Our body has a strong immune system that protects the body from infection and pathogens. The immune system has interconnected organs and tissues which co-ordinately work to protect the body against infection. One key part of the immune system is the lymphatic system and its associated organs like the tonsils. Tonsils get infected sometimes and can cause tonsillitis. Read the article below to understand more about tonsil infection and its treatment.
Role of tonsils in the body
The palatine tonsils or simply known as the tonsils are organs that are in oval shape and situated at the back of the throat. Our body has a strong immune system whose work is to protect the body against infection or pathogens. There are numerous organs that collectively work together to protect the body against invading infections and pathogens. The lymphatic system which comprises the organs and network of various tissues functions to transport lymph throughout the body that contains white blood cells which fight against infection.
Tonsils are a part of the Lymphatic system and thus have a great role in fighting infection and pathogens. These protect the body from the pathogens that get ingested or inhaled via mouth and nose.
Thus, these prevent harmful things from taking entry into the body. Once they catch any invading pathogen, they trigger the immune response and alert the immune system. Sometimes these tonsils in this process can get infected and this infection can cause symptoms like pain in the throat, sore throat, fever, etc. This condition is known as tonsilitis.
What is Tonsilitis?
Generally, the tonsils are covered with pink mucosa and have irregular surface. But when they get infected due to virus or bacterial infection, these become inflamed and swollen. This results in pain, difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, and fever. The tonsilitis is more common in children but sometimes adults do face these issues. Certain bacteria like streptococcus can cause severe infections leading to strep throat. In some cases, the debris gets caught in the tonsils groves causing the immune system to attack these debris. This in turn leads to the formation of rock-line stone structure known as tonsil stones.
Inflamed tonsils in severe infection can get infected with pus and thus can cause pain and fever. Moreover, tonsilitis can be recurrent and thus can disturb activities of eating and drinking. Hence treatment of tonsilitis is necessary to stop the infection growth.
Generally, in mild cases of tonsils, they can be treated with home care cure methods like gargling with warm water with salt in it, consuming painkillers and throat lozenges, by keeping oneself hydrated. There might be a need for antibiotics like Augmentin for treating strep infections. Tonsils stones can be removed by brushing or by a water pick procedure or by consulting a dentist. But when tonsil infections are recurrent and tonsil stone formation is causing irritation and pain, a surgical procedure that involves the removal of the tonsils known as tonsillectomy is performed.
Tonsillectomy or tonsil surgery is recommended if the tonsil infection is frequent and recurrent. Frequent tonsillitis is the condition when the tonsil infection reoccurs at least even times in one year or 5 times a year for two years or 3 times a year for consecutive three years.
The tonsil surgery is also necessary in the case where the size of the tonsils grows more and is causing problems with sleep and breathing. In a very rare case, tonsil surgery may be needed to remove the cancer tissues around the tonsils or to prevent bleeding from blood vessels near the tonsils.
During tonsil surgery, the surgeon administers anesthesia so that you don’t feel pain and discomfort during the procedure. Various methods are opted to remove the tonsils which can include electrocautery wherein the heat method is used to remove the tonsils, cold knife dissection makes use of a scalpel to remove the tonsils, or special surgical equipment known as a snare is used which is placed in the place of tonsils after removal of the tonsils to avoid bleeding. Apart from these, there are numerous modern techniques like ultrasonic vibration methods, radio frequency, and carbon-dioxide laser methods.
The tonsil surgery lasts for about 20 to 30 minutes. The patient is sent to the recovery room and when the vital signs of the patient are normal then the patient is free to go home. Generally, tonsil surgery is very safe and thus the complications of the surgery are minimal.
Thus, tonsil surgery can provide you relief from frequent infections, and pain, and can help in getting quality sleep. The decision to go for surgery is based on the patient’s condition and medical history.
The surgical procedure of removing tonsils from the body is known as tonsillectomy. This is done to provide relief from frequent tonsillitis infections, and breathing-related, and sleep-related problems. Tonsil surgery is generally a safe procedure, but there might be some problems like bad breath, throat pain, fatigue, fever, and difficulty in speaking. These problems may take time but if you are facing discomfort, and if these are associated with bleeding, then consult the doctor immediately.