Since Tonsillitis is caused by a wide variety of viral and bacterial infections, the resulting symptoms can both vary and be common to all types of Tonsillitis. Therefore, physicians categorize the types of Tonsillitis by intensity of symptoms. There are four different types of Tonsillitis that are determined by the symptoms and constant nature of the Tonsillitis in an individual.
Acute Tonsillitis is diagnosed when an individual has a fever and a sore throat from that results in difficult/painful swallowing. The tonsils are usually characterized to be tender by the doctor in individuals with such symptoms. The large size of the tonsils in the case of Acute Tonsillitis can cause breathing difficulties during sleep such as snoring or sleep apnea.
Other symptoms of Acute Tonsillitis include an odorous breath caused by the swollen tonsils, lethargy, and malaise or a feeling of being unwell. The symptoms of Acute Tonsillitis usually regress after three or four days, though they can last up to two weeks.
Recurrent Tonsillitis is diagnosed when an individual has had an unusually high amount of tonsil inflammation within the past year. Similarly, Chronic Tonsillitis is diagnosed when a person has chronic sore throat, tonsillitis, and tender nodes.
In such cases, the doctor will present an individual with the option of performing a tonsillectomy since the tonsils are becoming a nuisance. Tonsillectomy is the removal of such troublesome tonsils via surgery.
Peritonsillar Tonsillitis is a more severe condition where the individual has dramatic occurrences of symptoms such as pain, fever, salivation, bad breath, and a difficulty opening the mouth. This Tonsillitis is characterized by the individual having what doctors call “hot potato mouth” in which the afflicted person talks in a low-muffled voice.
The tonsils may be so enlarged in this case that the individual may describe pain in the ears resulting from the outward pressure of the tonsils. However, this pain is usually described by children below the age of 10.
Certain symptoms are common to all types of Tonsillitis. Dehydration can be found in the individual via inspection of the skin or the mouth. There is a possibility for the individual to develop mononucleosis in the case of Acute Tonsillitis, especially if it is characterized by oversized nodes, a lethargic disposition, and malaise.
Also, a grey membrane may form over the tonsils which the doctor can easily remove; the virus can also cause Palatal petechial or small dots on the tonsils. Individuals with the Herpes simplex virus have enlarged tonsils characterized by redness and ulcers.
As described above, there are various symptoms of Tonsillitis and so it is difficult for doctors to diagnose the cause of Tonsillitis on a certain criteria. While Strep throat is the greatest cause of Tonsillitis, there is no single symptom that can assure the bacteria Streptococcus is the cause other than by a rapid Strep test.
The only way a doctor can be completely sure of the cause for Tonsillitis is by testing the individual for various bacterial and/or viral infections, especially those that display distinct Tonsillitis symptoms.
While all of the above information outlines the signs of Tonsillitis, the most telltale sign of Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils at the back of the mouth. Other symptoms are usually the result of the illness that Tonsillitis itself is caused by.