Inflammation of the tonsils is a group of diseases characterized by infection of the elements of the pharyngeal lymphatic ring. The chronic form of this inflammation is observed in 15% of people in the world.
Pharyngeal lymphatic ring: structure, function
The pharynx connecting the oral cavity, nasal passages, ears, larynx and esophagus, is equipped with six tonsils. Two palatine tonsils, most often subjected to attacks of microbes, are located on both sides of the throat. Slightly deeper, the pharyngeal orifice area is “guarded” by a pair of tubal tonsils. They owe their name to the neighborhood of the Eustachian tubes connecting the pharynx to the ears. In the upper part of the pharynx, at the junction of the nasal cavity with the throat, there is a single pharyngeal tonsil. The tongue amygdala, which is “hidden” under the root of the tongue, closes the lymphatic ring.
All tonsils consist of lymphatic tissue in which lymphocytes and antibodies are formed. The pharyngeal lymphatic ring performs the function of circular defense against infectious agents that enter the pharynx with air. Immunity durability also depends on the condition of the tonsils, their inflammation usually indicates a decrease in protective forces.
A healthy person, more precisely, his glands are quite capable of coping with an attacking infection. However, with a “massive” attack against the background of a weakened immunity, inflammation of certain tonsils occurs.
What causes inflammation of the tonsils?
Inflammation of the glands is an infectious process. Microbes can get on the lymph formation in the pharynx in various ways. Causes of tonsil inflammation:
Hit of pathogenic cocci (staphylococci, pneumococci, more often streptococci) with air. The disease usually occurs after hypothermia. Often, tonsil inflammation occurs in children due to weak immunity and non-observance of behavioral norms in winter (long walks, drinking cold drinks in winter, etc.). Contact with a sore throat. The infection is transmitted with air when sneezing, coughing the patient. Infection is possible through the dishes and personal hygiene items (towels, toothbrush) used by the sick person. Chronic foci of infection of the mouth and nose. Carious teeth, inflamed gums, runny nose can cause inflammation of the glands. With a stuffy nose, a person has to breathe through his mouth, microbes with cold air (cooling effect) fall on warm and moist glands and begin to multiply rapidly. Chronic tonsillitis. Chronically inflamed tonsils are a hotbed of infection. Even with minimal hypothermia, the disease is activated.
By etiology distinguish:
- bacterial damage of lymphatic tissue;
- fungal infection (with a weakened immune system, fungi that live in the latent state in the oral cavity are activated);
- viral infection – monocytic angina;
- herpetic (the causative agent is the herpes virus).
Clinical picture of inflammation
Symptoms of inflammation of the tonsils vary depending on the location and severity of the lesion, the state of immunity and the type of infectious agent.
The main symptoms of inflammation of the glands:
- soreness, hyperemia (redness) of the throat;
- the increase and pain of the submandibular lymph nodes;
- temperature rise;
- signs of intoxication: general malaise, headaches, body aches.
Inflammation of the tonsils Palatine tonsils are most susceptible to infection, as they are the first to be found with attacking microbes. Otherwise, the inflammation is called angina or acute tonsillitis. It develops within a few hours after infection, begins with a sore throat and rapidly developing symptoms.
Catarrhal sore throat
Catarrhal tonsillitis is characterized by subfebrile conditions (temperature up to 38 ° C), redness and swelling of the throat, moderate soreness. The most mild form of acute tonsillitis.
Follicular sore throat
Symptoms of inflammation of the glands are more pronounced. Small purulent foci of white-yellowish color appear on the background of hyperemic tonsils.
A vivid picture of the disease with the filling of the lacunae purulent contents. Severe intoxication of the body (weakness, headaches, chills). The temperature rises to 40 ° C.
More often, an abscess is formed on one gland. The most severe course of acute tonsillitis.
Inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsil
Inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsil, commonly called adenoids, can occur as an independent disease or in combination with angina. Adenoiditis can be a complication of chronic sinusitis, in which the growth of adenoids occurs (hypertrophy).
Against the background of shortness of breath and an increase in temperature, mucopurulent discharge runs down the back of the pharynx. It is for this reason that the patient may be tormented by a night cough. Often, the Eustachian tubes are involved in the pathological process. In this case, one or two-sided irradiation of pain in the ears, hearing loss can be observed.
Chronic adenoiditis, however, like tonsillitis is characterized by severe weakness, headaches, and a slight increase in temperature.
