The tonsils

The tonsils … The First Line in the Immune System

Acute tonsillitis

It is an inflammation that affects the tonsils at the end of the throat and the injury includes swelling, sore throat, difficulty swallowing, in addition to pain in the lymph nodes, and the inflammation may respond to proper treatment after identifying the cause of the inflammation, and the doctor may have to remove it because of serious complications resulting from chronic inflammation.

Disease Symptoms

Acute tonsillitis includes a number of symptoms, which appear in the following:

  1. Redness and swelling of the tonsils.
  2. Sore throat.
  3. Difficulty swallowing and pain while swallowing.
  4. Stomach pain in children.
  5. Stiffness in the neck.
  6. The presence of white or yellow spots on the tonsils.
  7. Bad breath smell.

Disease Causes

The tonsils represent the first line of defense in the immune system against any bacteria or virus that enters the mouth, and therefore they are more susceptible to inflammation and infection, It is known that the function of the immune system of the tonsils decreases at puberty, and this is what must be taken into account when there is infection among adults.

Disease Complications

  • Recurrent or chronic inflammation may cause shortness or difficulty breathing during sleep
  • Spread of infection in tissues such as “cellulitis of the tonsils”.
  • Pus builds up behind the tonsils.
  • Streptococcal infection that may result in rheumatic fever or nephritis (kidney inflammation).

Factors to reduce the risk of disease

  • Wash hands before eating
  • Avoid sharing food and utensils with others.
  • Replace the toothbrush after any injury.
  • Avoid infection from an infected person.
  • Cover your mouth when coughing.
  • Wash hands after sneezing or coughing.

Medical care

The doctor may delay the use of antibiotics, thanks to the use of rest strategies at home.

Except when it is needed, especially for children who may overcome the infection in a period of 7 to 10 days.

When do you need medical help?

If the severity of symptoms increases

  • Symptoms continue for a period of time without any improvement.
  • Occasional recurrent infection.
  • Having difficulty breathing.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Loud sound while breathing.
  • Weakened immunity, chemotherapy or taking an immunosuppressive drug.

How is the disease diagnosed?

  • Diagnosis is made by examining the throat and nose as the spot of infection.
  • Detect any rash caused by scarlet fever that is associated with a sore throat.
  • Sensitivity of the lymph nodes.
  • Listen to the voice of the breath.
  • Check for any swelling of the spleen.

How is the disease treated?

  • It is necessary to provide comfort to the infected person.
  • Provide adequate fluids.
  • Proper nutrition.
  • Gargle with salt water.
  • A steam bath may relieve inflammation.
  • Use lozenges
  • Treatment of pain and fever with painkillers
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Surgery




  1. Mayo clinic, 13/12/2018, tonsillitis, Electronic Version available at:


  1. King Andullah Arabic Health Encyclopedia, 31/10/2017, sore throat, Electronic Version available at: