Dr Dennis Chua is an experienced ENT Specialist dealing in tonsil conditions. One common condition he encounters are patients referred to him for tonsillitis. Tonsils are 2 glands located at the back of the throat. They are part of the immune defence mechanism in patients below the age of 2. Above the age of 2, they have no function and begin to disappear till the age of 12.
Occasionally, constant stimulation like recurrent infections or allergies can result in tonsils remaining large. This can result in conditions such as tonsillitis, tonsil stones or even sleep apnoea and snoring.
Tonsil stone in the right tonsil. As tonsils have an irregular surface, it is easy for food debris to collect within the crypts of the tonsil resulting in stones.
Table of Contents
Symptoms of tonsillitis
Sore throat is the commonest complaint. When it is more severe, there can be difficulty swallowing (dysphagia). There can be associated fever and myalgia. It is important to differentiate this from Infectious Mononucleosis which is a viral infection of the tonsils. Find out more about tonsillitis here https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/tonsillitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20378479.
This patient has enlarged tonsils with recurrent tonsillitis. There is pus present in the crypts of the tonsils consistent with infection.
Fast, effective treatment of tonsillitis
Throat gargle- medicated gargles are useful as they are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic
Antibiotics- these may be necessary for severe infections
Anti-inflammatory analgesia- Certain Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS) are useful in pain relief and decreasing inflammation
Hydration and rest- This is perhaps the most important. When tonsillitis happens, you will need more hydration than usual. Insufficient hydration can lead to fever developing.