Tonsils are made of soft glandular tissue and are part of the immune system. You have two tonsils, one on either side at the back of the mouth. The picture shows normal non-infected tonsils. Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils.
Tonsillitis is most often caused by common viruses, but bacterial infections can also be the cause.
The most common bacterium causing tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus), the bacterium that causes strep throat. Other strains of strep and other bacteria also may cause tonsillitis.
Why do tonsils get infected?
The tonsils are the immune system's first line of defense against bacteria and viruses that enter your mouth. This function may make the tonsils particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation. However, the tonsil's immune system function declines after puberty - a factor that may account for the rare cases of tonsillitis in adults.
Tonsillitis most commonly affects children between preschool ages and the mid-teenage years. Common signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include:
- Red, swollen tonsils
- Sore throat
- A scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
- Stomachache, particularly in younger children
- White or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils
- Difficult or painful swallowing
- Enlarged, tender glands (lymph nodes) in the neck
- Bad breath
- Stiff neck
In young children who are unable to describe how they feel, signs of tonsillitis may include:
- Drooling due to difficult or painful swallowing
- Refusal to eat
- Unusual fussiness
Risk factors for tonsillitis include:
- Young age. Tonsillitis is most common from the preschool years to the mid-teenage years.
- Frequent exposure to germs. School-age children are in close contact with their peers and frequently exposed to viruses or bacteria that can cause tonsillitis.
Inflammation or swelling of the tonsils from frequent or ongoing (chronic) tonsillitis can cause complications such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Disrupted breathing during sleep (obstructive sleep apnea)
- Infection that spreads deep into surrounding tissue (tonsillar cellulitis)
- Infection that results in a collection of pus behind a tonsil (tonsillar abscess)
Homoeopathy considers the tonsils as two guards standing at the entrance (throat) and protecting the human system against a wide range of intruders such as bacteria, virus, allergens and the like. Tonsils are natural protectors and vital organs of self-defense mechanism of the body. They are like the soldiers fighting on the border who get injured (inflamed) protecting the country.
When the internal immune system is low or weak, one tends to get infections. Tonsils work towards protecting us against the infections. Inflamed tonsils or recurrent tonsillitis is the result of low immunity and not the cause of it.
The homeopathic treatment is essentially targeted towards enhancing the immunity and hence reducing the recurrence of tonsil infections. This is achieved very easily using safe and effective homeopathic medicines.
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