Tonsillitis actually refers to the swelling of the tonsils because of viral or bacterial infection. An examination of the tonsils by simply asking the patient to open his mouth will reveal that the tissues are inflamed, reddish and surrounded partly or totally by yellow, gray or whitish substance.  Tonsillitis commence with sore throat and difficulty in swallowing.


There is tonsillitis that is recurrent and may block air passage for breathing. When this happens, a surgery called tonsillectomy might be recommended by your doctor. People who suffer from recurring tonsillitis will surely have fears when they hear that their tonsils will be removed to avoid further complications of tonsillitis. This article will help you understand the mechanics of your tonsils and if it will be best to remove it or if will it be risky to do so.

Your tonsils

How your tonsils look when you have tonsillitis.

When you look inside a person’s mouth, the tonsils are situated on the left and right sides of the back throat. They are fleshy clumps of lymphoepithelial tissues located above and at the back of the tongue.

What do the tonsils exactly do? They are immuno-competent tissues which blocks the entrance of germs that may cause infection in the throat, mouth or sinuses. In short, they are the body’s first defense to infection and it has antibodies that inhibit the germs from spreading throughout the body.

Is it advisable then to have tonsillectomy? Yes. Even if the tonsils work as an immune defense, there are other organs in the body that will give antibodies to counter infection. Therefore, if you have tonsillitis often, it is better to undergo the surgery than suffer more infections and other complications.

Signs and symptoms

Adults and children have the same symptoms although they vary in the degree of infection. Some may have mild or severe sore throat infection that can result to symptoms that are bothersome.

Here are some symptoms to watch for when you have tonsillitis:

  • Severe pain in the throat
  • High grade fever
  • Reddening of the tonsils
  • Chilling
  • Yellow or white coating on the tonsils resembling pus
  • Hoarse voice
  • Swelling of the glands in the throat and neck
  • Bad breath or halitosis

Tonsillitis can be treated depending on the cause, if its viral or bacterial in nature. Bacterial infection can be remedied by antibiotics, pain reliever and acetaminophen for fever.

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