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The tonsils (palatine tonsils) are two oval-shaped delicate tissue masses situated at the back of the throat (pharynx). Every tonsil is formed out of tissue-like lymph nodes, covered by pink mucosa (like the adjoining mouth lining). Going through the mucosa of every tonsil are pits, called crypts.

The tonsils are a vital part of the lymphatic framework, which assists with battling infections. Nonetheless, removal of the tonsils doesn’t make a person more susceptible to disease. Tonsils differ broadly in size and swell due to infections.

Some common conditions affecting tonsils are:

  • Acute tonsillitis: It is an infection caused by bacteria or viruses that causes tonsils to swell up and causes a sore throat. They may develop a white pus-filled mass.
  • Chronic tonsillitis- It is a persistent infection that the repeated occurrence of tonsillitis can cause.
  • Strep throat- It is an infection of the tonsils and throat caused by the streptococcus bacteria. It causes sore throat, neck pain and often a fever.
  • Acute mononucleosis- It is caused by a virus and causes sore throat rash, fatigue, swelling in tonsils and even rash and fever.
  • Peritonsillar abscess- This infection causes a pouch of pus near the tonsil, displacing it. The pus-filled pouch must be drained urgently.
  • Tonsilloliths- Also called tonsil stones, are formed when the debris is trapped and calcified.

Treatments for common tonsil infections:

  • Antibiotics: Infections caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics.
  • Pus Drainage: Peritonsillar abscesses are drained by puncturing the pus-filled pouches.
  • Tonsillectomy: In case of repeated infections, tonsils are removed by performing surgery.
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