What causes swollen tonsils?

Inflammation of the tonsils can be caused by various factors, the most common being infection. Bacterial or viral infections often cause tonsillitis, which may require treatment with antibiotics or antivirals. There are other factors that can also cause swollen tonsils, including seasonal allergies and sinusitis. Irritation from some types of food can also cause swollen and swollen tonsils, as can exposure to irritating substances like tobacco smoke. More seriously, throat tumors can cause swollen tonsils.

Tonsillitis, which is a condition that causes painful swelling and inflammation of the tonsils, usually occurs in school-age children, although many adults also suffer from swollen tonsils. Some people require surgical removal of their tonsils to prevent recurring episodes of tonsillitis. The common cold and flu are known causes of tonsillitis, which can go away without medical treatment. However, when the tonsils become infected by bacteria, antibiotic therapy may be necessary. Various types of viral and bacterial infections that cause swollen tonsils include mononucleosis and strep throat.

Seasonal allergies can also cause swollen tonsils in some people. Allergies to ragweed, pollen, or dust often cause nasal and sinus congestion, and occasionally an itchy throat and swollen tonsils. Also, sinusitis can cause inflammation of the tonsils. In such a case, a doctor may prescribe antihistamines to reduce the swelling of the sinuses and tonsils.

Although not common, there are certain foods that can cause a sore throat and swollen tonsils. Seeds and pulp from food can get trapped within the nooks and crannies of the tonsil tissue. If food particles remain lodged in the tonsil tissue, inflammation can occur. The best way to prevent this is to gargle with warm salt water, which can help dislodge small food particles like seeds. Alternatively, using an antiseptic mouthwash can prevent food particles from sticking to your tonsils.

Another common cause of swollen throat and tonsils is exposure to pollution or inhalation of chemicals. Chemical plant workers often inhale agents that cause sore throats and swollen tonsils, and over time this can lead to other health complications. Similarly, people who are exposed to irritants such as tobacco smoke can also suffer from swollen tonsils.

One of the most serious causes of swollen tonsils is throat tumors. In the early stages, throat cancer can cause severe pain, cough, difficulty swallowing, and swollen tonsils. Although cancer of the larynx is more common, cancer of the tonsils can also cause swelling, inflammation, and extreme pain. A biopsy of throat tissue can determine if cancer is present, and treatment may include radiation therapy or surgery.

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