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Tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of the throat. They function as a defence mechanism and help prevent body from getting an infection. When tonsils become infected, the condition is called tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is a common childhood illness. It’s most often diagnosed in children from preschool age through their mid-teens. Symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils and fever.

Tonsil Conditions

  • Acute tonsillitis: A bacteria or virus infects the tonsils, causing swelling and a sore throat. The tonsil may develop a grey or white coating (exudate).
  • Chronic tonsillitis: Persistent infection of the tonsils, sometimes as a result of repeated episodes of acute tonsillitis.
  • Peritonsillar abscess: An infection creates a pocket of pus next to the tonsil, pushing it toward the opposite side. Peritonsillar abscesses must be drained urgently.
  • Acute mononucleosis: Usually caused by the Epstein-Barr virus, “mono” causes severe swelling in the tonsils, fever, sore throat, rash, and fatigue.
  • Strep throat: Streptococcus, a bacteria, infects the tonsils and throat. Fever and neck pain often accompany the sore throat.
  • Enlarged (hypertrophic) tonsils: Large tonsils reduce the size of the airway, making snoring or sleep apnoea more likely.
  • Tonsilloliths (tonsil stones): Tonsil stones, are formed when this trapped debris hardens, or calcifies.

Sign and Symptoms

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Fever, chills
  • Tenderness of the jaw and throat
  • Headache
  • Anorexia
  • Body ache
  • Earache
  • Voice changes

Ayurvedic perspective

In Ayurveda, tonsillitis is related to Tundikeri or Galaayu, which is mainly caused by accumulation of toxins in the body due to improper digestion and poor defence mechanism by the immune system to counter the infection. All the three doshas Vata, Pitta & Kapha get aggravated in the condition.

Vataja- Pittaja they associated with Pidha and Tapa (Pain and Fever)

Kaphaja- Raktaja they associated with Sthoola Shotha, Trishna, Shavas and kasa, large tonsil swelling with cough.

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