Signs of a Tonsil Infection

By james
Reviewed: Dr. Mera
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A lot of people will have had some negative experience with their tonsils. Located at the back of the throat, they help to protect us against germs, and the tonsils are prone to becoming infected themselves. This can cause a number of unwelcome symptoms and tonsil infections are known to be very painful.

Pharyngitis is also a term that can be used to describe this condition. Many viruses and bacteria can target the pharynx and tonsils, therefore, treatment should always be prescribed by a physician to avoid unnecessary medication.

1. Red Tonsils

Whenever you go to see a doctor to complain about a sore throat, one of the first things they will do is ask you to open wide so they can have a look. This is for a very good reason. A doctor can tell a lot about your health just by looking at your throat. A tonsil infection is likely to cause the tonsils to become bright red in color. In addition, many patients will also have white/yellow areas of pus on the tonsils as a result of the infection. These symptoms should go once the infection has been successfully treated.

Tonsil Infection

2. Sore Throat

One of the most telling of all symptoms of a tonsil infection is a sore throat. The pain caused by the condition tends to be worse than other sore throats, and it can be very difficult for young children to bear it, while some adults will also find the pain very uncomfortable indeed.

The degree of pain in the throat also makes it difficult for the patient to eat because swallowing becomes hard for them. It might be necessary to give the patient liquid foods like soup, and it is important to ensure they continue to get the nutrition that they need.

3. Scratchy Voice

The inflammation caused by a tonsil infection can make it difficult for the patient to speak clearly. Sometimes, they may be reluctant to speak at all because of the pain they are experiencing. When they do speak, some patients will have a scratchy voice as a result of the condition.

This is a common symptom associated with a peritonsillar abscess, which is a known complication of tonsillitis. The infection will eventually clear up without leaving any permanent damage, and the patient’s voice should return to normal once the infection has passed. To help reduce the pain and other discomforts, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication.

Tonsil Infection

4. Headaches

Pretty much everybody gets a headache at some point. Many of us are fortunate enough to only experience them occasionally. Some unfortunate people, however, can experience them far more frequently. For some people, they are little more than a minor inconvenience. For others, headaches can be crippling.

There is a huge range of potential causes for a headache, and it is often difficult to tell just exactly what the cause is. We do know however that a tonsil infection is one potential cause, and the severity of the symptoms will range considerably from person to person. Painkillers may be able to help relieve the pain, but they should be used with caution.

5. Fever

A tonsil infection will mean that there is a high number of pathogens in the body. This poses a potential danger to the patient, and their immune system will respond accordingly. One way the immune system responds, is to heat up the body, in what is known as a fever. This will make the body a difficult place for unwelcome intruders to survive.

When there is a fever, chills are usually not far away, and this is also true in cases of tonsil infection. This causes the body to react by shivering the muscles, which has the effect of making us warmer.

Tonsil Infection

6. Malaise

This is a non-specific symptom associated with many conditions. It is described as a sensation of being unwell and it is a very common finding in infectious diseases.

It should clear very fast once the infection is dealt with.

7. Bad Breath

When bacteria are metabolizing their food, they will produce gases that have an unpleasant odor. This is why expired food tends to smell bad, and why people can develop bad breath. If we don’t brush regularly then odor-producing bacteria can accumulate, resulting in unpleasant smells.

In many instances of a tonsil infection, the patient will have considerably more than usual bacteria in their mouths. This will, in turn, result in bad breath as the bacteria produce more than usual odorous gases. It can be difficult to control, even with regular cleaning, but the symptom will clear up once the infection has gone.

Tonsil Infection

8. Ear Aches

Depending on the severity of a tonsil infection, the pain involved might move on to other parts of the body. One example of this is with an ear ache, and it can cause quite a lot of pain for the patient. In some cases, the pain in the ear can be worse than the pain in the throat area.

In some cases, the infection can spread to the ear, and this can be problematic. Ear infections are themselves very painful, while they also cause other problems like affecting the patients sense of balance. An ear infection can cause serious damage, so it should be treated as soon as possible.

9. Trismus

Usually, tonsillitis should resolve in a few days, but some patients may end up with complications like a peritonsillar abscess. This is a condition where a pus-filled cavity is formed in your throat, causing more pain and other symptoms as well.

One of the symptoms associated with this condition is the difficulty to open the mouth, this is also called Trismus. If you are experiencing this symptom, you should seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.

10. Swollen Lymph Nodes

We have a cluster of lymph nodes located in our necks. They are a key component of our immune system and help the body to fight unwanted guests. When there is an infection present, they need to work a lot harder than usual. They are prone to become swollen as a result.

Swollen lymph nodes are not dangerous on their own, and they will return to normal once the infection has passed. They can be quite sore for the patient though and can cause pain elsewhere in the neck area. Although usually caused by something harmless, swollen lymph nodes can sometimes be caused by something more serious.

Tonsil Infection

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