctor. A physician can diagnose the cause of tonsillitis and determine the best method of treatment.

Those suffering from chronic tonsillitis may be recommended to have their tonsils surgically removed. According to Cochrane Library Systematic Review, “Surgical removal of the tonsils is a commonly performed operation in patients with chronic or recurrent infections of the tonsils (tonsillitis) or the other tissues at the back of the throat (pharyngitis). However, opinions vary greatly about whether or not the benefits of these operations outweigh the risks.

If the cause of tonsillitis is a bacterial infection, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics. Our doctors at PlushCare make it simple for you to book an appointment, receive your diagnosis, and get you on the right treatment plan. PlushCare doctors can even write you a prescription for medication, if necessary.

Book an appointment here and talk to a doctor about your symptoms.

Read More About Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis Relief FAQs: How Do You Know If You Have Tonsillitis?

Your tonsils are lymph nodes found on either side of the back of your throat. While their primary function is as a defense mechanism against infection, they themselves can get infected. While tonsillitis is most common in children between the ages of 3 and 16, it can affect anyone at any time. At Regional ENT Associates in Gallatin, TN, our passion is for providing quick, accurate diagnoses, effective treatments and realistic prevention plans for all ailments related to the ears, nose and throat.

18 Tonsillitis Relief FAQs Answered

1. What Causes Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis can be caused by any number of viruses and bacteria. One of the most common causes of tonsillitis is an infection caused by the Streptococcal bacteria, the bacteria also responsible for causing strep throat. Tonsillitis caused by strep throat is one of the most dangerous forms of tonsillitis, as it can lead to serious complications if it goes untreated.

2. Do I Have Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis can be tricky to diagnose at home because it shares symptoms with other throat conditions. In very young children, common signs of tonsillitis include excessive drooling, increased irritability and a dramatically reduced appetite. In adults, the most common symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Stiff neck
  • Scratchy-sounding voice
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Earache
  • Stomachache
  • Headache
  • Jaw and neck tenderness
  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow spots on tonsils
  • Halitosis
  • Very sore throat
  • Difficult, painful swallowing

 

3.

Do I Have Acute Tonsillitis?

Acute tonsillitis refers to tonsils that are inflamed for no more than 10 days. This condition is the most common type of tonsillitis suffered by children, and tonsillitis relief may be found with a combination of home treatments and antibiotics. However, if symptoms last 11 days or more or come back several times throughout the year, you or a loved one may suffer from chronic or recurrent tonsillitis.

4. Do I Have Chronic Tonsillitis?

Chronic tonsillitis refers to tonsils that are inflamed for longer than 10 days. If you have suffered from a sore throat, bad breath and tender lymph nodes for at least 11 days, there is a good chance that you have chronic tonsillitis.

Chronic tonsillitis will sometimes lead to tonsil stones. These “stones” build up in your tonsils’ crevices and are comprised of food, saliva and dead cells. If they don’t come loose on their own, they will need to be removed by an ENT specialist. If you suffer from chronic tonsillitis, the most effective method of tonsillitis relief is a tonsillectomy.

5. Do I Have Recurrent Tonsillitis?

As with chronic tonsillitis, the most effective form of tonsillitis relief for recurrent tonsillitis is a tonsillectomy. You may have recurrent tonsillitis if you have suffered from tonsillitis or a sore throat at least five to seven times in the past year. Other strong indicators that you have recurrent tonsillitis are suffering from tonsillitis at least five times in each of the past two years or at least three times in each of the past three years.

Research is still ongoing regarding the cause of chronic and recurrent tonsillitis. However, researchers suspect that the cause may be biofilms in your tonsils’ folds. Biofilms are communities of microorganisms that are unusually resistant to antibiotics. A genetic predisposition to a poor immune response to group A streptococcus bacteria may also cause recurrent tonsillitis.

6. When Should I See a Doctor?

Sore throats are so common that it is easy to be complacent. However, there are a few times you should definitely see an ENT doctor right away. These include:

  • Fever higher than 103°F
  • Neck stiffness
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Muscle weakness
  • Sore throat that lasts longer than two days

 

7. Is Tonsillitis Contagious?

Unfortunately, tonsillitis is highly contagious. In fact, you can be contagious for 24 to 48 hours before you even experience any symptoms. In most cases, you can spread the illness up until the point you are no longer sick. The most notable exception to this is people who take antibiotics for bacterial tonsillitis. They typically stop being contagious after 24 hours.

8. How Is Tonsillitis Spread?

Tonsillitis is most often spread when someone in your vicinity with the infection sneezes or coughs and you inhale the droplets. However, you can also contract tonsillitis if you touch a doorknob or other contaminated object and then touch your mouth or nose. If you have been diagnosed with tonsillitis, it is important to stay home until you are better, especially if you work with children.

9. How Is Tonsillitis Diagnosed?

A tonsillitis diagnosis starts with a physical examination of your throat. The most obvious signs of tonsillitis are red, swollen tonsils with white or yellow spots on them. Then, your doctor will gently swab the back of your throat to collect a throat culture. This culture is then tested to identify what exactly is causing your throat infection.

Your doctor may also choose to take a sample of your blood to get a complete blood count. The results of this test identify whether your throat infection is bacterial or viral. The type of infection you have plays a significant role in your tonsillitis relief options.

10. How Can I Mitigate My Risk of Getting Tonsillitis?

The most effective way to stop the spread of tonsillitis is to stay home until your symptoms are gone. Wash your hands regularly. Good general hygiene practices will go a long way in keeping your friends and family healthy. Wash your hands before eating and after using the restroom. Do not share personal items, such as spoons, with other people.

Apply hand sanitizer to your hands every time you cough, sneeze or touch your mouth, nose or face. If you feel the urge to cough or sneeze, make sure you do so into the crook of your elbow or a tissue. Promptly dispose of any used tissues. You should also wipe down surfaces in the home that you have touched with a disinfectant wipe.

11. How Is Tonsillitis Treated?

If tonsillitis is caused by a virus such as the common cold, not a lot can be done to treat it. The best you can hope for is symptom relief through at-home remedies. These remedies include:

  • Getting plenty of rest
  • Drinking lots of fluids
  • Gargling with warm salt water every two hours
  • Avoiding cigarette smoke
  • Taking an NSAID to relieve pain and inflammation
  • Using throat lozenges as directed
  • Eating frozen foods
  • Using a humidifier

If you suffer from bacterial tonsillitis, antibiotics are the most common form of relief. If you suffer from chronic or recurring tonsillitis, a tonsillectomy is often required.

12. What Is a Tonsillectomy?

Tonsillectomy refers to a medical procedure in which the tonsils are removed from the throat. This relief method is usually only recommended for people struggling with recurrent or chronic tonsillitis. Alternatively, it may be recommended if symptoms do not improve with home care or if tonsillitis is causing serious complications.

Although rare, it is possible for your tonsils to grow back after they have been removed. If this occurs and you suffer from tonsillitis again, you may need to have your tonsils removed again. It is also important to note that while a tonsillectomy is a guaranteed method for preventing tonsillitis, it is only an effective way to reduce your risk of developing strep throat. Remember, your tonsils are designed to prevent throat infection. It is possible to get strep throat without tonsils.

