“Madam, I have throat pain.”

“Whenever I eat or drink anything cold or food from outside, I get throat pain.”

“There is pain on both sides of my neck and I can feel some tender swelling there”. 

These are common complaints I hear from a person who has a tonsil infection. 

Let me explain more about this. 

What are tonsils? 

Tonsils are lymph nodes which are normally present behind our mouth in the throat. There are two tonsils. 

What is its function? 

Tonsils defend our body from infections. 

When I open my mouth I can see big tonsils. Is it abnormal? 

No. It is absolutely normal to have big tonsils. This is very common in children. All big tonsils do not require surgery. Only when it is reddish, infected, and causes pain, difficulty in swallowing, or fever, we say that it is tonsillitis.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis? 

Tonsillitis can cause fever, throat pain, pain, and difficulty in swallowing, tender lymph nodes on both sides of the neck, difficulty in opening the mouth, and foul smell from the mouth. It can even cause radiating pain to the ears. In children, there can be snoring and difficulty in swallowing. 

What is the treatment? 

Acute tonsillitis requires medical management with antibiotics and pain killers. Surgical management (removal of tonsils) is required if it recurs frequently, affecting the quality of life. 

Will the removal of tonsils cause any immune deficiency?

No. Removal of tonsils does not have any side effects. In fact, it improves the quality of life. 

Will tonsils grow again after removal? 

No. Tonsils will not grow again if removed surgically.