Tonsils are the part of our immune system and are present in the back part or our throat. They help to fight off any infection coming to our body. Though beneficial but their frequent infection and enlargement can create troubles for us.
Generally, when tonsils get infected, they get inflamed and become swollen which is termed as tonsillitis. Frequent attacks of tonsillitis can lead to chronic swelling of tonsils which are termed as enlarged or hypertrophied tonsils. Enlarged tonsils are termed as tonsillar hypertrophy in medical terms.
Enlarged tonsils sometimes do not produce any symptoms but at other times can cause a variety of symptoms. The major problems are related to sleep which occurs when these become too large to obstruct the opening of throat. Problems related to sleep are listed below:
- Restless sleep due to partial airway obstruction
- Loud snoring
- Mouth breathing
- Obstructive sleep apnea
- Daytime sleepiness due to lack of sleep at night along with tiredness sensation
Other symptoms include:
- Difficulty in breathing from nose due to partial airway obstruction
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Frequent tonsillitis
- Frequent ear and/or sinus infections
- Foul odor of breath
- Soreness of throat
- Pain on sides of the neck.
- Difficult swallowing
Enlarged tonsils can be visualized directly by asking the child to open his/her mouth widely or a tongue depressor can be used to view the whole area.
Enlarged tonsils are commonly present in children but can also affect adults. In children this happens frequently because of their lower immunity towards infections as they are more prone to frequent infections. It can be present naturally in some people without having any cause and remain symptom-free. Their size can get smaller in size as the age increases. It can occur due infection or can be a result of frequent exposure to irritants while in some it can occur without any cause. Some common causes for enlarged tonsils are listed below:
- Viral infection: there many viruses which can cause enlargement of tonsils. Some of them are:
- Adenoviruses: responsible for common cold, bronchitis, sore throat, is also responsible for enlarged tonsils.
- Epstein-Barr virus which causes mononucleosis.
- Herpes simplex virus type 1 can lead to oral herpes disease and lead to crack and raw blisters on the tonsils.
- Bacterial infection especially streptococcus pyogenes (particularly causes strep throat) can cause enlargement of tonsils.
- Allergic reaction
- Frequent exposure to irritants like smoke and pollution
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Prevention is not possible in cases where there is causeless enlargement of tonsils. But infections leading to enlarged tonsils can be prevented by following few instructions which are listed below:
- No close/physical with sick people.
- Wash your hand before and after eating anything and try to keep them clean by frequent washing.
- Do not share your cosmetic products with anyone.
- Do not share food or drinks with infected people.
- Eat balanced diet which includes all the essential nutrients in your food.
- Do not touch your eyes, mouth and nose frequently.
If enlarged tonsils are not causing any symptoms, no treatment is recommended. Under conventional treatment surgical removal of tonsils are recommended when these disturb sleep. But in long run this may lead to frequent lower respiratory tract infections and lower immunity. In homeopathy, there is treatment for enlarged tonsils. These medicines help to decrease their size gradually and helps to relieve the symptoms due to enlarged tonsils. Medicines are selected on the basis of symptoms similarity along with individuality of the person according to law of similia. A registered homeopathic physician should be consulted for the prescription. Following is a list of best homeopathic medicines for enlarged tonsils which are used commonly in practice:
ARSENICUM IODATUM: Tonsils are swollen which are accompanied with fetid odor from mouth. This medicine is indicated especially when the enlarged tonsils are accompanied with chronic nasal catarrh and catarrh of middle ear with swelling of tissues within the nose.
BARYTA CARBONICUM: Indicate for enlarged tonsils with swollen submaxillary glands. Suited to people who take cold easily and have stitches and smarting pain in throat. There is smarting pain in throat when swallowing which gets worse on empty swallowing. There is a sensation of plug in the pharynx and can only swallow liquids. Pain has a particular stinging character.
BARYTA IODATUM: For indurated glands especially tonsils. To be think of when the tonsillar swelling is hard in consistency.
CALCAREA IODATUM: Tonsils are enlarged which are filled with little crypts. This is suited to people especially children who have flabby physical make-up and takes cold easily.
CALCAREA PHOSPHORICUM: For painful enlarged tonsils due to which the patient is not able to open his mouth without pain. Suited to children who have problems during dentition, whose teth develop slowly with rapid decay of teeth.
KALIUM BICHROMICUM: Fauces are red and inflamed with dryness and roughness of throat. Tonsils are enlarged with relaxed, edematous, bladder-like uvula.
MERCURIUS IODATUS RUBER: For enlarged tonsils with disposition to hawk due to sensation of lump in throat. Fauces dark red with painful swallowing. Left side is affected predominantly.
Tonsils are the part of our immune system which are present at the back part of throat and help to fight off infections. Though useful but their enlargement can lead to trouble for us by creating many symptoms especially related to breathing during sleep, difficult swallowing and frequent tonsillitis as well. These enlarged tonsils can be present since birth without any cause and can be a result of infections as well. Unlike the conventional treatment for enlarged tonsils which offers their removal, homeopathy offers a safe and promising treatment by reducing its size by medicines. Some of the commonly used homeopathic medicines for enlarged tonsils are Calcarea iodatum, Baryta carbonicum, Arsenicum iodatum etc.