13. When Are Antibiotics Prescribed for Tonsillitis?

Antibiotics are only prescribed for tonsillitis when it is caused by a bacterial infection. Antibiotics will provide rapid symptom relief and, after 24 hours, prevent you from spreading the infection to others. Never take an antibiotic for viral tonsillitis. It is ineffective and increases your risk of antibiotic resistance and gastrointestinal distress.

14. Which Antibiotic Can I Expect to Be Prescribed?

The most common antibiotic prescribed for tonsillitis is penicillin. Let us know during your appointment if you are allergic to penicillin so we can offer you an alternative antibiotic.

15. Can I Stop Taking My Antibiotics If I Feel Better?

It is absolutely critical that you take your entire course of antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Even if your symptoms disappear completely, you run the risk of the infection getting worse if you deviate from the instructions provided to you. Moreover, you may suffer from other complications, such as post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis or rheumatic fever.

If you’re not sure that your antibiotic is working, we strongly recommend coming in for a follow-up visit. Never hesitate to reach out if you feel you need additional medical care.

16. Do I Have Strep Throat, Too?

Unfortunately, one strain of bacteria that causes tonsillitis can also cause strep throat. Therefore, it’s not uncommon to have both tonsillitis and strep throat at the same time. Like tonsillitis, strep throat is contagious, so you want to stay home until your symptoms are gone. You may have both tonsillitis and strep throat if you are experiencing the symptoms of tonsillitis along with:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Severe body aches
  • Small red spots at the back of your mouth
  • White pus around your nostrils
  • Extensive rashes

The same tests used to diagnose tonsillitis can accurately diagnose strep throat. Luckily, if you have strep throat, there’s a good chance the same bacteria is the cause of your tonsillitis. Therefore, you will not need two separate treatments for the two illnesses.

17. What Complications Are Associated With Tonsillitis?

If you suffer from chronic tonsillitis, you are at risk for developing obstructive sleep apnea, or OSA. OSA occurs when your airways swell and you cannot draw in enough oxygen when you sleep. If left untreated, this can lead to several medical conditions, such as strokes, irritability, weight gain and memory impairment.

Another risk of having tonsillitis is the illness spreading to another part of your body. This is known as tonsillar cellulitis. Moreover, your infected tonsils can lead to a significant buildup of pus behind your tonsils. This is known as a peritonsillar abscess. If you develop this condition, you will need drainage and surgery.

18. How Common Is Bacterial Tonsillitis?

Bacterial tonsillitis only represents around 15 to 30% of all tonsillitis cases. The vast majority of these cases are caused by strep bacteria. Children between the ages of 5 and 15 are far more likely than any other age group to catch tonsillitis caused by bacteria. If your child is diagnosed with bacterial tonsillitis, ensure she takes her antibiotics exactly as directed and keep her home for the first 24 hours of antibiotic treatment.

Learn More About Tonsillitis Relief Today

If you suspect you or a loved one is suffering from tonsillitis, a quick, accurate diagnosis is required before you can get effective tonsillitis relief. To learn more, contact the reliable ENT experts at Regional ENT Associates in Gallatin, TN today to book an appointment. Regardless of your diagnosis, we will work closely with you to develop a safe, effective, customized treatment plan for rapid relief from your tonsillitis symptoms.

Tonsillitis in Adults | Cooper University Health Care

For information about COVID-19 and tonsillitis, and the differences between the two, please visit our COVID-19 and Tonsillitis page.

Tonsillitis means that your tonsils are inflamed or infected. Your tonsils are the large, fleshy glands at the back of your throat (one on each side). These glands make antibodies that help fight infection.

While tonsillitis is most often seen in children adults of any age can get it, too.

Tonsillitis can be caused by either bacteria or viruses. Some of them include:

  • Streptococcus (strep) bacteria; these germs are the most common cause of tonsillitis
  • Adenoviruses
  • Epstein-Barr virus, which causes infectious mononucleosis
  • Herpes simplex virus
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Measles virus 

Tonsillitis caused by these germs is contagious, which means it is usually easily passed from one person to another.

Why Choose Cooper to Treat Tonsillitis

As ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists, Cooper’s team of otolaryngologists – head and neck surgeons have extensive training and experience in treating adults with tonsillitis both medically and surgically. Should surgery (tonsillectomy) be required, they use today’s most minimally invasive techniques for less pain and faster recovery.

Risk Factors for Tonsillitis in Adults

The major risk factors for tonsillitis in adults are:

  • Still having your tonsils: While many older adults may have had their tonsils removed when they were children—when surgery was a more routine approach to dealing with tonsillitis—a growing number of adults born in the 70s and later still have their tonsils, putting them at risk for getting tonsillitis
  • Living or working in close proximity to children: Parents, grandparents, teachers—anyone in frequent contact with children, in whom tonsillitis is most common—are at increased risk of getting tonsillitis themselves
  • Age: The elderly are more susceptible to infection due to a weakened immune system

Symptoms of Tonsillitis

While each person may have slightly different symptoms, these are the most common symptoms of tonsillitis:

  • Swollen, red tonsils; they also may look yellow, gray, or white, or have white spots/patches
  • Blisters or painful sores on the throat
  • Sore throat that happens suddenly
  • Pain when swallowing or difficult to swallow
  • Snoring
  • Foul breath
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Tiredness
  • Chills
  • Fever
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes in the neck or jaw area

You may not have any symptoms but still have the strep bacteria, which you can spread to another person.

If tonsillitis is left untreated, a complication can develop called a peritonsillar abscess. This is an area around the tonsils that’s filled with bacteria, and it can cause these symptoms:

  • Severe throat pain
  • Muffled voice 
  • Drooling
  • Difficulty opening mouth

How Tonsillitis in Adults Is Diagnosed

Your healthcare provider will ask about your health history and do a physical exam. To guide treatment, your provider may rub a sterile swab over the back of the throat and tonsils to get a sample of the secretions and perform:

  • Rapid strep test: This test can detect strep bacteria in minutes 
  • Throat culture and sensitivity: The sample is cultured in a lab for the presence of bacteria; it helps the provider choose the best antibiotic to treat it, but can take 48 to 72 hours to get the results

How Tonsillitis Is Treated

Treatment for tonsillitis depends on what caused it, how severe it is, and your general health. Treatment options may include:

  • Medications: Tonsillitis caused by a virus is treated differently from tonsillitis caused by bacteria.Tonsillitis caused by bacteria is treated with antibiotic medicine. A mild case of tonsillitis doesn’t necessarily require treatment if a virus, such as a cold, causes it. Some cases of tonsillitis caused by a virus may be treated with antiviral medicine.
  • Surgery: While surgery used to be a fairly common approach to dealing with tonsillitis, today, tonsillectomies are not performed unless the condition is chronic and recurring. If a person experiences tonsillitis seven times within a single year or 3 episodes per year for 3 consecutive years, a doctor would probably consider surgery. A tonsillectomy might also be recommended if the tonsils are causing issues such as sleep apnea difficulty breathing or swallowing, or a difficult-to-treat abscess
  • Self care/home care: To make yourself comfortable and ease the discomfort of a sore throat, be sure to:

     – Drink plenty of fluids
     – Rest
    – Gargle with warm salt water several times a day
     – Use throat lozenges
     – Avoid smoke
     – Use over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen and ibuprofen

Contact Us

To learn more about the services available in the Division of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery or to schedule an appointment, please call 856. 342.3113.

