Tonsils are two lymph nodes which are situated at the back of the throat. Inflammation of these lymph nodes is called tonsillitis.

It is common among children and can occur at any age. It is caused by a variety of viruses and bacteria, but streptococcal bacteria is contagious and could lead to serious complications if left untreated.


  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Yellow or white colored  patches on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Fever
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  •  scratchy, muffled or throaty voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomachache in younger children
  • Stiff neck
  • Headache


  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Disrupted breathing during sleep
  • Infection spreading to surrounding tissue leading tonsillar cellulitis and peritonsillar abscess


The doctor examines the throat physically and palpate the neck region to check swollen lymph nodes and can take a throat swab for culture to know the cause of infection.


At home:

  • Encourage fluid intake
  • Take lots of rest
  • Avoid irritants
  • Use lozenges to relieve sore throat
  • Lukewarm salt water gargles several times a day


  • Pain and fever can be minimized by taking analgesics and antipyretics
  • Antibiotics: If tonsillitis is caused by the bacterial infection then the doctor will suggest antibiotics which should be used. A complete course of antibiotics should be taken to prevent relapses or further complications.


Tonsillectomy: A surgical procedure done to remove tonsils in cases of recurrent tonsillitis, chronic tonsillitis and in bacterial tonsillitis which doesn’t respond to treatments.

Surgery is indicated when tonsillitis is occurring frequently

It is also indicated in cases such as breathing difficulty, swallowing difficulty of food and abscess formation


Tonsillitis is caused by viral and bacterial infections, so hygiene should be maintained

  • Wash hands before eating and after using toilets
  • Avoid sharing utensils, water bottles, and food
  • Change the toothbrush after being diagnosed with tonsillitis







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