What is Tonsillitis: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Surgery

By | August 12, 2019
What is Tonsillitis

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is swelling and inflammation of the tonsils, which is usually caused by an infection.

How common are tonsils (tonsillitis)?

This condition is common to millions of individuals annually. While making discomfort, tonsillitis is rarely a serious illness. Tonsillitis can occur in patients with any age, but most are found in small children to adolescents. Discuss with the doctor for more information.

Causes of tonsillitis.

After knowing about what is tonsillitis, then these are the cause of tonsillitis that you need to know.

  • The common cause of tonsillitis is a cold virus (adenovirus, rhinovirus, influenza, Coronavirus, RSV). It can also be caused by Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, cytomegalovirus, or HIV.
  • The second most common cause is bacteria.
    • The most common bacterial causes of tonsillitis are Group A-hemolytic streptococcal (GABHS), which causes sore throat.
    • Less common causes of bacteria include: Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, Mycoplasma pneumoniae, Chlamydia pneumoniae, pertussis, Fusobacterium, diphtheria, syphilis, and gonorrhea.

Under normal circumstances, viruses and bacteria enter the body through the nose and mouth and will be filtered on the tonsils.

In the Tonsils, white blood cells of the immune system launch an attack that helps to destroy the virus or bacteria, and also cause inflammation and fever. Infections may also exist in the throat and surrounding areas, causing inflammation of the pharynx.

Signs and symptoms of tonsillitis.

What is Tonsillitis Symptom

After knowing about what is tonsillitis and the causes, then these are the signs and symptoms of tonsillitis that you must to know.

Common symptoms of tonsillitis are:

  • Sore throat
  • Difficulty or pain in swallowing
  • Hoarse Sound
  • Cough
  • Breath Odor
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headaches
  • Stiff neck
  • Jaw and neck pain due to swelling of the lymph nodes
  • The tonsils that appear red and swollen
  • The yellow or white spots on tonsil.
  • Difficulty opening the mouth
  • Fatigue.

Generally, patients with acute tonsillitis may experience symptoms such as sore throat, difficulty or pain when swallowing, fever, headache, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, cough, hoarseness, redness and swelling of the tonsils, pain in the neck gland, rash, up to Earaches. (Read also: My Ear Hurts: The Causes and Treatment).

Patients with chronic tonsillitis complain of symptoms such as frequent chronic sore throat, halitosis or bad breath and inflammations of the tonsils that recur continually.

Chronic tonsillitis is a chronic inflammation of the tonsils, which is usually a continuation of a recurrent acute infection or subclinical infection (not noticeably). This disorder is the most frequent abnormality in children in the ENT field. In chronic tonsillitis, the size of the tonsils may grow so it is called chronic hypertrophy.

There may be signs and symptoms not mentioned above. When you have concerns about a certain symptom, consult it with your doctor.

Do patients with tonsillitis should always do surgery?

The answer is No. Surgery was performed on chronic tonsillitis with:

  • More than 7 episodes in 1 year
  • More than five episodes in 1 year, during 2 years of observation
  • Each episode comes with symptoms:
    • Fever more than 38, 3 degrees Celsius.
    • More than 2cm neck gland enlargement
    • Exudate on Tonsils
    • The results of the culture of beta hemolytic streptococcus bacteria.
  • Obsructive sleep apnea (especially in children)
  • Cor Pulmonale (due to OSA)
  • Peritonsillar abscess
  • Suspicion of malignancy.

When do the tonsils need to be removed?

The experts are still not a single opinion on this, but generally the clinical literature divides the indication of the inflammation of the tonsilectomy surgery on 2, namely:

  • Absolute (absolute: must be surgery)
  • Relative (not absolute: preferably dissected).

Is true that after the tonsils surgery will lower endurance and make the person easily sick?

The answer is not true.

Kaygusuz I. et al, 2013 in his research found at the beginning of the tonsilectomy occurs a decrease in immune system while in the child, but it is immediately replaced by an increase in the humoral immune system, so it was concluded that the tonsilectomy In the case of chronic tonsillitis does not give a negative effect on the immune system.

Even Böck A, Popp W, Herkner KR has been researching since 1994, that the post-tonsilectomy child obtained a decline in the IgA level, but accompanied by an increase in CD4 cells, CD21 and DR. So long ago, it has been researched that the body has a complex body defense mechanism, not only depends on the tonsil.

Thank you very much for reading What is Tonsillitis: Definition, Causes, Symptoms, and Surgery, hopefully useful.