What is almonds

Tonsillitis - location and function of the tonsils

The two tonsils (tonsilla platina) lie between the anterior and posterior palatal arch on the right and left in the throat in the so-called almond bay. Some of them are visible when the mouth is wide open. Together with the pharynx as well as the tubal and tongue tonsils, they form the Waldeyer's or lymphatic pharyngeal ring. It consists of lymphatic tissue and, strictly speaking, is not a closed ring, but a ring-shaped collection of individual tissue islands, the tonsils.

The palatine tonsils, along with the other tonsils in the pharynx, are an important part of our immune system. They are the first defense barrier against germs that try to penetrate the upper respiratory tract.

The tonsils consist of 1 to 2 cm thick lymphoid tissue. Their surface is criss-crossed by crack-shaped depressions (crypts), which give them a jagged appearance. Small amounts of food particles and bacteria collect in these crevices, which the white blood cells (lymphocytes) in the tonsils deal with. The crevices are emptied regularly so that new bacteria can settle and the immune system of the almonds can learn.

This excretion of the tonsils appears as a whitish coating and is often wrongly interpreted by laypeople as tonsillitis. Without other symptoms such as redness, sore throat and fever, there is no inflammation.