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All You Need to Know about Tonsillitis | Prof Dr. Sanjeev Mohanty

Most of us are aware of the term - Tonsillitis ( recurrent throat infection ) , which is not something new for most of us. However , we do not give enough thought about it. Since, it affects quite a few adults too, it is necessary to be aware of the causes and its treatment of so that one can combat the disease effectively.

All You Need to Know about Tonsillitis | Prof Dr. Sanjeev Mohanty
All You Need to Know about Tonsillitis | Prof Dr. Sanjeev Mohanty

The inflammatory swelling of tonsils is known as tonsillitis. The tonsils are composed of two delicate glands of tissue placed at the back of the throat. The function of these tissues is to stop the individual from contracting infection from viruses or bacteria – they constitute a segment of the immune system. At times, however, these pair of glands may themselves catch an infection and end up inflaming. This is tonsillitis and it is of two types: acute and chronic. The former will resolve in not more than a fortnight but the latter causes people to experience symptoms of the condition from time to time. Though usually seen amongst children and people belonging to a younger age, many adults, regardless of age, also do end up developing tonsillitis.

There exist a number of causes of tonsillitis - viral and bacterial. There are various kinds of viruses that are the reason behind a person suffering from tonsillitis. Some of them are the adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, enterovirus, cytomegalovirus and the Epstein-Barr virus etc. On the other hand, streptococcus pyogenes – the bacteria responsible for strep throat – is also sometimes found to be the cause of tonsillitis of the bacterial kind.

Additionally, one may also develop tonsil stones. Tonsil tissue is composed of tunnels known as tonsil crypts. Dead cells, food, mucus etc. get deposited in these crypts and become debris. Eventually, this debris solidifies into a tonsil stone. Commonly, people have no more than one stone but some patients may experience multiple stones.


  • Sore throat

  • Running nose

  • Fever

  • Trouble while swallowing

  • Nausea

  • Ear pain

  • Cough

  • Halitosis (bad breath)

  • Redness in eyes


Treatment for tonsillitis will depend on the kind and severity of the tonsillitis. If it is of the bacterial type, the appropriate antibiotics should suffice. However, if it is tonsillitis caused by a virus, then not much can be done other than to wait for the inflammation to wear off. Good rest, hydration and special diet is advised in such a case. In extreme cases of tonsillitis, however, the tonsils get inflamed highly and it is dangerous to your health. In such a case, tonsillectomy will have to be performed by an experienced throat surgeon.

The modern instrumentation has helped in the early recovery and precise surgical techniques like laser or coblation assisted treatment. These are bloodless , focussed and results in optimum outcomes.

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