Tonsilitis – Illnesses & conditions

There’s no specific treatment for tonsillitis and most cases get better within a week without treatment.

While waiting for the infection to clear up, there are a number of things you can do to help relieve your symptoms (see below).

If your child has tonsillitis, make sure they have plenty to eat and drink, even if they find it painful to swallow. Being hungry and dehydrated can make other symptoms, such as headaches and tiredness, worse.

Self-help

Over-the-counter painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, can help relieve painful symptoms such as a sore throat.

If treating your children with painkillers, it’s important to use the correct type and dosage. Younger children only need small dosages. Your pharmacist can advise you about this.

Children under 16 years of age shouldn’t be given aspirin.

Over-the-counter treatments that can soothe a sore throat, such as lozenges and oral sprays, are also available. Some people find that gargling with a mild antiseptic solution can also relieve a sore throat.

Alternatively, you could try gargling with warm, salty water. Mix half a teaspoon of salt (2.5g) with a quarter of a litre (eight ounces) of water. It’s important not to swallow the water, so this method may not be suitable for younger children.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics may not be prescribed, even if tests confirm your tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection. The two main reasons for this are:

  • in most cases, antibiotics won’t speed up the recovery, but they can cause unpleasant side effects, such as stomach pain and feeling sick
  • the more an antibiotic is used to treat a non-serious infection, the greater the chance it won’t be effective in treating more serious infections; this is known as antibiotic resistance

However, exceptions are usually made if:

  • symptoms are severe
  • symptoms show no sign of easing
  • you or your child has a weakened immune system

In these circumstances, a 10-day course of penicillin is usually recommended. If you or your child is known to be allergic to penicillin, an alternative antibiotic, such as erythromycin, can be used.

Hospital treatment may be required for particularly severe or persistent cases of bacterial tonsillitis that don’t respond to oral antibiotics. In these cases, intravenous antibiotics (given directly into a vein) may be needed.

Antibiotics sometimes cause mild side effects, such as an upset stomach, diarrhoea or a rash.

Surgery

Surgery to remove the tonsils is known as a tonsillectomy.

For children with mild sore throats, watchful waiting is recommended rather than a tonsillectomy.

A tonsillectomy is only considered for a recurrent sore throat if certain criteria are met. You must have:

  • a sore throat caused by tonsillitis
  • episodes of sore throat that are disabling and stop you functioning normally
  • seven or more well-documented, clinically significant, adequately treated sore throats in the preceding year or
  • five or more such episodes in each of the preceding two years or
  • three or more such episodes in each of the preceding three years

Tonsillectomies are carried out under general anaesthetic, which means you’ll be asleep during the procedure. Your mouth will be held open to allow the surgeon to see your tonsils and no cuts will be made in your skin.

The operation can be carried out in a number of ways, as described below.

  • Cold steel surgery – this is the most common method, where a surgical blade is used to cut the tonsils out. Bleeding is controlled by applying pressure or the blood vessels may be sealed using heat generated by diathermy.
  • Diathermy – a diathermy probe is used to destroy the tissue around the tonsils and to remove the tonsils. At the same time, the heat seals the blood vessels to stop any bleeding.
  • Coblation (or cold ablation) – this method works in a similar way to diathermy, but uses a lower temperature (60C). It’s considered less painful than diathermy.
  • Lasers – high-energy laser beams are used to cut away the tonsils and seal the underlying blood vessels shut.
  • Ultrasound – high-energy ultrasound waves are used in a similar way to lasers.

Each of these techniques is relatively similar in terms of safety, results and recovery, so the type of surgery used will depend on the expertise and training of the surgeon.

You’ll usually be able to leave hospital on the same day as you have surgery, or the day after.

After surgery

After surgery, it’s likely you’ll experience some pain at the site of the operation. This can last for up to a week. Painkillers can help to relieve the pain.

Children who have had a tonsillectomy should be kept off school for two weeks. This is to reduce their risk of picking up an infection from another child that will make them feel more uncomfortable.

Swallowing will probably be difficult after having a tonsillectomy. However, it’s important to eat solid foods, because it will help your throat to heal more quickly. Drink plenty of fluids, but avoid acidic drinks, such as orange juice, because they’ll sting.

Ensuring good oral hygiene by regularly brushing your teeth and using mouthwash can help prevent infection in the mouth.

The pain usually gets worse during the first week after having a tonsillectomy, before gradually improving during the second week. Earache is common with tonsillectomies, but isn’t a cause for concern.

Post-operative bleeding

Bleeding at the site where the tonsils were removed is a fairly common complication of a tonsillectomy. This can occur during the first 24 hours following surgery or up to 10 days afterwards.

It’s estimated that around 1 in 100 children and 1 in 30 adults will experience post-operative bleeding after having a tonsillectomy.

Minor bleeding isn’t usually a cause for concern, because in most cases it resolves by itself. Gargling with cold water can often help stem the bleeding, because the cold helps to contract the blood vessels.

Occasionally, the bleeding can be more severe, causing people to cough up blood. Seek immediate medical advice if this happens. You should be given an emergency contact number before you’re discharged from hospital. Alternatively, you can call NHS 24’s ‘111’ service.

Extensive bleeding may need to be treated with surgery or a blood transfusion.

Tonsillitis: Symptoms, Treatments and Causes

Treatment of tonsillitis

If you see your GP for tonsillitis, they probably won’t offer you antibiotics because they are unlikely to make much difference to your symptoms. Antibiotics don’t work against viral infections, which cause most cases of tonsillitis. Most people with tonsillitis find their symptoms improve after around a week, whether they take antibiotics or not.

Your GP may recommend antibiotics if they think they’ll help. They may prescribe antibiotics if you:

  • have very bad symptoms, which could suggest a more severe bacterial infection
  • could be prone to serious complications (see our Complications section for more information)

Your GP may give you a delayed prescription for an antibiotic. This means they’ll give you a prescription, but you don’t collect the medicine from the pharmacy straightaway. You only collect and take the antibiotic if your symptoms are not improving after three to five days, or if they’re getting worse.

If you do need an antibiotic, your GP is most likely to prescribe a five- to 10-day course of penicillin. It’s important to tell your GP if you’re allergic to this. If you are, the GP will give you another antibiotic instead.

If your GP prescribes antibiotics, it’s important to take them properly. You should complete the full course, even if you start to feel better. This helps to get rid of all the harmful bacteria and reduces the risk of resistance (when antibiotics no longer work against the bacteria).

Always read the patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine. If you have any questions about your medicine, speak to a pharmacist.

