Tonsils are the two structures on each side at the back of your mouth. They act as a defence mechanism, preventing your body from becoming infected. Tonsillitis is a condition when an infection develops on your tonsils.
Tonsillitis is a common childhood infection but it can strike at any age too. It is most commonly diagnosed in youngsters, from preschool to mid-teens. Symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils, pain swallowing and fever.
Tonsillitis may be caused by both viruses and bacterial. Streptococcal bacteria is one of the most common cause of tonsillitis. Streptococcus tonsillitis is contagious. Without proper treatment, streptococcal tonsillitis can progress to cause significant complications such as a damage heart valve.
What are enlarge tonsils?
The medical term for constantly swollen tonsils is tonsillar hypertrophy. Tonsils are a vital element of your immune system and aid in the battle against illnesses caused by bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens that enter your body via your nose and mouth.
Enlarged tonsils may indicate infection or inflammation caused by substances such as smoke or contaminated air. Specific individuals are born with bigger tonsils. In other instances, the cause is unknown
Tonsillar hypertrophy is more prevalent in youngsters, though it can also occur in adults. Children's tonsils are often larger than adults' because their bodies constantly battle colds and other diseases associated with childhood. As children get older, their large tonsils frequently shrink on their own.
When the tonsils are enlarged, a range of symptoms can occur. They may obstruct the airway to cause snoring and sometimes sleep issues. Common sleep issues include partial airway obstruction, which leads to restless sleep, frequent awakenings, and even sleep apnea. They can also cause difficulty swallowing foods and bad breath.
Enlarged Tonsils Symptoms
Tonsil enlargement does not necessarily result in symptoms. However, if they are particularly huge, they can partially obstruct your throat, impairing your ability to breathe.
Additional signs and symptoms of enlarged tonsils include the following:
- breathing difficulties through the nose
- obnoxious breathing
- snoring loudly
- sleepless nights
- persistently runny nose
- recurrent infections of the ears or sinuses
- the inability of young toddlers to eat
- smelly breath
Causes of enlarged tonsils in adults?
There is no one-size-fits-all explanation for tonsillar hypertrophy. However, some experts feel that second-hand tobacco smoke and air pollution may contribute to larger tonsils.
Viruses such as adenovirus, influenza virus, and herpes simplex virus are all possible causes of tonsillar hypertrophy. Tonsillitis may be caused by bacteria such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae, mycoplasma, or Haemophilus influenzae Type B.
Infections with fungi or parasites, are uncommon. They also result in enlarged tonsils in adults.
Tonsil Enlargement: Treatment and Surgery
Antibiotics are used to treat tonsillar and adenoidal bacterial infections. Once treatment begins, it is critical to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, as skipping doses might result in regrowth of the bacteria and risk of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Surgical removal if medical therapy is ineffective or in cases of recurrent tonsillitis.
Medical experts frequently manage viral tonsillitis or swollen adenoids with supportive treatment (hydration and fever control) and over-the-counter pain medications. Avoid giving aspirin to a kid or adolescent unless prescribed by a physician owing to the risk of developing Reye's syndrome. Antibiotics are ineffective against viral tonsillitis.
On the other hand, surgical procedures such as tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may be indicated for those who experience recurrent or persistent infections, particularly if they impair daily activities.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy may also be indicated in cases when tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy has resulted in significant sleep disturbances (snoring and breath-holding), sleep apnea, dental abnormalities, and difficulties swallowing. Either alone or in conjunction with tonsillar hypertrophy, Adenoid hypertrophy can result in nasal obstruction, recurrent ear infections, or sinusitis. If these issues persist despite medical treatment, surgery may be necessary to resolve them.
Enlarged Adenoids in Adults when to consult a Doctor?
Typically, the adenoids grow in response to the body's attempt to combat illness. They can continue to grow even after the infection has cleared. However, most adenoids regress and are almost absent in most adults.
Some children are born with larger adenoids. Allergies might also contribute to this expansion.
Although it is uncommon, people might develop larger adenoids due to a prolonged illness or allergy, pollution, or smoking. Even rarer are swollen adenoids caused by a malignant tumour.
Because people cannot see the adenoids when they look into their mouths, they cannot tell if they are swollen.
A physician can examine the enlarged adenoids in adults with the aid of a unique mirror or illuminated camera attached to the end of a flexible tube (nasoendoscope).
Consult your physician if you have any of the following:
- Sore throat for more than two days
- Fever greater than 38.5 degrees Celsius
- Discomfort or discomfort during swallowing
- Breathing difficulties
- Swollen or painful tonsils
Can we prevent Tonsillitis?
To decrease your risk of acquiring tonsillitis, you should take the following steps:
- Hands should be washed frequently, particularly before contacting your nose or mouth
- Avoid exchanging food, beverages, or utensils with a sick person
- Change your toothbrush consistently
Children and adults alike are at risk of developing tonsillitis, a common illness.
Mild tonsillitis may go away on its own within a few days without the need for medication. Various home cures and over-the-counter medications can be used to alleviate some of the discomforts.
Side effects from a simple case of tonsillitis are possible. New symptoms or worsening of existing symptoms should prompt a trip to the doctor.