Tonsillitis simply means inflammation and infection of the tonsils. Tonsils are oval shaped lymphoid tissues situated on either side at the back of the mouth and inside the throat. Enlarged tonsils can be visualized when you open your mouth. Tonsils are part of human immune system and they protect the body from various germs that enter the body through mouth and nose. However, in the process they themselves get infected and inflamed leading to a condition known as tonsillitis.
As adult life approaches, the tonsils, together with other lymphoid tissues tend to atrophy (decrease in size). However, in some adults the tonsils are so large that they almost meet in the mid line and therefore they are also called kissing tonsils. Enlarged tonsils in adults are prone to infection and inflammation. Tonsillitis is usually caused due to bacterial or viral infection. When viral infection is the cause the treatment includes rest, drinking warm fluids, gargling with salt water and medicines for fever and pain.
Tonsillitis resulting from bacterial infection is mostly due to streptococcal organism. It is associated with sore throat and fever. The lymph nodes around the neck are enlarged and tender. Pain occasionally radiates to the ear, pain while swallowing food and water. When the person opens the mouth, you can observe fiery red swollen tonsils. You may observe pus and white spots on the tonsils. Tonsillitis due to streptococcal infection should be treated urgently as it can damage the heart and can progress to rheumatic fever.
Many times the cause of tonsillitis is viral infection. Its severity is less compared to bacterial infection. However, sometime tonsillitis can be due to mono. Fever, stomachache, extreme tiredness is some of its symptoms. If you experience this symptoms contact your doctor so as to prevent any further complications.
Chronic tonsillitis is associated with enlarged tonsils. Frequently smoking can become a predisposing cause for tonsillitis in adults.
Close contact with an individual who is suffering from tonsil infection can increase the risk of contracting the infection.
Sore throat since long time can cause tonsillar infection. Sharing dining utensils or personal items such as a tooth brush can become a risk for tonsillitis.
Natural Remedies for Treating Tonsillitis at Home
An adult can prevent tonsillitis by taking certain precautionary natural steps.
Live a healthy lifestyle. It will strengthen the immune system and defense mechanism of the body.
- Stop smoking.
- Maintain personal hygiene.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid sugars and chocolates and excessive spicy food.
- Do not stress too much and relaxation techniques.
- Avoid processed and refined food.
- Avoid food with artificial colors and flavoring agents.
- Eat foods containing vitamin C and zinc.
- Certain natural herbs such as gargling with Echinacea tincture mixed in water.
- Chewing licorice root.
Though the natural methods may be helpful in preventing and treating tonsillitis, in the event of tonsil infection it is of prime importance to consult a physician.
Certain home remedies help in relieving the symptoms of tonsillitis.
Warm salt water gargling is one of the time tested home remedy for tonsillitis. Gargle with warm water mixed with a pinch of salt at least four times in a day when you suffer from tonsillitis. Salt is a natural antiseptic agent and it fights the germs present in the tonsils.
Fresh Lime Juice: fresh lime contains plenty of C vitamins. Squeeze fresh lime in a glass of warm water. Add one tsp of honey and pinch of common salt. Sip the liquid as many times as you can. It helps to accelerate the healing process in the tonsils.
Milk and turmeric powder: drink a glass of warm milk mixed with a pinch of turmeric powder. Turmeric is a natural antibacterial agent. Drinking warm milk will soothe the inflamed and irritated throat.
Surgical removal of tonsils is necessary in adults when;
- There are recurrent attacks of acute tonsillitis.
- If the person has an attack of peritonsillar abscess, or
- Chronic tonsillitis associated with heart or rheumatic problems.