Surgery for tonsillitis

Your GP may refer you to an ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon if they feel having your tonsils removed will help. This operation is called a tonsillectomy. This will prevent you from getting tonsillitis in the future.

Your doctor will usually suggest a tonsillectomy only if you have had tonsillitis:

  • regularly and/or it affects your breathing
  • more than seven times in the last year
  • five times or more in each of the past two years
  • three or more times in each of the past three years

Your doctor may also recommend a tonsillectomy if you’ve had an abscess on your tonsil (a peritonsillar abscess or quinsy). This can be a complication of tonsillitis.

For children, your GP may recommend waiting to see if the tonsillitis gets better on its own before considering surgery. As children get older, they become less likely to have tonsillitis. A tonsillectomy is a very common operation and is usually very successful. But, like all operations, it can cause complications. Having a tonsillectomy doesn’t mean you won’t get a sore throat in the future.

Although your tonsils are part of your immune system, having them removed doesn’t cause any problems fighting infections. This is because the tonsils are just the visible part of a wider ring of tissue at the back of your throat. When they’re removed, enough of this tissue is left behind to keep fighting infections.

Tonsillitis | Cigna

Topic Overview

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an infection or inflammation of the tonsils. The tonsils are balls of lymph tissue on both sides of the throat, above and behind the tongue. They are part of the immune system, which helps the body fight infection.

Tonsillitis often goes away on its own after 4 to 10 days.

What causes tonsillitis?

Most often, tonsillitis is caused by a virus. Less often, it is caused by the same bacteria that cause strep throat. In rare cases, a fungus or a parasite can cause it.

Tonsillitis is spread through the air in droplets when an infected person breathes, coughs, or sneezes. You may then become infected after breathing in these droplets or getting them on your skin or on objects that come in contact with your mouth, nose, or eyes.

What are the symptoms?

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.

If you feel like you have a cold, with symptoms such as runny and stuffy nose, sneezing, and coughing, a virus is most likely the cause.

If you have a sore throat plus a sudden and severe fever and swollen lymph nodes, but you do not have symptoms of a cold, the infection is more likely caused by bacteria. This means you need to see a doctor and probably need a strep test.

How is tonsillitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will look at your throat to see if you have red and swollen tonsils with spots or sores. These signs can mean you have tonsillitis.

Your doctor may do a rapid strep test along with a throat culture. These will show whether the tonsillitis is caused by streptococcus bacteria.

Your doctor may also ask about past throat infections. If you get tonsillitis often, it may affect the choice of treatment.

You may have a test for mononucleosis if your doctor thinks that you have mono.

How is it treated?

Tonsillitis caused by a virus will usually go away on its own. Treatment focuses on helping you feel better. You may be able to ease throat pain if you drink warm tea, take over-the-counter pain medicine, and use other home treatments. Do not give aspirin to anyone age 20 or younger. It is linked to a serious disease called Reye syndrome.

If your tonsillitis is caused by strep, you need treatment with antibiotics. Antibiotics can help prevent rare but serious problems caused by strep and can control the spread of infection.

As a rule, doctors only advise surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy) when there are serious problems with the tonsils. These include infections that happen again and again or long-lasting infections that do not get better after treatment and get in the way of daily activities. You and your doctor can decide if surgery is the right choice after a careful review of your or your child’s overall health.

90,000 symptoms, causes, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment in medical centers “K + 31

Reasons

Frequent acute viral respiratory diseases, tonsillitis, oral cavity problems (caries, periodontitis) and much more lead to the development of tonsillitis. Also predisposed to this disease are people with a deviated nasal septum or suffering from infectious diseases of neighboring organs (sinusitis, adenoids).

For children

Tonsillitis is one of the most common childhood diseases.Most often children from 5 years old and young people up to 25 years old get sick. The risk group includes people with immunodeficiency and who have a genetic predisposition. The illness usually lasts about 7 days.

Adults

Tonsillitis is more easily tolerated by adults, but this does not mean that you need to pay less attention to it. It is important to cure a sore throat on time and efficiently so that tonsillitis does not go into the decompression stage, which carries much more problems.

During pregnancy

It is especially important here not to self-medicate.If symptoms are found, you should immediately make an appointment with a doctor. When choosing a method of treatment, it is necessary to exclude procedures and drugs that can harm the child. Tonsillitis in pregnant women is very dangerous and can lead to a host of troubles, for example, toxicosis and kidney disease (glomerulonephritis).

Symptoms of the disease

The reason for going to the doctor may be:

  • Sore throat.
  • Unpleasant odor in the mouth.
  • Enlargement of the tonsils.
  • Swelling in the area of ​​the nasopharynx.
  • Complications when swallowing.
  • In addition, lymph node involvement and fever are possible.

Catarrhal

Catarrhal tonsillitis develops very quickly, it all starts with a burning sensation in the throat, dryness, and then turns into a distinct pain. The temperature is between 37 and 38 degrees. Usually lasts up to one week, then symptoms subside.

Follicular

Follicular tonsillitis is an infectious disease accompanied by severe intoxication. It is characterized by high fever, severe pain when swallowing, weakness and fever. The tonsils increase significantly in size and are covered with white dots. Viral tonsillitis in children can be accompanied by nausea, diarrhea, and confusion.

Lacunar

Similar to the previous version, but more complicated.A significant amount of white plaque appears on the inflamed tonsils.

Ulcerative membranous

The cause of this tonsillitis is the interaction of the spirochete and the fusiform bacillus in the human mouth. It is characterized by the death of the surface of the amygdala with the development of an ulcer. A putrid odor appears, a foreign body feeling in the throat and salivation increases. At the same time, the body temperature remains normal.

Necrotic

Causes and symptoms are the same as for the previous form.Usually only one amygdala is affected, but there is also a bilateral variant of the disease. The body temperature does not rise. Such tonsillitis is not contagious, but it can be epidemiological in nature.

Phlegmonous

Very rare tonsillitis, characterized by purulent fusion of the tonsils. A one-sided variant is common, while the amygdala is greatly enlarged and sore. Swallowing becomes very difficult, the temperature rises up to 40 degrees and general intoxication is observed.

Complications

Poor treatment of angina can lead to chronic tonsillitis and a host of other ENT diseases. It is also possible to develop nephritis, rheumatism, pharyngeal abscess and sepsis.

Diagnostics

The diagnosis is made by a doctor on the basis of examination and patient complaints. For clarification, a smear is taken and a blood and urine test is done. The main thing is to distinguish pharyngitis and tonsillitis from other ailments, because their initial stages are very similar.

Treatment of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is fraught with serious complications, so treatment should be started immediately after the first symptoms are detected.The medical center “Clinic K + 31” has the necessary tools and specialists for high-quality and fast cure of tonsillitis of any form and stage.

Prevention of tonsillitis

The most effective method is to harden and maintain immunity. Timely treatment of all ENT diseases and oral cavity problems is also important. In addition, the connection between tonsillitis and smoking has been proven, so people who smoke are more likely to suffer from tonsillitis.

Disease Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis (tonsillitis) – inflammation of the palatine tonsils (“tonsils”) of viral or bacterial origin.

