Tonsils are two pieces of tissue that are located at the base of the tongue on both sides close to the throat. Because of their role in the lymphatic system, it is quite easy for them to become infected. This often results in inflammation which can make swallowing, talking and everyday life more difficult.
This infection is most commonly thought of as tonsillitis, but you can also get other tonsil infection like tonsil stones where little clumps of debris collect within the tonsils to form a stone like structure.
There could be two occurrences of tonsillitis: recurrent (are multiple tonsillitis that occur in different periods over a specified amount of time like a year) and chronic tonsillitis (which are more prolonged as compared to the acute ones accompanied with other symptoms including chronic sore throats).
This condition is usually caused by one of the following:
This is the most common cause of the condition and the bacteria that causes the infection is called Streptococcal bacteria. It is contagious and hence can be passed from one person to another by the simple exchange of body fluids.
The rhinovirus (which causes the common cold), influenza, parainfluenza, coronavirus and other viruses that cause other types of colds also cause inflammation of the tonsil tissues and hence contributes to the condition. Other viruses that contribute directly to the condition are Epstein-Barr and mononucleosis.
This is an injury to the tonsil tissues also cause the condition. These injuries come from dead cells, saliva, mucus and food (more often sugary foods) which remain unattended in the mouth thus hardening over time to cause tonsil stones. This means they are affected by poor dental hygiene and also oversize tonsils are a common cause.
There are a number of techniques that are used in treating the condition:
As mentioned earlier, they are a way in which the body boost its defences against infection. So common cases are that they only appear for 2-3 days when the body is levelling up then they disappear after the period when the body becomes stable.
These are medications that are issued to the body like penicillin that prevents the growth or destroys infections. This is a common remedy for cases in which the infection was chronic or contributed to other chronic symptoms.
I recommend consulting your doctor before taking an antibiotic so they can make you aware of possible side effects, how it works and how it will affect your body/tonsils. There specific antibiotics for tonsil stones, tonsillitis and all the other tonsil infections so finding the right one for each will be difficult for you to determine, therefore making the help of a doctor necessary.
Personal or home treatment
These are recommended procedures that are suggested by medical personnel for cases that are not so chronic but are more of acute. They include: using throat lozenges that are medically proven for treatment and use of lemon and honey mixture in hot water for treatment.
This is a surgery conducted on both the tonsil tissues to remove them from the tonsillar fossa. This a treatment method that is often undertaken when the tissues are completely damaged and all the treatments above are not applicable.
It is advisable to seek the services of an internist (a medical doctor whose specialization is internal organs) or a paediatrician (a medical doctor who specializes in treating children) even when the symptoms disappear. By doing this you’ll find it easier to determine whether or not the infection will be recurring or not – and then how you can treat it from there.
So even though there are antibiotics available to treat tonsil infections, you also have other options to choose from. I recommend consulting your doctor before making a decision as they’ll know the best course of action.