Everything You Want to Know About Swollen Tonsils

What Causes Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is caused by bacteria or viruses that invade the throat. These germs cause inflammation of the tissues lining your throat. When these tissues become inflamed they swell up causing a sore called tonsil. The swelling may start out small, but it soon becomes large enough to block off part of the airway which results in difficulty breathing and coughing up blood.

How Is Tonsillitis Diagnosed?

The first step in diagnosing tonsillitis is to have a physical examination. Your doctor will examine your throat and tonsils with a view to finding any infections present. They may also take some samples from them to test for infection. If there are no symptoms present, then the next step would be to perform a culture of the throat fluid (swelling) using one of several methods such as swabbing or aspirating it. A sample of the throat fluid may also be taken by inserting a tube into the mouth and pulling back on it until you get a drop of liquid.

If you do not have any symptoms, then your doctor will look at other possible causes such as allergies or food sensitivity.

Treatment For Tonsillitis?

There are many different types of antibiotics available to treat tonsillitis. In cases where the tonsillitis is a secondary infection caused by the herpes virus, acyclovir is used along with other treatments. Other drugs such as cephalosporins, erythromycin or amoxicillin may also be given as part of the treatment. For severe cases of tonsillitis, hospitalization may be necessary to allow for intravenous therapy with the most powerful antibiotics available.

How To Prevent Tonsillitis?

Many people routinely suffer from tonsillitis in childhood, but it is possible to prevent most cases through the following measures:

1. Maintain good personal hygiene: While this may seem obvious, there are certain things you can do to keep yourself from catching a cold and passing it on to your throat.

First of all, if you have a runny nose do not blow it into your hands. The virus containing mucus can easily be transferred to your throat. Also try not to cough or sneeze into your hands either.

Always use a tissue when you have to blow your nose or sneeze.

2. Do not share cups, utensils or food with others: The most common way of getting tonsillitis is by sharing food, drinks, and utensils with someone who already has it.

This is why you should never share food or drinks with anyone, especially if you know they have a sore throat themselves.

Sources & references used in this article:

Lingual tonsillectomy: a treatment for inflammatory lesions of the lingual tonsil by M Joseph, E Reardon, M Goodman – The Laryngoscope, 1984 – Wiley Online Library

Bilateral peritonsillar abscesses: not your usual sore throat by CJ Fasano, C Chudnofsky, P Vanderbeek – The Journal of emergency …, 2005 – Elsevier

Swollen uvula symptoms by J Wilkinson, JM Rothschild – buoyhealth.com

Tonsillitis: Symptoms, Treatment, and Complications by S Kmucha – emedihealth.com

Neck swelling and enlarged tonsils by C Gill, MS Osborne, L McClelland – bmj, 2019 – bmj.com

‘I’ve just taken you to see the man with the CD on his head’: the experience and management of recurrent sore throat in children by C Lock, R Baker, K Brittain – Journal of child health care, 2010 – journals.sagepub.com