Understanding Tonsillitis Symptoms

If you have ever experienced tonsillitis symptoms then you are not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from tonsillitis every year. This could be recurrent or continuous over a period of time. Serious complications can arise if not given due attention. It is very important that it could be recognized early and be given proper management and treatment.

What is Tonsil?

Tonsils are lymph node tissues that are located at the oropharynx and nasopharyx. It is part of the immune system of the body that is primarily focused on preventing harmful pathogens from entering the digestive tract or in some cases, the respiratory system.

What Happens During a Tonsillitis episode?

Like any other immunologic structure, the tonsil is also at risk of inflammation. Under normal circumstances, the tonsils filter the ingested foods and air that goes in the nose and mouth. Tonsils have white bloods cells on their surface that kill pathogens. Tonsillitis could happen when there are an overwhelming number of pathogens, which tonsils could not handle. Food particles could be deposited at the tiny holes and fissures of the tonsils, which will in turn feed harmful microorganisms and will promote their growth. An infection could occur and the only way for the body to fight it is through inflammation. The natural process of inflammation hopefully will suppress microbial growth and needs no further treatment.

What are the Causes of Tonsillitis?

The inflammation of the tonsils or tonsillitis could be cause by a virus or bacteria. Viral infection is harder to treat because it does not respond to antibiotics. But thankfully it is self-limiting and could just go away by itself. Its main management focuses on symptomatic relief. Usually tonsillitis could arise from cold virus. Some of the virus that could cause tonsillitis symptoms is herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, Epstein-Barr virus, coronavirus, syncytial virus, adenovirus, rhinovirus, and influenza.

On the other hand, bacterial tonsillitis could be treated with medications. Some of the bacteria that can cause tonsillitis are group-A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, Chlamydia pneumoniae, diphtheria, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Staphylococcus aureus, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, pertussis, Fusobacterium, syphilis and gonorrhea.

Tonsillitis could also be caused by opportunistic pathogens. This means that normal resident microorganisms could quickly proliferate when the body’s immune system is weak.

Signs and Symptoms of Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis could manifest differently from person to person. Depending upon the causative factor and the general health condition of the individual, the signs and symptoms of tonsillitis are as follows:

  • Inflamed and reddened tonsils
  • Change of voice
  • Sore throat
  • Sore eyes
  • Cough
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Dysphagia (difficulty of swallowing)
  • Odynophagia (painful swallowing)
  • White or yellow coating and patches on tonsil surface
  • Limited range of motion of the neck due to pain and swelling
  • Phlegm production
  • Fever and chills
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • drooling

Treatment of Tonsillitis

It is important to know the causative factor of the tonsillitis symptoms before a formal care plan could be formulated. You can visit your physician to know the condition of your tonsils with a series of diagnostic tests and physical exams. Once a diagnosis is established, then the necessary course of action can now be taken.

In general, symptomatic relief is given a priority for viral infection while antibiotic therapy would be given for bacterial. Pain reliever can be administered to alleviate pain while anti-inflammatory drug can decrease inflammation. If tonsillitis is accompanied with fever, then antipyretic drugs can also be given. Rest is vital for faster recovery while giving a special consideration on the nutritional status of the individual since the pain upon swallowing might affect his ability to take in food.

At the end of the day, it is always better to take care of your health and prevent tonsillitis symptoms rather than worrying of its uncomfortable effects. With proper knowledge and information, you can have a stronger immune system and you can manage and treat tonsillitis more effectively.