At the back of the mouth are two oval-shaped masses of lymphoid tissue called the tonsils. They can be thought of as defensive gatekeepers, providing germ protection at the entrance of the respiratory passages. The idea is that by becoming infected, the tonsils are able to detect an infection and prevent it from reaching the lower respiratory structures and other major organs of the body.
Tonsillitis, in its most basic sense, is the infection of the tonsils that results in inflammation. It causes redness, swelling, and pain – leaving many people uncomfortable and unable to swallow. Tonsillitis is primarily a childhood illness which commonly afflicts children who are three to seven years old. But, even though most adults already have atrophied tonsils, adult tonsillitis can still occur, especially to those who have low resistance to infection. If there are no complications present, tonsillitis usually resolves in just four to ten days without treatment.
The majority of tonsillitis cases are caused by various respiratory viruses such as adenovirus, influenza, rhinovirus, and coronavirus. The Epstein-Barr virus, which is the organism that causes infectious mononucleosis in people, is also involved in some cases of adult tonsillitis. When it comes to bacterial infections, on the other hand, the group A beta-hemolytic Streptococcus is usually the one to blame. This is also the same bacteria that cause strep throat in adults.
Tonsillitis of viral variety is generally self-limiting, which means that it frequently resolves on its own even without any outside influence, such as drugs. If the pain is causing an individual not to eat, however, treating it with acetaminophen can usually get the job done. Also, keep in mind that adult tonsillitis of viral cause will not call for antibiotic therapy. If it’s bacterial in origin, however, antibiotic treatment is very effective in curing the infection in just seven to ten days, especially if accompanied with rest.
Recurrent adult tonsillitis is something that should not be taken lightly because you’ll never know when you are going to have the worst sore throat of your life. Severe tonsillitis can lead to kidney and heart diseases for all you know. In addition, removal of the tonsils (which can be very bloody) is usually steep at $2,500.
These and a lot more are just some of the reasons why adult tonsillitis is not something to kid about.