HealthCareMagic is now Ask A Doctor - 24x7 |

Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
159 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction
Article Home Ear Nose and Throat Disorders Tonsillitis


Tonsils are a collection of lymphoid tissue on each side of the back of the throat. Tonsillitis means inflammation of the tonsils due to an infection with a virus or bacteria.

What are the signs and Symptoms of Tonsillitis?

  • Fever and chills
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Difficult or pain during swallowing
  • Swollen and red tonsils
  • White patches on the tonsils
  • Enlarged and tender glands in the neck
  • Change of voice
  • Abdominal pain in children

What are the causes of Tonsillitis?

Bacterial infections – Especially Group A streptococci, but many others.

Viral infections – Epstein-Barr virus that causes Infectious Mononucleosis and many others.

Who are at Risk for Tonsillitis?

  • School-age children are particularly prone to Tonsillitis.
  • Contact with a case of Tonsillitis.

When to see a Doctor in Tonsillitis?

  • Sore throat more than 48 hours
  • Fever above 103 F (39 C)
  • Difficulty in Swallowing
  • Swollen or painful tonsils
  • Sore throat is accompanied by abdominal pain and vomiting
  • Stiff neck or feel weak
  • Drooling of saliva in case of a child
  • Sudden onset of pain and inflammation
  • Tender lymph nodes in your neck
  • Lack of nasal congestion

What are the Tests to Diagnose Tonsillitis?

  • ENT Examination
  • Throat swab
  • Complete blood cell count

What are the Complications of Tonsillitis?

  • Sleep apnea
  • Abscess
  • Rheumatic fever (Infection of the heart)
  • Nephritis (Infection of kidney)

How to Treat Tonsillitis?

  • Antibiotics – Oral penicillin for at least 10 days.
  • Surgery – Removing the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be recommended when other treatments don't work; the problem has been recurring frequently or there is complication.

What are the Home Remedies in Tonsillitis?

  • Drink warm and soothing fluids like hot tea, soup etc
  • Sat water gargle with warm salt water.
  • Take pain killers for pain but avoid aspirin
  • Rest your voice
  • Suck on a throat lozenge or hard candy
  • Use honey and lemon
  • Avoid smoke and other air pollutants.
  • Humidify the air

How to Prevent Tonsillitis?

  • Frequent hand washing is the best way to prevent all kinds of infections, including tonsillitis.
  • Use a tissue during coughing or sneezing.
  • Don't share drinking glasses or eating utensils.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are sick.