to acute inflammation of the tonsils. It is also known as acute sore
throat. Chronic tonsillitis is a term applied to cases in which there
is enlargement of the tonsils accompanied by repeated attacks of
The tonsils are
two small lymphoid organs that lie one on each side of the throat. They
can be seen just behind the back of the tongue between two folds of
membrane running up to the soft palate. Normally, they are about the
size of a lima bean but they can become very much larger if severely
infected. They are valuable organs of selective elimination and perform
a two-fold function.
protect the throat against disease germs. Secondly, they serve as
barometers for indicating infection elsewhere in the body, when they
become sore and swollen.
The main symptoms of
tonsillitis are sore throat, fever, headache, and pain in various parts
of the body, difficulty in swallowing and general weakness. The tonsils
are seen to be inflamed and red when the mouth is opened wide. In many
cases, spots of pus exude from them. Externally, the tonsilar lymph
glands which lie just behind the angle of the jaw are tender and
enlarged. In several cases there may be pain in the ear.
The chief cause of
tonsillitis is a toxic condition of the system generally and is brought
to a head by sudden lowering of vitality resulting from exposure and
sudden chill. Tonsils enlarge and get inflamed when the toxins cannot
be got rid of through the normal channels of elimination such as the
bowels, kidneys and skin. Throat afflictions of this kind are also
associated with the result of chronic constipation, when toxin, which
should have been ejected from the system in the normal way, is
reabsorbed into the blood-stream.