Tonsillitis: symptoms, treatment
- Types of tonsillitis
- Symptoms of tonsillitis
- Diagnosis of tonsillitis
- Common complications of tonsillitis
- How is acute tonsillitis treated?
- Prevention of tonsillitis
Tonsillitis is popularly called angina. At the heart of the disease is an infectious-inflammatory process that affects mainly the palatine tonsils. As the disease progresses, the focus of inflammation may spread further, affecting the surrounding soft tissue.
The basis of tonsillitis is a bacterial infection. Inflammation of the tonsils is caused by streptococci, fungi, staphylococci. There are several types of angina. It should be borne in mind that tonsillitis is dangerous to others, because a sick person is able to excrete infectious pathogens along with saliva and mucous secretions from the nose.
Tonsillitis is chronic and acute. The disease leads to a weakening of the immune system, may be complicated by abscesses, lymphadenitis, otitis media, sinusitis, lead to the development of rheumatism, as well as heart disease. Tonsillitis often contributes to the spread of infection to the urinary organs. The most dangerous chronic recurrent tonsillitis , which often gives terrible complications.
Types of tonsillitis
- primary tonsillitis: acute lesion of the tonsils on the background of general hypothermia of the body, reduced immunity, due to thermal effects on the throat tissue;
- secondary tonsillitis: develops as a result of other diseases ( diphtheria , leukemia, scarlet fever ), as a complication or concomitant symptom of an infectious disease;
- specific tonsillitis (caused exclusively by infectious agents).
Depending on the degree of affection of the throat and the complexity of the course of the disease, there are several types of tonsillitis:
The most common catarrhal sore throat, which is detected mainly in childhood. Symptoms of the disease last for a week.
The main signs of catarrhal angina:
- burning sensation, feeling of tightness, dry throat;
- pain while chewing, swallowing food;
- a slight increase in body temperature;
- hyperemia of tonsils;
- white bloom on the tongue;
- enlarged submandibular lymph nodes.
With weak immunity and ineffective treatment of catarrhal angina can turn into follicular. Also, the disease can develop independently. Follicular tonsillitis occurs with fever, severe hyperthermia, weakness, migraine headaches, severe chills. Regional lymph nodes are enlarged, palpation is accompanied by soreness. The pain when swallowing is strong, can give to the neck, ears. In childhood, the follicular tonsillitis often occurs with vomiting, marked weakness, pain in the head, diarrhea. The tonsils, soft palate are enlarged, bright red, and on their surface are visible lesions covered with a white and yellow patina.
Symptoms of lacunar tonsillitis are similar to manifestations of tonsillitis of the follicular form, but the patient's state of health is much worse. In the case of the fibrinous form of the disease, the hyperemic tonsils are covered with a solid coating. Signs of intoxication of the organism are expressed, the risk of damage to the kidneys and brain is high. The temperature is high, headaches occur, body aches are present.
Phlegmonous sore throat is characterized by the formation of an abscess. The patient's condition is severe. The inflammatory focus is localized mainly on one side. The affected amygdala is enlarged, has a bright red tint, sharply painful on palpation. Because of the dislocation of the uvula and the tonsil itself, the person keeps his head bowed all the time, there is a spasm of the chewing muscles. The soft palate is swollen, hardly shifted to the side, body temperature reaches 39-40 ° C, signs of general intoxication of the body are expressed.
The herpetic form of tonsillitis develops as a result of the ingestion of Coxsacki A virus. It begins acutely and manifests:
- severe pain in the muscles, throat, stomach;
- vomiting, diarrhea;
- swelling of the tonsils, soft tissues of the oral cavity;
- vesicles located on the back of the pharynx, tonsils and palatine uvula.
Necrosis of the tonsil appears due to the development of ulcerous-membranous angina (Simanovsky-Plaut-Vincent), which is based on the active reproduction of certain infectious pathogens (spirochete, spindle-shaped stick). The disease is often found in people with severe caries, weak immune protection, and chronic intoxication. Ulcerative-membranous tonsillitis can progress within 3-6 weeks. At the same time, there are pains in the head, drooling, a feeling of a lump during swallowing, an increase in the tonsil on the affected side, and bad breath. The temperature is usually not elevated. After rejection of the necrotic area, the ulcer remains on the tonsil, but after a while the tissues epithelize.
Symptoms of tonsillitis
- signs of intoxication: pain in muscles, joints, head;
- pain when swallowing;
- swelling of the tonsils, soft palate, uvula;
- the presence of plaque, sometimes there are ulcers;
- diarrhea, vomiting (most often these symptoms of angina are found in young children).
The incubation period for tonsillitis can last from 6-12 hours to 2-4 days. The deeper the affected tissues, the more difficult the disease progresses, the longer the infectious-inflammatory process progresses and the higher the risk of developing complications. In children, the catarrhal form of the sore throat is the most common, which, without effective therapeutic measures, can turn into a follicular stage or chronic tonsillitis. It is very important to conduct a timely examination to identify the causative agent and select the appropriate treatment regimen.
