Chronic tonsillitis: symptoms and treatment

Chronic tonsillitis is a pathological condition in which periodic inflammation of the palatine tonsils occurs. Because of this, tonsils become a constant focus of infection, which leads to chronic intoxication and allergic organism.

Symptoms of pathology in an adult or child are most pronounced during a period of exacerbation. The body temperature rises sharply, regional lymph nodes increase, the throat starts to ache. It should be noted that with reduced reactivity of the body and the presence of such a chronic foci of infection, the following pathologies may develop in patients with chronic tonsillitis:

  • adnexitis
  • rheumatism
  • pyelonephritis;
  • prostatitis and the like.

Chronic tonsillitis is one of the most common pathologies in otolaryngological practice. According to medical statistics, the disease occurs in adult patients in 4-37% of cases, and in children — in 15-63% of cases. In children, chronic tonsillitis is more severe, and concomitant pathologies often develop.


Chronic tonsillitis is an infectious-dependent inflammatory process that develops due to the pathogenic activity of microorganisms. Normally, tonsils in the body exist in order to detain infectious agents and prevent them from penetrating deeper into the respiratory tract. If the local or general protective forces of the organism decrease, the pathogenic microorganisms that linger on the tonsils begin to actively develop and multiply, provoking the progression of chronic tonsillitis.

Factors that contribute to the development of chronic tonsillitis in adults and children:

  1. allergic rhinitis
  2. curvature of the nasal septum
  3. reduction of local and general immunity;
  4. frequent colds
  5. inflammatory diseases that develop in other ENT organs
  6. caries
  7. presence of foci of chronic infection in the human body
  8. the body’s allergic mood.


Chronic tonsillitis is divided into three types (depending on the symptomatology):

  • a simple form;
  • toxic-allergic form 1 degree;
  • toxic and allergic form 2 degrees

Symptoms of chronic tonsillitis in children and adults are identical. Only it is worth noting that the general condition of the child worsens much faster than that of an adult. Also, the risk of complications is much higher than that of an adult. This is due to the fact that the immune system of the child is not yet sufficiently formed and can not fully combat infection.

Simple form


  1. no complications arise
  2. exacerbations of pathology occur 1-2 times a year, no more;
  3. Symptoms of intoxication of the body are not observed;
  4. the period of remission proceeds without symptoms. The patient’s condition is satisfactory;
  5. treatment can be done at home.


  • pus on lacunae
  • purulent plugs are visually noted
  • Edge edges edematous
  • regional lymph nodes increase in size
  • a child or adult has a feeling that there is a foreign object in his throat;
  • discomfort when swallowing
  • dry mouth
  • bad breath appears
  • In some cases, there is an increase in temperature, but extremely rare. This is more common in children.

Toxico-allergic form


  1. exacerbations of pathology occur frequently;
  2. During the period of remission, the general condition of the patient is violated. There may be immunological changes and so on;
  3. treatment at home is excluded. Hospitalization in hospital is compulsory

Symptoms of toxic-allergic form 1 degree:

  • Local inflammatory reactions
  • body temperature rises;
  • Pain in the heart. If at this time to make an ECG, then there will be no deviations from the norm,
  • joint pain
  • fast fatigue;
  • If such a form has developed in the child, it becomes capricious, refuses to eat;
  • the patient is more likely to suffer ARVI and flu.

Symptoms of toxic-allergic form 2 degrees:

  1. tonsils become a source of infection and there is a high risk that the infection will spread to other organs (more often this happens in children as a decrease in the reactivity of the body)
  2. all of the above symptoms are aggravated;
  3. Because of the spread of infectious agents, there are failures in the work of the kidneys, liver, heart. In severe cases, it is possible to develop acquired heart defects, rheumatism. Especially dangerous if chronic tonsillitis is diagnosed during pregnancy. The development of this form can lead to miscarriage.


Diagnosis for suspected development of chronic tonsillitis in adults and children includes such studies:

  • Pharyngoscopy. The doctor examines the tonsils and areas located next to them to reveal the characteristic symptoms of the pathology;
  • A blood test. It provides an opportunity to assess the severity of the inflammatory reaction;
  • blood biochemistry
  • A bacterial study of the discharge from the tonsils. During the analysis, the sensitivity of microorganisms to certain groups of antibiotics is determined.


In the event that the diagnosis and treatment of chronic tonsillitis in adults and children was not carried out in time, complications begin to develop:

  1. glomerulonephritis
  2. paratonsillar abscess;
  3. rheumatism
  4. the immune system is disrupted due to persistent allergies

It is worth noting that chronic tonsillitis can become a specific «basis» for the development of many pathological processes on the part of organs and systems. Therefore, it is very important to identify it and carry out competent treatment in time. Diagnosis of this disease is engaged in ENT. If there is a suspicion of progression of the ailment in a child, then immediately consult a pediatrician.


Treatment of chronic tonsillitis in adults and children is carried out by two methods — operational and conservative. As a rule, treatment starts with conservative therapy, which includes:

  • washing of affected tonsils with antiseptic solutions that penetrate the lacunae. This manipulation is carried out with the goal of destroying microorganisms that provoked the development of pathology;
  • physiotherapy procedures. Apply US, UHF-therapy, as well as ultraviolet irradiation. These procedures can be carried out and children, but under the strict supervision of the attending physician.

Antibiotics in the treatment plan for chronic tonsillitis include if there is an exacerbation of the pathological process. Preference is given to macrolides, semisynthetic penicillins, cephalosporins. Also, therapy is supplemented with anti-inflammatory drugs. Their doctor appoints in the event that there is an increase in temperature to high figures, pain in the joints and other manifestations of intoxication syndrome. The child is most often prescribed nurofen or paracetamol in syrup, adult — phenylephrine.

Surgical treatment of chronic tonsillitis is used in such cases:

  1. two courses of the above therapy did not give the desired effect;
  2. on the background of this pathology parathonsillar abscess develops;
  3. rheumatism developed
  4. signs of glomerulonephritis appeared on the background of tonsillitis
  5. sepsis of tonsiligenic origin
  6. the doctor has a suspicion that the pathological process has become malignant.

Contraindications for removal of palatine tonsils:

  • blood diseases that can trigger the development of bleeding;
  • pathology of the cardiovascular system
  • uncompensated diabetes mellitus
  • kidney failure
  • hypertension

Complications after tonsillectomy:

  1. pharyngeal hematoma
  2. bleeding from a wound
  3. inflammatory complications
  4. penetration of air under the mucous membrane.

Treatment of chronic tonsillitis can be carried out at home. But before this, you should still visit a qualified specialist who will tell you exactly whether there is a need for hospitalization in a hospital. In the case of a simple form of the disease, treatment at home is acceptable, but periodically it is necessary to show it to your doctor. Medicamental therapy can be supplemented with folk remedies. But they are also better coordinated with the doctor.

To treat the disease at home, use a variety of infusions. They are made from medicinal herbs. The most effective are:

  • infusion from the root of althea, oregano and oak bark
  • infusion of camomile flowers and linden flowers
  • decoction of sage, altei root and elderberry flowers.

To treat a child at home, you can resort to inhalation. This method is safe and very effective. Active substances when inhaled directly on the tonsils. For inhalation use leaves of aloe and flowers of St. John’s Wort.

It is worth noting that the treatment of a child at home can be done only with a simple form of chronic tonsillitis. If the toxic-allergic form has developed, then therapy should be carried out only in a hospital in order to eliminate pathology as soon as possible and to avoid the risk of developing concomitant pathologies. Also, from treatment at home, it is worth giving up if there is an increase in body temperature.