The tonsils are a paired organ in the back of the throat, serving as a kind of filter that traps microbes on the way to the respiratory tract. The tonsils make antibodies to fight bacteria, but sometimes the tonsils themselves become inflamed.

Tonsillitis is acute and chronic. Depending on the causes of occurrence, a distinction is made between bacterial and viral tonsillitis.

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Diagnostics

The diagnosis of “tonsillitis” is made on the basis of examination, measurement of body temperature, analysis of a smear from the throat. Redness of the soft palate, arch, uvula and tonsils is visually determined; plaque, film, or sores on the tonsils.

Symptoms:

  • severe sore throat, especially when swallowing and speaking
  • weakness, body aches
  • high, up to 40 degrees, temperature
  • headache
  • swelling (enlargement) of the tonsils and lymph nodes in the neck
  • redness of the mucous membrane of the throat and tonsils, plaque on the tonsils.

First aid

The patient needs to stay in bed, take medications to reduce fever and pain, rinse the throat with a solution of soda or salt (a teaspoon in a glass of warm boiled water), furacilin before medical appointments.

Treatment

Treatment of tonsillitis requires the use of antibiotics (with a bacterial nature). For the treatment of viral tonsillitis in Kazakhstan, interferon ointment is used. With the fungal nature of the disease, anti-candidiasis drugs are prescribed.In addition, various types of rinses (antiseptic, herbal), lozenges, medicines to relieve symptoms (fever, aches) are recommended. The whole complex of treatment is prescribed only by a doctor (therapist or otolaryngologist)!

After the end of the acute period, physiotherapeutic procedures (ultraviolet irradiation, laser therapy, phonophoresis, diathermy) can be prescribed.

Adherence to a diet is useful: light, non-hot and cold food should only be in liquid or pureed form: soups and broths, cereals, mashed potatoes.As with any infections, you need to drink plenty of fluids, in the acute period, observe bed rest. The patient is, if possible, isolated from other family members, since the disease is contagious. Separate dishes, towels, etc. stand out.

Some forms of tonsillitis require surgery, such as an abscess. If the methods used do not help and there is a danger of spreading the infection to other organs, removal of the tonsils is required.

Recently, cryotherapy (“freezing” of the affected areas of the tonsils) has begun to be used in the treatment of chronic tonsillitis.

Prevention: increasing immunity, hardening (dousing, swimming, in small children – air baths), proper nutrition, treatment of all sources of chronic infection: caries, sinusitis, chronic tonsillitis.

Complications

Transition of the disease into a chronic form, paratonsillar abscess (paratonsillitis, phlegmonous tonsillitis), which is characterized by increasing sore throat, fever, difficulty swallowing, profuse salivation, pharyngeal edema.Surgical opening of the abscess is required.

Errors in the treatment of tonsillitis cause complications such as pyelonephritis, glomerulonephritis, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), endocarditis, heart valve damage, heart disease, cholangiohepatitis, rheumatism of the joints, inflammation of the nervous system, polyarthritis. Tonsillitis during pregnancy can cause fetal malformations.

Reasons

Tonsillitis is provoked by viruses and bacteria (mainly hemolytic streptococcus A), fungi.Tonsillitis as a symptom is caused by diseases such as syphilis, measles, mononucleosis, diphtheria, agranulocytosis, leukemia, scarlet fever. Caries and other infections of the oral cavity also become the cause.

Tonsillitis is contagious, transmitted by airborne droplets. The disease is promoted by lowered immunity, hypothermia, unfavorable climate, air pollution, malnutrition, general weakening of the body; curvature of the nasal septum, adenoids or nasal polyps. The chronic form of tonsillitis often occurs against the background of purulent sinusitis and dental caries.

Main prevention of tonsillitis – a healthy lifestyle

Let’s talk today about throat ailments. The topic is relevant, against the background of the recent epidemic and quarantine in educational institutions. Our guest is Vadim Gennadievich Kotelnikov, otorhinolaryngologist, specialist of the children’s clinic “Health 365” at 68 Bazhova str.

Vadim Gennadievich, we often hear the phrase “chronic tonsillitis”, what does it mean?

– This disease occurs in the upper respiratory tract, with prolonged inflammation in the tonsils, or tonsils.

That is, when your throat hurts in the literal sense of the word? And the throat is red when you look?

– Yes, the main complaint is a sore throat. At the same time, redness is not all over the throat, according to localization it is precisely the palatine tonsils, a kind of bags on the sides of the throat.

What are the main causes of tonsillitis?

– The main reasons are frequent colds. Also concomitant pathology, for example, pathology of the teeth, gums.

That is, caries can lead to tonsillitis?

– That’s right.This is a secondary focus of infection, which leads to an overstrain of the immune system, followed by the formation of pathology already in the amygdala itself.

“Chronic” in this case means permanent tonsillitis?

– Yes, a prolonged inflammatory process.

What are the main symptoms of tonsillitis? What to look for? Is it possible to prevent the development of the disease?

– It is possible to adhere to certain rules, but there are no guaranteed methods that would absolutely prevent the disease.Unfortunately, there are no magic pills.

And it is worth paying attention to frequent colds, to diseases that lead to damage to nasal breathing – the so-called rhinosinusitis. Frequent problems in childhood associated with adenoids. Also, I repeat, the pathology of the oral cavity. Pathology of the gastrointestinal tract, because The tonsils are at the crossroads of breathing and food intake.

It turns out, maybe “cover” either from above, or from below?

– Yes.Due to gastroesophageal reflux, there is a reflux from the stomach, including acid, which causes a burn of the mucous membrane. And the flora that is present in the gastrointestinal tract, conditionally pathogenic, under certain conditions can cause respiratory diseases.

Vadim Gennadievich, let’s talk about the methods of treatment. They say that it is straight for life, incurable.

– There are several ways. The first is the medical, conservative method. Tablets, using local methods: rinsing, preparations with local antiseptic properties in the form of sprays.

The second method – with the use of physiotherapy: UHF, UV irradiation of the mucous membrane of the oropharynx, washing the tonsils. Such procedures are part of a combination treatment.

Well, and the radical method is surgical. There are strict indications for him. Still, these organs are given to a person for a reason.

Should it be some kind of very neglected case?

– Yes, when there are very frequent relapses, almost monthly – and even against the background of even ongoing preventive treatment.That is, if conservative treatment does not give an effect, you have to apply this method. And also to avoid possible complications.

Moreover, the complications are quite serious. Rheumatic affections: heart, kidneys, joints. Septic lesions of the blood and the spread of infection to the internal organs.

Is it contagious? If, for example, there is a person with chronic tonsillitis in the family?

– There is a genetic predisposition, but the sluggish process itself is no, not contagious.But there is a risk of flora transmission. In an acute period, you can get infected through a kiss, for example. The infection will manifest itself in the form of an acute sore throat, but the human body can cope on its own. It all depends on the characteristics of the immune system.

Let’s move on to prevention then. At the very least, kissing a sick person is prohibited. What other preventive measures are there?

