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Tonsillitis and Sore Throat

Rain comes with heavy showers. School children gt drenched in rain water during return from schools. They like the continuous down pour. They share their joy with friends by playing in rain water.

Next day, there is sneezing, running nose, sore throat and pain in tonsil. At the back of the mouth on each side there are two small lymphoid organs known as tonsils. Normally, there are about the size of Lima bean, but they can become very much larger if severely infected. Mostly this is a disease of childhood. Young adult also get the attack of tonsillitis.


Usually the attacks comes on suddenly with chills, fever, headache and pain in various parts of the body. This is followed by a sore throat and difficulty in swallowing.

The tonsils appear large, red and often spotted with yellowish white pus which may be seen oozing from the crypts or cavities on the surface of the tonsil. Most cases of acute tonsillitis clear up readily under right treatment. However, the inflammation may spread to the middle ear causing deafness, mastoiditis and enlarged painful lymphnodes  in the neck. Even more serious due to presence of certain streptococci germs within the throat may result in rheumatic fever, rheumatic heart disease and glomerulophitis(Kidney disease). So tonsillitis may be treated seriously and effectively.

Causes of Infection:

There are microorganism which causes tonsillitis. They are of very tiny sizes of less than 1 micron(1000 or 1 millimeter). To name them a few are

  1. Staphylococcus(dot shaped microbes arranged in clusters like grapes)
  2. Streptococcus(dot shaped microbes arranged in short or long chains)
  3. Pneumococcus(microbes arranged in pairs).

They enter through nose, mouth and throat from the environment(airborne)or get infected from a healthy carrier. The carrier means a person who harbours pathogenic germs in their throat but do not suffer and make others infected through sneezing, coughing,using common handkerchief and sharing towels and garments. So infection, travels in gathering commonly in schools, boarding, hostels, playmates in field and other crowded places like mela, yatra and utsavs. Usually the children get attack of tonsillitis during rainy season  and in early winter. Besides this, taking ice-cream, chocolates, sweat meats and cold drinks favour harbouring the pathogenic organisms and children get infection.

Sudden change in environment, crowding, poor nutrition and unhygenic living places helps the children to get infection with tonsillitis.


The diagnosis depends on

  • Physical examination of child. On opening the mouth doctor finds two big tonsils on either side or throat.
  • One can collect a smear from the tonsil and do a gramstain to know the type of microorganisms responsible for tonsillitis. It may be strepto, staphyllo or any other cocci or bacilli(rod shaped microbes).
  • A throat swab from tonsil may be taken for culture and sensitivity test and thereby the type of microse and sensitivity of it to any drugs(antibiotic) may be ascertained to give the treatment.


In acute stage

  • An antibiotic (according to culture & sensitivity) like penicillin, tetracycline, erythromycin and like others may be given in form of tablets or injections depending on severity of the infections.
  • Hot compress over tonsil area on neck may be very much helpful in relieving sore throat
  • Warm saline gargling 3 or 4 times daily will help to clean mouth and make the patient more comfortable
  • Give sufficient fluid, fruit juice, lemon water at regular intervals
  • An analgesic like aspirin or paracetamol may be added to relieve pain in throat
  • Inspite of all these treatments if tonsil enlargement persists and becomes chronic, surgery is always the method of the choice.


  • School children in schools and hostels may be periodically checked for healthy carriers of pathogens in throat.
  • Prevent overcrowding, dusty gatherings and unhygienic living place
  • Avoid cold drink, ice-cream, chocolate to a substantial extent.
  • Repeated drenching in rain water should be avoided specially in case of children and young adults.

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