The defeat of the lingual tonsil
Lingual tonsil – a rare place of localization of the inflammatory process. The infection is localized on the back of the back of the tongue. The clinical picture of inflammation of the lingual tonsil has its own characteristics:
- the patient hardly moves the tongue;
- difficulty swallowing and chewing;
- inability to pronounce sounds distinctly.
Inflammation pipe tonsils
often confused with ear disease, as they are almost always accompanied by ear pain. Differences between tubal tonsil inflammation and otitis:
- parotid lymph nodes are not always enlarged, submandibular lymph nodes take over most of the infection;
- pain arises in the throat and only then spreads to one or both ears;
- on the back wall of the throat, you can see the flowing mucus or pus;
- obvious signs of intoxication.
Inflammation of the tonsils in a child often appears brighter than in adults. Immature immune system is not able to cope with the massive reproduction of microbes. Often, children may experience convulsions due to high fever. A strong cough caused by the discharge of pus in the throat, sometimes provokes a gag reflex.
How to determine the type of inflammation of the glands?
In the diagnosis of tonsil inflammation, it is not so much the place of localization of the pathological process that is important as the determination of the type of pathogen.
To determine the beta-hemolytic streptococcus – the most frequent provocateur angina – conduct special tests. Few clinics have equipment for rapid testing, usually smears are taken to confirm bacterial etiology. However, doctors usually do not wait for the response of the analysis (prepared within a few days), but based on the clinical picture, antibacterial treatment is prescribed.
Monocytic (viral) angina
Signs of inflammation in the throat are accompanied by an enlarged spleen, liver, and lymph node clusters that are distant from the throat. When viral sore throat observed specific changes in the blood.
May be the result of long-term antibiotics. A characteristic sign of fungal inflammation of the glands: a cheesy coating on them. In this case, the appointment of antibiotics is absolutely not appropriate and can aggravate the overall picture. Antifungal drugs are prescribed.
The herpes virus is activated when immunity is weakened and can cause sore throat. Herpes on the tonsils may be due to herpes on the lips. More often, this type of tonsilitis is seen in children. On the surface of the glands and the back of the throat appear bubbles with transparent contents. There is the likelihood of attaching a bacterial infection and suppuration of the glands. Treated with antiviral drugs.
Principles of treatment
In any type of inflammatory process, the following general rules must be observed:
- isolation of the patient (allocation of limited space, personal ware, towels);
- bed rest for a speedy recovery and to avoid complications;
- plentiful drink (decoctions of chamomile, rosehip, sage, tea with lemon);
- obligatory rinsing with aqueous solutions of antiseptics (Iodinol, Lugol, Rivanol, Furacillin, etc.);
- inhalations (Ingalipt, Kameton, etc.).
Important! For effective rinsing are carried out hourly. Perfectly eliminates the symptoms of inflammation of the gland gargling with warm soda solution (1 tsp. For 1 tbsp. Of water) every 30 minutes. within 2-3 days.
Treatment aimed at eliminating the pathogen
Compliance with the general rules can only accelerate recovery. However, for a complete cure, drugs aimed at the pathogen are necessary. Depending on the established etiology of inflammation of the glands, the following specific treatment is prescribed:
- antibacterial agents in pills, injections;
- antiviral drugs for viral etiology of the disease;
- antifungal treatment for fungal infection;
- antiherpetic drugs in inflammatory processes caused by the herpes virus.
Important! The appointment of antibiotics is advisable only for bacterial lesions of the glands. In other cases, such an appointment may be ineffective, and sometimes unduly aggravate the inflammatory process. Relying solely on traditional methods in the treatment of inflammation of the glands can lead to the spread of the disease to other organs. Grandmothers recipes benefit with simultaneous treatment prescribed by the attending physician.
The effectiveness of treatment is usually noticeable for 2-3 days. If there is no significant improvement, you should re-diagnose and prescribe another treatment for inflammation of the tonsils. Usually the duration of treatment is 7-10 days. However, the occurrence of complications in the form of an abscess may delay the healing process and will require the appointment of stronger drugs or surgery.
Due to its prevalence, the inflammation of the glands may be underestimated and deprived of attention. The effectiveness of treatment and the successful outcome without complications depends on the timeliness of diagnosis and the appointment of appropriate treatment. At the first signs of inflammation of the tonsils, you should consult a doctor. Significantly reduce the risk of disease can be full nutrition, adequate intake of vitamins, strengthening the immune system through hardening, regular walks and physical activity.