– The main thing is a healthy lifestyle. It is necessary to exclude tobacco smoking, alcohol abuse. Do not even go in for sports, but for physical education.Because professional sports are also a kind of extreme.

You need to keep track of your daily routine. People who work constantly, are constantly stressed, tired, are more prone to this disease. Rest periods are needed. Sleep is healthy and full. Proper nutrition – with vitamins, protein, etc.

Ventilation, home and work hygiene – it is elementary to wash floors and vacuum more often. Well, the rehabilitation of chronic foci is a regular visit to the dentist. The teeth should be healthy and the oral cavity as a whole.It is necessary to pay attention to the digestive tract organs, incl. stomach. In case of problems, contact a gastroenterologist.

And also monitor the purity of nasal breathing. After all, it provides better oxygen assimilation and purification of the inhaled air.

Thank you for the conversation, Vadim Gennadievich. We remind you that if you need a consultation with an otorhinolaryngologist, make an appointment at the Health 365 clinic by calling 302-37-54.

90,000 Tonsillitis in children – causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of tonsillitis in Moscow in the children’s clinic “SM-Doctor”

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Contents:
Description of the disease
Symptoms
Causes
Diagnosis
Treatment
Prevention
Tonsillitis is a disease of the upper respiratory tract characterized by the presence of an inflammatory process in the tissues of the tonsils.The diagnosis and treatment of this disease is carried out by an otolaryngologist (ENT).

Description of the disease

Tonsillitis is understood as an inflammatory disease common in childhood, in which the focus of inflammation is localized in the tonsils. Most often, the disease occurs in children 5-10 years old, but it can develop at an older / younger age. Tonsillitis is infectious in nature, that is, it occurs when bacteria, viruses and (less often) fungi enter the child’s body.

There are two forms of tonsillitis – acute and chronic. Acute tonsillitis is nothing more than a sore throat familiar to everyone. Pathology is characterized by a rapid course and pronounced symptoms. The chronic form of tonsillitis has an asymptomatic clinical picture and occurs with frequent inflammation of the tonsils or as a result of untreated tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis brings significant discomfort to the child – the patient suffers from severe sore throat, high body temperature, inability to eat and drink normally.In addition, in the absence of treatment in the organs and systems of the body, a number of complications can occur: sepsis, rheumatic diseases, myocarditis, pyelonephritis, vasculitis, etc.

Symptoms of tonsillitis

The manifestations of tonsillitis directly depend on the form of the course of the disease. So, chronic tonsillitis is characterized by mild sore throat, discomfort when swallowing, bad breath, subfebrile fever (temperature within 37-37.9 ° C).

The acute form of tonsillitis has more characteristic symptoms. The following manifestations indicate that the child has a disease:

  • Intense sore throat, aggravated by swallowing, eating, talking;
  • partial or complete loss of voice, hoarseness;
  • swelling and hyperemia of the tonsils;
  • a sudden increase in body temperature to 39-40 ° C, which lasts for about a week;
  • general weakness;
  • 90,023 chills;

    90,023 body aches;

  • enlarged lymph nodes.

The occurrence of any of these symptoms is a serious reason to consult a qualified otolaryngologist.

Causes of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an infectious disease that occurs under the influence of a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection. Most often, the disease is caused by bacteria – streptococci, staphylococci, pneumococci and Haemophilus influenzae. Viral tonsillitis can be caused by the herpes virus, influenza and parainfluenza, as well as enterovirus and adenovirus infection.In rare cases, the cause of the disease is fungi, mycoplasmas and chlamydia.

Pathogenic microorganisms enter the child’s respiratory tract by airborne droplets, passing from person to person. A healthy body is able to fight infection on its own, infection occurs only if there are factors that contribute to a decrease in the defenses of the child’s body, for example:

  • hypothermia;
  • vitamin deficiency;
  • the presence of chronic inflammatory diseases in the oral cavity and pharynx – caries, stomatitis, pharyngitis, etc.;
  • frequent contact with sick people;
  • poor ecological situation, dustiness of the air;
  • exposure to external irritants, allergens.

In addition, tonsillitis is often found in children with peculiarities of the anatomical structure of the lymphoid apparatus of the nasopharynx – deep and narrow lacunae of the tonsils, multiple slit passages and adhesions that complicate the process of emptying the lacunae.

Diagnosis of tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is a serious disease that requires timely diagnosis and individually tailored treatment.Self-medication can cause irreparable harm to children’s health, therefore, if there is any suspicion of an upper respiratory tract pathology, the patient should be shown to an experienced doctor.

At the initial appointment, the ENT doctor will collect anamnesis (medical history), clarify the symptoms of the disease, the duration of their presence, the presence in the history of previous acute inflammatory processes. Then the specialist proceeds to the examination of the pharynx (pharyngoscopy) and palpation of the lymph nodes. During the examination, the doctor uses a special instrument – a pharyngoscope, which allows you to study in detail the condition of the palatine tonsils of the child.If you suspect the presence of diseases concomitant with tonsillitis, you may need to consult a dentist, rheumatologist, pediatric cardiologist and other narrow-profile doctors.

To confirm the diagnosis and exclude possible complications, a small patient is sent to undergo a number of laboratory and instrumental examinations:

The research results will allow the specialist to identify the true cause of the disease, to determine the features of the course of the disease and the presence of concomitant disorders in the child’s body.

Treatment of tonsillitis

The methods of therapy are directly dependent on the nature of the infection and the form of the disease. So, with bacterial tonsillitis, the patient is prescribed a course of antibiotics, with the viral form of the disease – anti-inflammatory drugs, with fungal – antifungal drugs. The name and dosage of the drug is selected exclusively by the doctor. Excessive independence of parents can lead to irreversible consequences.

To eliminate the unpleasant symptoms accompanying tonsillitis, the following means can be prescribed to the patient:

  • antipyretic drugs in the form of syrup, tablets or suppositories;
  • rinses with antiseptic solutions;
  • local anesthetic and anti-inflammatory sprays, lozenges;
  • rinsing the lacunae of the tonsils (carried out with a special syringe under the supervision of a specialist).

In addition, physiotherapy procedures have proven themselves well in the treatment of angina and chronic tonsillitis:
In the event that the parents of a sick child sought medical help too late, and the disease became irreversible, and conservative methods did not bring the expected result, surgical treatment (tonsillectomy) may be required.

Prevention of tonsillitis

In order to prevent tonsillitis in a child, parents should adhere to the following rules:

  • Gradually temper the child’s body.
  • Provide your child with a balanced, healthy diet with all the nutrients needed for childhood.
  • From an early age, to acquaint the child with sanitary norms – the rules of washing hands, brushing teeth, etc.
  • Timely eliminate any inflammatory processes in the oral cavity and pharynx.
  • Avoid crowded places during periods of epidemics.
  • Do not self-medicate!

In the clinic for children and adolescents “SM-Doctor”, the diagnosis and treatment of tonsillitis are carried out by specialists with many years of experience in otolaryngology.The use of modern high-tech equipment allows our doctors to achieve high results in the treatment of ENT diseases. Sign up for a consultation with qualified pediatric otolaryngologists!

