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Recognize the 4 Causes of Swollen Tonsils and the Cure

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Swollen tonsils often make activities uncomfortable. By knowing the cause of swollen tonsils, understanding first aid, and ways to prevent it, you can avoid more serious conditions.

The tonsils are round soft tissues located at the back of the mouth, on both sides of the throat. This soft tissue is part of the lymphatic system which is responsible for fighting viruses and bacteria that enter the mouth.

If infected, the tonsils will become swollen in response to fighting viruses or bacteria that enter. Swollen tonsils are often referred to as tonsillitis or tonsillitis. This condition generally affects children, but can also occur in adolescents and adults.

There are several viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites that cause swollen tonsils. In addition to infection, swollen tonsils can also be caused by throat irritation due to smoking.

Symptoms of Swollen Tonsils

Swollen tonsils can be accompanied by other symptoms, including:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • There is a white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Injuries to the tonsils
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swelling of the glands around the neck or jaw
  • Bad breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Stiff neck

Severely swollen tonsils can even make it difficult for you to breathe through your mouth.

Causes of Swollen Tonsils and the Cure

Many factors can cause swollen tonsils, ranging from bacterial and viral infections, and smoking habits. The cause of swollen tonsils in children under 5 years is generally caused by a bacterial infection. While in children aged 5-15 years, the cause of swollen tonsils is usually a viral infection.

In adults, swollen tonsils are not only caused by viral and bacterial infections, but also smoking and cancer of the tonsils (tonsils).

The cause of swollen tonsils affects the type of treatment that will be given. The following is an explanation of the causes of swollen tonsils and the cure:

1. Viral infection

The most common cause of swollen tonsils is viral infection, with the percentage of cases more than 70%. The viruses that cause swollen tonsils include:

  • Adenovirus, which is a virus that causes colds, sore throats, and bronchitis

  • Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), which is a virus that causes mononucleosis or kissing diseasebecause it is spread through the saliva of an infected person
  • Cytomegalovirus (CMV, HHV-5), which is a herpes virus that is inactive but persists in the body, and usually attacks people with compromised immune systems or pregnant women
  • Measles virus, which is a virus that attacks the respiratory system, and is transmitted through the saliva or mucus of an infected person

If it is caused by a viral infection, there is no specific medicine to cure it. Most cases of swollen tonsils from a virus will go away on their own, or you can take over-the-counter medications to reduce pain.

The following are some types of pain relievers that are recommended if swollen tonsils are caused by a viral infection:

  • Spray for the throat
  • lozenges (lozenges)
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen

In addition, gargling 3 times a day with a warm salt water solution can also reduce the pain in the swollen tonsils that you feel.

2. Bacterial infection

The condition of swollen tonsils due to bacterial infection is generally caused by Streptococcus bacteria. In this case, the disease is also known as strep throat.

In addition to the group of Streptococcus bacteria, there are several other bacteria that cause swollen tonsils, such as: Neisseria gonorrhea, Haemophilus influenza Type B, and mycoplasma. The risk of getting swollen tonsils will be very high if someone is in close contact with people who are infected with some of these bacteria.

Swollen tonsils due to this bacterial infection require different medications than viral infections. If it is caused by a bacterial infection, the doctor will prescribe antibiotics such as penicillin. Taking penicillin for 10 days is the most common treatment for swollen tonsils, if it is caused by a Streptococcus bacterial infection.

Consumption of this antibiotic must be spent in accordance with the time determined by the doctor, even though the symptoms of swollen tonsils have disappeared. If antibiotics are not taken, the infection can get worse or spread to other parts of the body.

3. Smoking

Smoking habits, whether smoking tobacco or e-cigarettes, can weaken the immune system and cause inflammation. These two things can increase the risk of bacterial and fungal infections that cause swollen tonsils.

In addition to bacterial and fungal infections, smoking can also trigger tonsil stones, which is one of the causes of swollen tonsils. In fact, research shows that smokers are more at risk of suffering from chronic (recurrent) tonsillitis.

To reduce swelling of the tonsils, smokers should stop smoking as soon as possible. The more you smoke, the higher the risk of throat irritation causing swollen tonsils.

If the swollen tonsils do not go away or come back again, the doctor may perform an operation to remove the tonsils, also known as a tonsillectomy.

4. Cancer of the tonsils (tonsils)

The most common symptoms of tonsil cancer are swollen or enlarged tonsils, accompanied by hoarseness, a lump in the neck or throat, a persistent sore throat, difficulty swallowing, and ear or jaw pain. Tonsil cancer is a type of throat cancer.

The main cause of tonsil cancer is infection with the HPV virus (human papillomavirus). In addition, smoking habits and chewing tobacco can also increase the risk of tonsil cancer.

Treatment of swollen tonsils due to tonsil cancer can be done with radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery. However, the type of treatment will be adjusted to the size, stage, and status of the cancer.

First Aid and Prevention of Swollen Tonsils

Regardless of the cause of swollen tonsils and the cure, there are some first aids you can do if you suffer from this condition, including:

  • much rest
  • Drink more water
  • Consume soft foods if it hurts when swallowing
  • Consume cold food or drink to soothe the throat
  • Turn on humidifier (humidifier) ​​indoor
  • Avoid substances that can irritate the throat, such as cigarette smoke and cleaning products

To prevent bacterial and viral infections that cause swollen tonsils, you can apply the following steps:

  • Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, especially after using the toilet and before eating

  • Avoid sharing food and drinks or sharing eating utensils or glasses
  • After being diagnosed with tonsillitis, replace your toothbrush with a new one
  • If you or someone close to you has strep throat, limit direct contact with other people, especially if you haven’t taken antibiotics for at least 24 hours

The causes of swollen tonsils and the cure varies, depending on the underlying condition. If you experience swollen tonsils accompanied by a sore throat for more than two days, difficulty breathing, or pain when swallowing, see a doctor immediately for further treatment.

The doctor will then prescribe certain medications or may perform tonsillectomy, after a series of tests, such as a throat swab or complete blood cell count, are performed.

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