As you might expect from the title, this article will not only talk about what causes enlarged tonsils in adults, but also how to treat them. Tonsils itself are masses of tissue located in both sides of your throat. Tonsils are anatomically working as filters in your throat. It traps bacteria and germs entering your body through your throat. Therefore, you can consider it as part of human immune system. Since it works against the source of diseases, tonsils in adults sometimes enlarged.
Before talking about what causes enlarged tonsils in adults, you need to know the symptoms of this health issues first. The symptoms will help you to distinguish this problem against other throat issues. When adults’ tonsils are enlarged, people who experience it will feel painful sensation. This pain is commonly caused by ulcers on their throat. When the mouth is opened, you can easily see that the tonsils are covered in either yellow or white layer. In some case, the tonsils also appear to be red. It means that the enlarged tonsils are already in severe condition.
The pain often spread to both ears as well. Since the throat is having problem, it is hard to swallow. Therefore, people who experience enlarged tonsils often have appetite loss as well. Other than those symptoms, people might feel headache followed by fever. The bacteria accumulating in the tonsils might create bad breath. In order to take care of this throat disease, you need to know what causes them beforehand. After that, you can determine the suitable treatment accordingly.
List of What Causes Enlarged Tonsils
1. Strep throat
As the name implies, strep throat is caused by a bacteria called as streptococcus pyogenes. This type of bacteria can infect your tonsils and create complication. It is important to get rid of the bacteria as soon as possible. Without proper medical attention, the bacteria might spread up to your kidney and heart through your blood. The symptom of streptococcus infection is white patches. Other than this visible symptom, people with it might also experience fever following by coughing and sneezing.
2. Common cold
The second problem of what causes enlarged tonsils in adults is common cold. Do not underestimate the common cold that happens to you. Common cold not only occurs due to the cold seasons. Some causes of common cold are infection of specific viruses. They cause the common cold that might encourage the development of enlarged tonsils are adenovirus, cytomegliovirus, and herpes simplex virus. Eliminating the virus will help you to take care of enlarged tonsils in your throat.
The next cause for enlarged tonsils is mononucleosis. This problem is created by virus called as Epstein-Barr virus. When it infects your throat, your throat will experience inflammation. Other than your tonsils, the same virus might also infect your glands as well. The common symptom of this virus infection is fatigue. When the virus infection reaches severe condition, the fatigue sometimes feel burdening. If you experience fatigue with inflamed throat, you need to visit the doctor in order to have your throat inspected.
Measles is caused by virus with the same name. People who are infected by this virus often experienced strong fever. The body temperature rises in up to extreme level. In some case, body temperature might reach 40 degree Celsius. Aside from adults, the virus often infects toddler too. Compared to other problem of what causes enlarged tonsils in adults, this case is considered rare. The cases of enlarged tonsils caused by measles have significantly reduced since the invention of vaccine to fight against it.
5. Cryptic tonsils
Cryptic tonsils are unique case that causes enlarged tonsils. As mentioned before, tonsils are tissue that filters bacteria, virus, and other causes of health disease. Since it is located in your throat, some of your food might be trapped inside it. In this case, the common symptom is hardened tonsils. On the severe condition, this health issue is often followed by bad breath. The bad breath is commonly occurred due to the rotten trapped food. The easiest way to deal of this condition is by simply removing trapped food on the tonsils pocket.
The next problem of what causes enlarged tonsils in adults is abscesses. When pus is accumulated in tissue layer, it crates abscesses. Abscesses might occur in any tissue layers in human body. Commonly, it happens in the skin layers of your body. However, it can also accumulate in the tissue layer of your tonsils as well. The symptoms of enlarged tonsils caused by abscesses are including redness, and pain. The symptoms are often extended into swelling. Those are the same symptoms of enlarged tonsils.
Even though the causes for enlarged tonsils causes by cancer are rare, some people still experience it. The cancer causing enlarged tonsils is called as lymphoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Meanwhile, the symptom of this health issue is sores. The sores are occurring in specific location of your throat. In most cases, the sores are often difficult to heal. The sores have great chance of developed into neck pain if it does not get medical attention as soon as possible.
After you know the causes for this health issue, you can determine what the best treatments for it. Since most of causes for enlarged tonsils are viruses and bacteria, you might need to consume antibiotics to get rid of those causes. If the enlarged tonsils are coming with inflammation, you might need to take steroid in considerable dose. However, this treatment is considered as the last resource, as human immune system might already able to deal with the inflammation.
As you can see on the list of enlarged adult tonsils above, the causes are diverse. Before the doctor determined proper medical attention for your health issue, the doctor might do specific procedure called as swab culture. This test involves swabbing back of your tonsils with cotton. The bacteria or viruses in the cotton are inspected closely to determine what causes enlarged tonsils in adults and its proper treatment.