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90,000 Chronic tonsillitis – disease of any age

Inflammatory processes in the throat are a big problem for both children and adults. About their most frequent cause – chronic inflammation of the palatine tonsils – says otorhinolaryngologist of the Consultative and Diagnostic Department of the City Clinical Hospital No. 52 Zhukov Grigory Aleksandrovich .

We understand the terms.

The most common cause of inflammation in the pharynx is precisely the inflammation of the tonsils, or glands (this is the same thing, in fact) – accumulations of lymphoid tissue in the pharynx. Tonsils are called these formations because of the external similarity with the kernels of the almond nut, and glands – because the tonsils in translation – “little acorn”. In Latin we call them tonsillae – hence the name of organ inflammation – tonsillitis.

Why are tonsils needed?

Palatine tonsils are organs of the immune system of the human body.They are involved in the formation of an immune response when pathogens of various infections enter the body. Normally, the infectious agent must enter the tonsils, where the cells of the immune system recognize it and develop reactions aimed at combating the causative agent of the infection.

Why does inflammation of the tonsils develop?

If the lymphoid tissue does not have time or is unable to neutralize the “enemy”, there is an inflammation of the tonsils themselves – tonsillitis. Chronic inflammation (chronic tonsillitis), as a rule, occurs as a result of the transferred sore throat, when a sluggish inflammatory process persists in the tonsils.

So, chronic tonsillitis is a protracted inflammatory process in the tissues of the tonsils. It can be in both children and adults.

How does a person feel?

Patients for a long time feel discomfort and sore throat, so-called “plugs” can cough up, there is an increase in temperature to subfebrile numbers, general weakness, which makes you want to see a doctor.

What does the doctor see during the examination?

When examining the pharynx, the doctor discovers edema and redness of the palatine arches, enlargement and redness of the tonsils, their tissue is loose, plugs form in the lacunae of the tonsils.Tonsil plugs represent an accumulation of substance in the lacunae of the tonsils. This substance is a mixture of dead cells and waste products of pathogenic bacteria. If the corks persist for a long time, salts are deposited in their structure, so they become hard. Stoppers can be multiple and single, differ in structure, size and color. Most often these are small yellowish blotches visible in the lacunae, however, the color can vary from gray to brown.

What can a doctor prescribe in case of exacerbation of chronic tonsillitis?

Treatment is complex: medication (antibiotics), local (rinsing the throat with antiseptic solutions and irrigation with sprays), as well as good old physiotherapeutic procedures, after the exacerbation subsides, you can wash the tonsil lacunae from the plugs (this is done by the ENT doctor).BUT: we do not advise you to self-medicate, especially you should not take antibiotics on your own. “Wrong” prescriptions can lead to the formation of resistance of the pathogen to the antibiotic, and in the future this drug will not be effective.

What is the danger of chronic tonsillitis?

The disease proceeds with periodic exacerbations in the form of tonsillitis. In a state of chronic inflammation, the tonsils are unable to do their job and become a focus of infection. The constant presence of infection in the body causes a decrease in immunity, and therefore a tendency to frequent respiratory diseases.And if joint pains, pains and interruptions in the work of the heart join, these are signs of serious complications. That is why chronic tonsillitis in advanced cases is an indication for the removal of palatine tonsils. The operation is performed only as directed by an ENT doctor.

Removal of tonsils: where and how?

Tonsillectomy operation requires hospitalization in an ENT hospital for several days. It is performed under local or general anesthesia. In our department, we remove tonsils with a surgical method – with a scalpel, a loop.

Since a rather large wound is formed as a result of the operation, which in some cases requires suturing, we can leave the patient under observation for up to 5 days – in the postoperative period there is a high risk of bleeding. Some restrictions will be required – such as diet (liquid non-hot food), no exertion for 3-4 weeks and bed rest.

What about ice cream after surgery?

This is a famous childhood story. You can dissolve pieces of food, you can eat ice cream, but the main thing is to take good care of yourself for some time after the operation and ideally – with attention and care in the future.

90,000 Why is chronic tonsillitis not a safe disease?

Andrey Chelombitko
otorhinolaryngologist of the first qualification category of the medical center “ArsValeo”

The article was published on the portal 103.by

Why is chronic tonsillitis not such a safe disease as it might seem? What is the difference between the ailment in children and adults, and what to do in order not to get sick? How to recognize a disease and what to do to cure it.

What is chronic tonsillitis?


– Chronic tonsillitis – active, with periodic exacerbations, chronic inflammatory focus of infection in the tonsils.

The incidence of the disease in children is about 60-65%. In adults – up to 40%. It turns out that every third Belarusian is sick with chronic tonsillitis.


What factors contribute to the formation of chronic tonsillitis?


A decrease in the body’s resistance leads to frequent colds, tonsillitis, and since the palatine tonsils detain almost the entire infection and prevent its spread in the body, it accumulates there.Over time, the palatine tonsils lose their protective function and themselves become a focus of infection, as they lose their ability to cleanse themselves. Decay products (dead neutrophils, food debris) accumulate in the lacunae (excretory ducts).

Also, factors for the development of tonsillitis include: decreased immunity, lack of vitamins, especially vitamin C and B vitamins, frequent colds, frequent sore throats (4-5 per year), incomplete teeth (caries), chronic sinusitis, presence displaced nasal septum.

In children, to a greater extent, this is a pathology from the side of the nasopharynx (hypertrophy of the adenoids). With a strong increase in the adenoids, the child practically constantly breathes through the mouth, the palatine tonsils are supercooled, increase in size and do not return to normal, as a result of which the resistance to infection from the outside decreases.

What symptoms and tests can indicate that this is really chronic tonsillitis, and not other diseases?

  • Frequent sore throats (4-5 times a year), otitis media, colds.Maintaining an elevated body temperature (in the region of 37.3-37.5 degrees) for up to 2 months.
  • Prolonged discomfort in the throat, enlarged submandibular lymph nodes for a long time.
  • It is necessary to take a blood test for certain indicators (in particular, antistreptolysin-O, reactive protein, and others) in order to understand the development of the disease.
  • To pass a smear on the microflora from the oropharynx and antibiotic sensitivity.

Is it true that if a family member suffers from chronic tonsillitis, the children will get sick?

In 90% of cases, this is exactly what happens.If one family member has chronic tonsillitis and no measures are taken to treat it, the child will also get sick. One of the parents is a source of infection, so to speak, a carrier: there is constant contact with the child in the family (games, kisses) – the infection is transmitted to the baby.

Do white caseous plugs in the tonsils always indicate that there is chronic tonsillitis?

No. Not always. If a person is worried about only white caseous plugs in the lacunae of the palatine tonsils in the throat, bad breath, but all blood counts are normal, it is worth performing fibrogastroduodenoscopy (probe, – approx.I.R.). The formation of plugs in the throat may be preceded by pathology from the gastrointestinal tract, in particular, gastroesophageal or laryngoesophageal reflux disease (reflux of food and acidic contents from the stomach into the esophagus and larynx). The cause of the disease is from the digestive system, and as a result, the throat hurts. If you do not eliminate the cause, the effect will not disappear either.


