With a scratch in the throat and pain when swallowing, it starts, then you can only wait and see: Does it stay with these signs of cold or develops a juicy tonsillitis? Here's how to spot the symptoms of tonsillitis, what you can do about it and when it makes sense to have the tonsils removed.
What are the almonds?
When one speaks of the almonds, one generally means the palatine tonsils, which one can see in the back of the mouth, if one opens the mouth wide. They are there left and right between the mucosal folds of the so-called palatal arch. However, there are two more almonds: the pharyngeal tonsil, it lies above the uvula at the back of the pharynx, and the Zungengrundmandel down in the throat, where the tongue has its base. There are only one of these two almonds, they can not be seen without the help of a mirror.
All almonds are part of the body's immune system. Together with the lymphoid tissue of the back wall of the pharynx - the lateral strands - and smaller collections of lymph cells, it is called the Waldeyer pharyngeal ring. Due to their position at the "entrance" of the body, the tonsils and the other lymphoid tissues have early contact with all possible pathogens, which are absorbed by the breath or saliva through the nose and mouth.
Common diseases of the tonsils are polyps - these are growths of the tonsils - and tonsillitis, ie tonsillitis (tonsillitis).
Almonds greatest in children
In childhood, all almonds are quite large - they have a lot to do, since all pathogens for the first time to meet them and the immune system must respond accordingly. The enlarged almonds can narrow the mouth and throat of young children to the extent that breath and food intake are affected - if your child snores, it could be due to the tonsils. In the course of life, however, almonds are becoming smaller and smaller as the amount of unknown pathogens is decreasing in relative terms.
What is tonsillitis?
In case of tonsillitis, the tonsils are no longer able to cope with their normal defense function and the pathogens gain the upper hand. In many viral throat infections, the tonsils show a co-reaction, especially strong in Pfeiffer's glandular fever. Most of the time, however, this co-reaction is subverted by general malaise, so it is rare to visit a doctor.
The situation is different with tonsillitis caused by bacteria. Here the tonsillitis is in the foreground of the complaints. Most streptococci are the causative agents, but also pneumococci, staphylococci or hemophilus bacteria can trigger severe tonsillitis. A known streptococcal infection of the tonsils is scarlet fever, it also occurs on a typical rash for the disease.
In addition to these acute clinical pictures, chronic inflammation of the tonsils can also occur, for example if a bacterial infection has not been treated adequately or if the tonsil tissue is scarred by multiple inflammations.