What causes tonsilitis?


Have those tonsils bothered you lately? Or have they become infected? Overwhelmed by bacteria or viruses, they swell and become inflamed, a condition that is called tonsilitis.

The tonsils are the two masses of tissue on either side of the back of the throat. Normal tonsils are usually about the same size and have the same pink color as the surrounding area. On their surfaces are little depressions, called crypts, which may appear deep and contain pus pockets or tonsil stones.

They act as filters, trapping germs that could otherwise enter your airways and cause infection. They also produce antibodies to fight infection.

According to WebMD, bacterial and viral infections are the causes of tonsillitis. A common cause is Streptococcus bacteria, while other common causes include:

(1) Adenoviruses
(2) Influenza virus
(3) Epstein-Barr virus
(4) Parainfluenza viruses
(5) Enteroviruses
(6) Herpes simplex virus

The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, sometimes severe enough to block the airways. Other symptoms include:

(1) Throat pain or tenderness
(2) Redness of the tonsils
(3) A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
(4) Painful blisters or ulcers on the throat
(5) Hoarseness or loss of voice
(6) Headache; Loss of appetite; Ear pain
(7) Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
(8) Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
(9) Fever, chills; Bad breath
...

There are some home remedies that can help soothe the symptoms of your sore throat.

(1) Throat sprays and lozenges: these can coat and moisturize the throat, and many have a topical anesthetic to relieve pain (a doctor should be consulted before using these sprays)
(2) Saltwater gargle: this helps clear mucus from the throat
(3) Sipping warm beverages such as tea with honey, or broth can be soothing
(4) Eating cold foods such as ice cream or popsicles can help ease pain...