To remove or not to remove the palatine tonsils?


Based on the results of the examination, it will be clearly seen what the further actions are: if the blood counts are normal, pathogenic microflora from the oropharynx is not isolated (namely, B-hemolytic streptococcus), there are no pathological changes on the part of the cardiovascular system, then a conservative therapy in the form of a course of washing the palatine tonsils, drugs, after which the examination is monitored.

History of paratonsillar abscesses, retropharyngeal abscesses, ASL-O values ​​during treatment above normal, complications in the form of myocarditis, glomerulonephritis, pyelonephritis, rheumatism, suspicion of malignant formation (pronounced increase in one of the two tonsils) – direct indicators of removal palatine tonsils.

Removal of the palatine tonsils (tonsillectomy) is also necessary after 2-3 unsuccessful courses of conservative therapy.


Methods of treating chronic tonsillitis


  • Conservative treatment is washing the lacunae of the palatine tonsils.Washing out caseous plugs is mechanical (using a syringe) and vacuum. According to the latest data, vacuum aspiration is good only at the first stage. She pulls out all the plugs. However, after a while the lacunae of the tonsils “break”. As a result, in the future, traffic jams are formed even more and more often. Mechanical washing of the lacuna does not “break”. The course lasts from 3 to 5 procedures. It is preferable to do it after the result of a smear on the microflora.
  • Injection of antiseptic preparations into the tonsils.
  • Antiseptic preparations.
  • Immunomodulatory therapy.
  • Physiotherapy treatment.

Previously, the introduction of paraffin preparations (sealing) was practiced, now they have moved away from this.

– Another method of treatment is cryptolysis of the lacunae of the palatine tonsils (lacunotomy) using a radio wave apparatus. Performed after a course of washing. The tonsils are not removed. During cryptolysis, the tissues of the tonsils are evaporated, sterilized and sealed.The enlarged and loose palatine tonsils decrease in size, and white caseous plugs are not formed, on average, 5 years. The procedure is painless and does not cause any discomfort for the patient. The manipulation is performed once every 3 weeks, their number is up to 5 procedures.

Surgical treatment (removal of the tonsils) is prescribed to the patient in cases where the tonsils do not perform their function. This can only be understood from the results of the analyzes, which are described just above.

Preventive measures


Healthy lifestyle, timely sanitation of the nasal cavity and mouth.You should also not neglect sports and proper nutrition with the introduction of vitamins into the diet. Be healthy!

Make an appointment for an ultrasound of the lymph nodes of the neck.

We will be glad to see you at our reception!

The staff of the information center of the medical center “ARS VALEO” will always readily answer your questions and help you choose the most convenient time for your visit.

To make an appointment, as well as get detailed information about the services of our medical center, you can always call the indicated phone numbers:

+375 17 328-38-83 (city)

+375 29 660-38-83 ( Velcom)

+375 29 766-38-83 (MTS)

Tonsillitis: signs, symptoms, treatment – MedCom

Symptoms of tonsillitis

Depending on the form of the disease, the general symptoms of tonsillitis will differ.A person becomes infected by airborne droplets from an infected person. After the end of the incubation period, the first acute symptoms of tonsillitis are experienced within 1–2 days:

  • Sore throat that is worse when swallowing.
  • General weakness, aching muscles and joints.
  • Temperature rise.
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the throat.
  • Chills.
  • Headaches.

The maximum degree of soreness in the throat most often develops on the second day of the disease.The tonsils acquire a bright red hue, become swollen, and small follicles with pus begin to form on them. If you ignore the symptoms at this point and do not start treatment, tonsillitis can become chronic.

It is much more difficult to diagnose chronic tonsillitis, since the general symptoms are often hidden. Suspicion of a chronic course of the disease should cause the following symptoms of tonsillitis:

  • Sore throat not pronounced, may appear periodically when swallowing.
  • Sore throat, dry sensation.
  • Frequent episodes of angina.
  • Discharge of purulent plugs during coughing.

Such signs cannot be ignored. They are able to provoke the development of complications associated with kidney disease, joint damage and heart failure.

Diagnosis of the disease

The first stage of the diagnostic examination is the examination of the patient. The condition of the pharynx is assessed using special lighting, as a result of which the doctor notes an increase in lymph nodes, pronounced redness of the palatine tonsils, a yellowish purulent plaque and other symptoms characteristic of tonsillitis.

The next step, which is very important for the appointment of a competent treatment for tonsillitis, is the delivery of tests. To determine the causative agent of the disease, a smear is taken from the surface of the tonsils and the posterior wall of the nasopharynx. This analysis is transferred to the laboratory, where the material will be examined in the future. The presence of a certain group of microorganisms makes it possible to understand what exactly provoked the defeat of the tonsils and led to tonsillitis.

A blood test is also taken for examination.Indicators that confirm the presence of the disease will exceed the normal level:

  • ESR indicator reaches 18–20 mm / h.
  • The number of immature neutrophils is increasing.
  • The level of neutrophils in the blood reaches 7-9×109 / l.
  • Metamyelocytes and myelocytes are detected.

An antibiotic susceptibility test allows the doctor to choose the most effective treatment in the future.During treatment, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics, each of which is able to suppress the reproduction of a certain group of pathogenic microorganisms.

Treatment of tonsillitis

The form of tonsillitis and the current stage of the disease directly affect the tactics of treating tonsillitis. Treatment will be based on an integrated approach aimed at extinguishing acute symptoms of the disease and eliminating the previously identified pathogen:

  • Antiseptic solutions for gargling.
  • Pain relievers in the form of tablets, sprays or lozenges.
  • Solutions for washing tonsils. When purulent contents accumulate, plaque should be removed with a special syringe.
  • Use of local immunomodulators.
  • Taking antipyretics as needed.
  • Antibiotics. When treating, it is very important to follow the regimen and not stop taking medications, even if you feel better.It is possible to treat the disease and completely eliminate the bacteria only with the full passage of the course prescribed by the doctor. Full treatment is necessary not only to extinguish the symptoms, but also to suppress the pathogen.

Physiotherapy can help improve well-being and eliminate the characteristic signs of the disease. The procedures help to normalize blood circulation and stimulate the production of antibodies to tonsillitis. The patient is encouraged to treat the disease with UFO therapy or UHF.Your doctor may prescribe vacuum hydrotherapy to flush your tonsils.

During treatment, it is very important to provide the patient with gentle nutrition: boiled or steamed food will not additionally injure the throat. Drinking plenty of fluids will also help you recover from tonsillitis.

The decision to remove tonsils is made by the doctor after a complete diagnostic examination and the absence of a visible effect of treatment for tonsillitis, accompanied by the development of complications (toxic-allergic form).In this case, the tonsils are removed as the source of the main threat.

Preventive measures

Before carrying out preventive measures, it is necessary to identify the factors that provoke the onset of tonsillitis. The largest number of cases of the disease is observed in the autumn-winter periods. Living in unfavorable environmental conditions and frequent stay in crowded places also leads to an increased risk of disease.

Responsible personal health is recommended to reduce the likelihood of infection.