What is Tonsillitis; Causes and Treatment?


Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the TONSILS. The disorder may be the precursor of a virus induced infection of the upper respiratory tract, such as the common cold, influenza or infectious mononucleosis, in which case the inflammation usually subsides as other symptoms develop. Such virus-induced tonsillitis does not respond to treatment with antibiotics.

Types of tonsillitis

Acute and Chronic


Acute tonsillitis. The infection is never entirely confined to the tonsils; there is always some involvement of the surrounding throat or pharynx. The converse is true that in many cases of ‘sore throat’, the tonsils are involved in the generalized inflammation of the throat.

Chronic tonsillitis. The tonsils become large and also increase in the number of occurrences.


Most commonly caused by the β- haemolytic STREPTOCOCCUS, its incidence is highest in the winter months. In the developing world it may be the presenting features of DIPHTHERIA, a disease now virtually non-existent in the West since the introduction of IMMUNISATION.


  • Sore throat comes rapidly
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Headaches
  • Fever
  • White pus on the tonsil
  • Rash
  • Absence of as cough, stuffy nose or other upper respiratory symptoms.
  • Difficulty in breathing if the tonsils are very large
  • And problem eating and drinking.

Physical appearance of the tonsils

tonsillitisThe tonsils become red and white spots on them. The lymph nodes in the jaw and neck may also be swollen and tender to the touch.


Natural remedy for Tonsillitis

  • Which is very useful in treating any kind of throat infection including tonsillitis, an onion and garlic soup are excellent foods to eat during a bout of tonsillitis spices like Ginger and Mustard seed could also be added.
  • Try to gargle with saline solution of half a teaspoon of salt to one cup of tepid water to remove mucous and reduce swelling. Also suck zinc lozenges as zinc helps the immune system. Bee propolis has antiviral properties, boost the immune system and help in recovery from tonsillitis.
  • Encourage sleep. Sleeping will generally help your child to reduce pain stimulations.
  • Provide adequate fluids
  • Provide comforting foods and beverages
  • Humidify the air. Use of cool air humidifier to eliminate dry air that can further irritate a sore throat.
  • Offer lozenges that are antiseptic in action.
  • Avoid irritants cigarette smoke and cleaning products that can irritate the throat.
  • Treat pain & fever with antipyretics like Ibuprofen or

Medical intervention

Following proper examination, your doctor or community pharmacist could prescribe antibiotics like Amoxicillin or penicillin by mouth for 10 days. If the child or adult is allergic to penicillin, your physician would prescribe alternatives like Cephalosporin, Azithromycin and others.


Surgery to remove tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be used to treat frequently reoccurring tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis or bacterial tonsillitis that does not respond to antibiotics treatment. When you have;

More than seven episodes in a year

More than four to five episodes a year in each of the preceding two years

And more than three episodes in each of the preceding year, other condition to be considered are difficulty in breathing, obstructive sleep apnea and swallowing difficulties.


Let’s meet next week on enlightenment of other popular disease condition. We are committed to make you live long and always stay healthy. Have a lovely and productive week.


  1. Black’s Medical Dictionary; Tonsillitis, Dr. Harvey Marcovitch; Pages 717- 718
  2. Medline plus; Symptoms of tonsillitis; www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus
  3. Natural news; use of Herbal and homeopathic treatment for tonsillitis


  1. Mayoclinic; Treatment of tonsillitis; www.mayoclinic.org

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