Acute Catarrhal Tonsillitis.
Definition.—An acute inflammation of the mucous membrane covering the tonsils.
Etiology.—This form of tonsillitis is the result of exposure to cold, and occurs most frequently with the breaking up of winter, when sudden atmospheric changes are common. Bad hygienic conditions also favor the disease.
Symptoms.—The disease is ushered in by slight constitutional symptoms, such as chilly sensations followed by slight fever, with general arrest of the secretions. The patient complains of sore throat, and inspection reveals an active hyperemia of the mucous membrane, with slight swelling of the gland. At first the surface is dry and painful, the patient swallowing frequently, to moisten the surface. In a short time secretion is established, and the surface is bathed with a creamy muco-pus. Where the inflammation is active there is slight swelling of the lymphatics.
Diagnosis.—The location of the pain, the bright red, inflamed mucous membrane covering the tonsils, which are slightly enlarged, is characteristic.
Prognosis.—The prognosis is always favorable, the disease yielding in four or five days.
Treatment.—Aconite and belladonna usually are the only remedies needed; five drops of the former and ten of the latter, added to water four ounces, a teaspoonful every hour, soon terminates the disease; or aconite and phytolacca, when there is enlargement of the lymphatics. Dr. Watkins regards guaiac as a specific in these cases, associated with aconite. As a local treatment, have the patient use a gargle of potassium chlorate and hydrastin. A cloth wrung out of cold water and snugly applied around the throat, with a dry binder over all, is very effective when the inflammation is active.