Diagnosis of tonsillitis
The main methods of examination for angina:
- pharyngoscopy (revealed hyperemia, edema and enlarged tonsils, purulent films, festering follicles);
- laboratory diagnosis of blood (there is an increase in ESR, leukocytosis with a shift to the left);
- PCR research (the method allows to determine with high accuracy the varieties of pathogenic microorganisms that caused the development of infection and inflammation in the oropharynx);
- sowing fragments of mucus and plaque on nutrient media, which makes it possible to determine the type of microorganisms and establish the degree of their sensitivity to specific antibiotics.
Changes in blood tests for angina do not confirm the diagnosis. The main study in tonsillitis is pharyngoscopy. Catarrhal sore throat is determined by hyperemia and swelling of the tonsils. On pharyngoscopy with follicular sore throat, there is a noticeable diffuse inflammatory process, there are signs of infiltration, puffiness, suppuration of the follicles of the tonsils or already revealed erosions.
With lacunar sore throat, pharyngoscopic examination shows areas with a white-yellow patina that merge into films covering all the tonsils. During the diagnosis of Simanovsky-Plaut-Vincent tonsillitis, the doctor discovers a grayish-white patina on the tonsils, under which the ulceration is located, resembling a crater. Viral sore throats during pharyngoscopy are diagnosed by characteristic hyperemic vesicles on the tonsils, the posterior pharyngeal wall, the arms and the tongue, which in 2-3 days from the onset of the disease burst and heal quickly without scarring.
Common complications of tonsillitis
Early complications of tonsillitis:
- throat abscess;
- laryngitis ;
- neck phlegmon;
- lymphadenitis ;
Late complications of angina are glomerulonephritis and rheumatic joint damage. When the first symptoms of tonsillitis appear, it is necessary to begin treatment. Timely medical procedures will improve the patient's well-being, reduce the duration of the disease and minimize the risk of complications.
How is acute tonsillitis treated?
When angina shows bed rest. Prohibited walks, overwork, eating, which irritates the throat (sauces, smoked meats, seasonings, hot and cold dishes). Try to drink as much as possible, and food should be high-calorie, restoring force, but as gentle as possible. Recommended are pureed porridges, soups, steamed meat, vegetable, fruit puree.
The treatment of acute tonsillitis is exclusively therapeutic. Drugs are selected individually, depending on the results of diagnosis, the type of infectious pathogen and the severity of the disease. If the remedy is prescribed incorrectly or in the wrong dosage, the effectiveness of the treatment of tonsillitis is questioned. Therefore, it is not recommended to experiment with your own body. Angina is a predominantly infectious nature of the disease, so treatment is within the competence of trained, experienced professionals.
In any form of angina, local antiseptics, anti-inflammatory and painkillers are prescribed. They are used to irrigate the inflamed oral mucosa, which allows reducing the number of microbial colonies in the tonsils and adjacent tissues. To soften the throat, special tablets and lozenges are prescribed for sucking.
Bacterial tonsillitis is treated with antibiotics. Tonsillitis is very dangerous, which is manifested by severe swelling and difficulty breathing. In such a case, urgent medical procedures may be required. Methods of traditional medicine for tonsillitis can be considered solely as an auxiliary method of treatment. Often with angina, antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial agents are necessary. Broths and infusions of herbs can soften, help clean the throat, but they do not have the necessary healing properties.
Treatment of chronic tonsillitis
Chronic tonsillitis is formed as a result of frequent exacerbations of angina or existing infectious and inflammatory diseases, accompanied by inflammation of the throat (measles, scarlet fever), nasal mucosa (rhinitis, sinusitis ), gums and teeth ( caries , pulpitis ). Most often in patients with recurrent tonsillitis streptococcal and staphylococcal infections are found.
In chronic tonsillitis, purulent congestion in the lacunae, scar tissue changes, lymphadenitis, and other complications are identified, which require well-chosen treatment, and sometimes surgery. A radical method of dealing with chronic tonsillitis is the removal of the tonsils (partial or complete excision). The operation is indicated with the ineffectiveness of conservative therapy, replacement of lymphoid cells with connective tissue. When a paratonsillar abscess is detected, it is urgently opened.
Antibiotics are prescribed by a doctor. Local antiseptics in the form of an aerosol, spray, lozenges help to eliminate pain when swallowing and locally reduce inflammation. In chronic tonsillitis, the use of immunostimulating agents is shown, which stimulate the immune system and reduce the frequency of recurrence of angina.
Laser lacunotomy is a highly effective surgical treatment of tonsillitis, an operation that involves “evaporating” the pathologically changed areas with a laser beam. This allows to reduce the frequency of exacerbations of angina, reduce palatine tonsils, eliminate bad breath. The remaining lymphoid tissue continues to perform its basic protective functions.
Prevention of tonsillitis
To determine the list of preventive measures, it is necessary to understand that tonsillitis is an infectious disease that most often develops as a result of a decrease in the body’s defenses, in the presence of chronic infection foci (caries, sinusitis, otitis). If you are predisposed to the occurrence of angina, then hypothermia, cold or too hot drinks, flu, and ARVI can provoke an aggravation of the inflammatory process of the tonsils.
For the prevention of tonsillitis it is recommended to strengthen the immune system, take vitamins in courses, treat caries, otitis media, sinusitis, sinusitis and flu in a timely manner. It is useful to use natural honey (if there is no allergy), as it is a natural biostimulant and helps strengthen the immune system.