Symptoms of Tonsillitis in Adults

Updated on 10 Jun 2009,
Published on 03 Jun 2009

Tonsils are a part of the immune system and they are believed to help the antibodies to resist and fight future infections. They are located at the back of the throat and act as filter to all the germs, virus, bacteria and other organisms which enter our body. They might get inflamed and injured but they guard the body effectively. However, when this inflammation persists, it leads to tonsillitis. This condition most commonly occurs in children and to a fair amount of adults as well.

Researchers believe that the tonsils perform their functions in the first few years of life, but as the child gets older, their importance is decreased. In adults, tonsils do not seem to have much importance and are simply a fleshy part which makes no difference even if it is removed through surgery called tonsillectomy. According to a study, those children who have had their tonsils removed suffered no loss in their future immunity to the disease.

Tonsillitis in adults could be a sign of weak immune system, improper diet etc. Since improper diet can weaken the immune system an individual is most likely to suffer from frequent attacks of inflamed tonsils. As a result of which the resistance against viral, bacterial and toxic assault of the individual can be decreased. Thus, for children and adults, removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids may be recommended.

Two primary reasons for tonsil and/or adenoid removal are:

(1) Recurrent infection despite antibiotic therapy and

(2) Difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.

(3) Possibility of cancer and tumor formation in adults.

Obstruction to breathing may cause snoring and disturbed sleep patterns in adults could lead to daytime sleepiness and behavioral problems in children. Also chronic mouth breathing due to large tonsils and adenoids can cause malformations of the face and improper alignment of the teeth.

Chronic infection in the tonsils and adenoids can also affect nearby structures such as the Eustachian tube which can lead to frequent or chronic ear infections with earaches and result in hearing loss. Infectious mononucleosis can also cause severe enlargement of the tonsils which may obstruct the airway.

Thus researchers have found that adults who have tonsillectomies to treat their chronic, recurring tonsillitis take fewer sick days and less medication than those who opt to leave their tonsils in and repeatedly treat the condition with antibiotics. However, surgical removal of tonsils is definitely not the right course of treatment for everyone and thus, doctors must be consulted to determine the best course of medication for the condition.

Suggested Reading:
baby with viral tonsillitis
benefits of tonsillectomy for tonsillitis
bad breath after tonsillectomy

prevention of tonsil stones - tonsiloliths

3 Response(s)
quinton
i have been suffering from tonsils since 2005 and my Doctor advised me to go for tonsils removal operation in 2009. Since then i had rare cases of tonsils but in beginning of 2011 it got severe. how can i treat it
philip agius
Dr I went to a doctor and told me that i have a small lamp.. like of a yellow pimple after the tonsils... the Dr told me.. this will grow and is like tonsilitis to be taken off.. why the Dr did not give me any antibiotecs.. perhaps it will go with drugs.. the Dr told that this is cause of food remains in the mouth and stop the tubes in the mouth,, can this be cured? Is this cancer?
cindy dickerson
If you have tonsilitis,can another person get it from you?
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