A very small percentage of people are aware of the tonsils’ location, functions and the problems that can occur. Tonsils act like guardians of the body by not letting in the harmful germs cause infections. Problems in these lymph nodes are actually quite common.
According to a research paper published on a website, it is estimated that there are 20-30 million cases of tonsillitis in India.
What are the problems that are associated with tonsils?
- Contamination of the tonsils
Are you having a feeling of fullness in the tonsils? Do you have a feeling that there is something stuck in your throat? There’s a high possibility that you are experiencing these as there is the formation of tonsil stones. These tonsil stones develop due to the contamination of tiny food particles that get trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils.
Enlarged tonsils can interfere with the nasal airways and result in snoring. Snoring is absolutely fine unless it disrupts your sleeping patterns or the problem doesn’t aggravate to a stage that it results in obstructive sleep apnea that can result in a deficiency in oxygen in the body during sleep.
An estimated four out of every 100 middle-aged men and two out of every 100 middle-aged women suffer from sleep apnea. This is more common in people who have tonsillitis as a congenital condition, or recurrent infections or other factors. In such cases, ENT doctors recommend a tonsillectomy.
The tonsils comprise of crypts where food debris can collect and there can be bacteria, dead cells, and mucus build-up. Generally, these can be due to poor maintenance of oral hygiene or saliva flow. But many people experience bad breath or halitosis due to the formation of tonsil stones too. For such cases, practicing good oral hygiene rules is the only way. (Also Read: Home Remedies For Tonsil Stones And Bad Breath )
Pain while eating food
When the tonsil stones become very large, they can compress the food pipe and make swallowing food difficult. If someone experiences dysphagia or feels like a pin stuck in the throat, one of the reasons can be tonsil stones. The enlarged tonsil stones can make swallowing painful, making it difficult to eat or drink.
Backing up of stomach acid
This can cause problems in the tonsils indirectly. Sometimes the stomach acid can travel up and into the throat causing a burning and irritating sensation that can lead to swelling of the tonsils. This backing of the stomach acid in the throat is known as acid reflux. People also feel that there is something stuck in the throat making it difficult to swallow.
Allergies in throat
An allergy that can trigger symptoms of tonsillitis can affect the tonsils too. Irritants in the environment such as allergens, dust, or pollution can lead to inflammation and irritation in the throat.
Infections in the throat
Some viruses can attack the tonsils that trigger in its swelling. Some of the viruses that can cause infections are- influenza, adenovirus, Epstein Barr, herpes simplex. Other symptoms can be fever, headache, sore throat, and runny nose. You can get relief from the symptoms by following some simple home remedies.
Another severe problem that can occur in the tonsils is cancer. Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as smoking and consuming alcohol are the most common causes of tonsil cancer. Not only in the tonsils, if the immune system also gets cancerous it can lead to swelling or enlargement of the tonsils. The doctor conducts a thorough physical examination to determine the actual cause of tonsils.
How to know there is a problem in the tonsils?
Now that you know the different problems that are associated with the tonsils, it’s important to look out for the symptoms to identify them. The signs and symptoms that can help you identify the problems are-
- Enlargement of the tonsils
- Yellow or white patches on the tonsils
- Redness in the throat
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain while gulping food
- Scratchy throat
- Muffled voice
How to deal with the problems associated with tonsils?
If you are experiencing symptoms of problems in the tonsils, you can use any of the following in three ways-
The home remedies can help to cure some of the symptoms and even fight off the infections. Some of them are-
- Take proper rest
- Change it to consume a lot of juice or water.
- Eat foods such as ice cream, applesauce
- Gargle with saline water
- Take menthol-infused lozenges
Sometimes there is a problem in the tonsils due to bacterial infection, doctors prescribe antibiotics. These can help to fight off the bacteria and you’ll be able to feel better within 2 or 3 days.
When conditions in the tonsils are recurrent or chronic, removing them is the only way. Besides, in some cases, the tonsils need to be taken out when it makes it difficult to eat or breathe. Didn’t find what you were looking for? Drop your query in the comment section below!