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WHAT EXACTLY IS
TONSILLITIS?

Tonsillitis, or inflammation of tonsils, is a viral or bacterial infection, which leads to inflammation of tonsils and throat. The tonsils affected by tonsillitis lose their ability to fight of infection and they can even become a risk and source of infection themselves. There are many potential viral and bacterial causes, but the most common source of tonsillitis is the dangerous bacterium called streptococcus pyogenes. 

Symptoms and types of tonsillitis

SYMPTOMS OF TONSILLITIS:

The incubation period of tonsillitis from the moment, when we are exposed to the infection, to the onset of the illness is 2-4 days. It may be even faster in some cases.  

Symptoms of tonsillitis are FEVER, fatigue, headache, muscle pain and especially a sore throat, SWELLING OF THE TONSILS  and the related DIFFICULTY OF SWALLOWING, or even inability to swallow solid food, hoarse voice, cough, or sometimes also earache. Some other symptoms may include sickness and vomiting, nasal stuffiness, enlarged and painful lymphatic glands and swollen glands in the front part of the neck. The throat and tonsils are usually reddish, or even white spots of pus may appear on the tonsils – seen as white film or white spots. A fever sometimes does not occur at all, or it appears earlier than the throat ache and difficulties with swallowing. 

Tonsillitis, especially if it is not treated, can bring complications. A large suppurative tonsillitis may even lead to the risk of suffocation connected with the penetration of the suppurative inflammation deeper into the throat tissues under the tonsils, where the so-called abscess is formed (suppurative deposit). An abscess is a cavity filled with pus and this complication is accompanied by strong pain and swelling of usually one side of the throat and the area under the jaw. From here it can spread virtually anywhere. In case of this complication, it is necessary to surgically open this deposit of pus and to clean it. Another complication, even if a rare one, of strep throat may be a sudden inflammation of kidneys. This occurs 7 – 14 days after the throat symptoms of the disease disappear.

Exceptionally, rheumatic fever can appear (an autoimmune disease) – which is an illness affecting the heart and joints. If the patient wants to minimise the risk of the consequences of strep throat, or to increase the chance of timely diagnosis, he/she can ask the doctor to check their urine and blood after having tonsillitis. 

CONTAGIOUSNESS

Tonsillitis spreads from infected people by coughing and breathing out small infected drops, which can infect you, if you breathe them in. It is also possible to get infected when in contact with pathogens (particles causing the disease), which stay on objects that later come into contact with our bodies. (Mouth, nose, eyes or other mucous membranes). Symptoms should appear in 2-5 hours since the contact with the infection. 

If the infected person begins treatment with antibiotics, he/she should stop being contagious in 24-48 hours. However, if no treatment is started, people can be contagious for two weeks.

PREVENTION

The best prevention of tonsillitis is healthy nutrition, physical activity, minimisation of stress and last but not least, high personal hygiene. Especially oral hygiene, such as regular cleaning of teeth, and also the use of interdental toothbrushes and IMMEDIATE disinfection of the tonsils and throat during any, even a slight throat ache or feeling of “scratching in the throat”, preferably by means of the natural but highly efficient Streptokill. Regular washing of hands also prevents transfer of bacteria or virus into the surrounding environment. 

It is also reasonable to limit any contact with infected persons, who have not started their treatment yet. 

 

TYPES OF TONSILLITIS:

The word tonsillitis means an astringent pain (from the Latin angere – astringe). Classic tonsillitis is a very frequent infectious disease in both children and adults, which is sometimes mistaken for influenza. Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus like flu, but it always leads to a suppurative infection of the tonsils. If the patient does not have tonsils, we talk about laryngitis – an inflammation of the throat. 

Regarding the cause of tonsillitis, we can divide it into tonsillitis of a BACTERIAL ORIGIN (most often caused by streptococci) or a VIRAL ORIGIN (caused by for example viruses such as epstein-barr, influenza virus, herpes simplex and others) or exceptionally of MYCOTIC ORIGIN, i.e. caused by mycosis – organisms, which are similar to plants and bacteria, but they are in fact moulds or fungal infections.  

The most frequent cause of the classic strep throat is the bacteria streptococcus pyogenes, which release a toxin responsible for the mentioned symptoms into your blood. Especially in children, these symptoms include scarlet rash, the so-called scarlet fever. In this case we talk about STREP THROAT.  

Regarding symptoms and frequency, we can also classify tonsils into three types – acute tonsillitis, recurring tonsillitis or chronic tonsillitis. 

- ACUTE TONSILLITIS: has a quick onset with easily recognisable symptoms, such as fever, strong throat ache, problems with swallowing, headache, fatigue and it is often caused by streptococcus bacteria.

- RECURRING ACUTE TONSILLITIS: is a recurring tonsillitis, which comes back several times in one year. First, tonsillitis responds well to antibiotic treatment, but then it begins to come back regularly. 

- CHRONIC TONSILLITIS: it has fluctuating symptoms, which last for a longer period of time, infection does not leave after treatment and people feel fatigued and ill for the entire time. 

Chronic tonsillitis is very common in children and young people up to 15 years of age. As we get older, the tonsils shrink and become less important as adult body develops other ways of fighting infection. That is why tonsils become less vulnerable. The other reason is that adult people are usually less exposed to pathogens (particles causing illnesses). 

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