Chronic Tonsillitis- Tonsils Infection

Updated on 15 May 2009,
Published on 25 Jun 2008

Chronic tonsillitis is a persistent infection of the tonsils which is usually caused by bacterial infection. Recurrent tonsillar infections sometimes lead to enlargement of the tonsils which is often chronic. It can cause tiny stone formation or even cause small pockets formation which shelters bacteria.

The tiny stone formation which is also referred to as tonsilloliths, is foul smelling and may contain large amount of sulfa, which when mashed smells like rotten egg and causes bad breath. It sometimes makes the patient feel as if there is something being caught in the throat.

Despite the treatment of acute tonsillitis, it may cause chronic inflammation of the tonsils, as a result of the repeated infections, which have formed a crypt of the infected tissue on the surface of the tonsils providing a niche to the bacteria to multiply and remain out of the reach of the antibiotics.

In some cases, this type of tonsil infections remains persistent, despite all types of antibiotic treatment. If not treated, it may last for longer periods. As a result of the infection, the tonsil may become so large that it might block and cause obstruction in the breathing process. Additional difficulties may occur, if the adenoids are also involved, which in turn may cause secondary infections, involving the middle ear.

Chronic and recurrent inflammation of the tonsils may sometimes be the cause of disability. Here are some problems which could possibly be caused by the inflammation:

1) Problem in swallowing due to the enlargement of the tonsils.

2) Constant feeling of fullness or pain in the throat. It may also result to the enlargement of lymph nodes.

3) It can also obstruct the upper airway which can cause difficulty in respiration and may lead to sleep apnea syndrome which can even cause heart failure. Sometimes there may be change in the voice.

4) It may also accompany multiple acute infections along with pain and fever.

Patients suffering from chronic tonsillitis may experience chronic sore throat, halitosis, tonsillitis and persistent tender cervical nodes. Chronic inflammation may sometimes lead peritonsillar abscess, a very severe condition in which pus are collected and death tissue forms a swelling in the throat and tonsillar tissues, which may cause acute blocking of the airway and may require immediate surgical treatment.

Suggested Reading:

how contagious is tonsillitis
how long is tonsillitis contagious
tonsillitis treatment
benefits of tonsillectomy for tonsillitis

8 Response(s)
Thanks! Very informative article!!
I never knew abt chronic tonsils though I did hear abt recurrent tonsils. Thanks for the info.
How long does chronic tonsillitis lasts? And how do I differentiate it from acute? My child has been suffering from recurrent tonsil but I doubt if it is chronic or acute as it doesn’t seem to be that severe.
I was diagnosed with chronic tonsillitis and had to undergo tonsillectomy a couple of years ago.
Is tonsillitis communicable like flu and common cold?
ihave the same problem
is it necessary to remove tonsils if it is frequently infected?I have a throat infection but i want to know how this infection occurs ? without surgery can we minimise this infections by any other treatment?
hi Riajul, see, it all depends on the severity of your condition. frequent attacks of any problem may result in poor immunity, which you know, is never invited. surgery becomes essential when your condition worsens. This your physician would diagnose, how severe is your present condition. If its under control, then you are lucky. You can get relief through some home remedies like 1. gargle with alum (phitkari) in warm water. Just dip it in hot water for a few SECONDS, not minutes, and then take it out and gargle with that water. 150 gm of water is enough for this purpose. Make sure, the alum water doesn't enter into your throat, as it makes it too dry inside. Just spit out the water everytime you gargle. This is an excellent remedy for sore throat and other throat infections, without any side effect. Alum is an excellent antibacterial. It heals very quickly. 2. Secondly, go for natural foods as much as you can. Like go for herbal teas like Holy Basil (tulsi) tea, ginger tea and also try to add cinnamon, liquorice (mulethi) in your tea with a pinch of salt. This works wonders, if taken in routine. Yes, ginger tea should be taken in routine, only in cold climate, not in summers as ginger is too hot in nature. Hope this helps. Regards, HealthCareVeda Team.
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