Treating Tonsillitis: What You Need to Know

Tonsils are two oval-shaped tissues located at the back portion of our throat. Tonsils can be inflamed, each on one side. Swollen tonsils, sores, trouble swallowing, and the painful lymphatic system on the sides of the throat are all indicators of tonsillitis.

Although bacterial infections can also cause tonsils, common viral infections account for most instances. It's critical to receive a timely and precise diagnosis since the proper therapy for tonsillitis depends on the underlying reason. After a routine treatment for tonsillitis, the tonsils' surgical removal is typically only done when the infection is severe, recurrent, or creates additional consequences. Tonsillitis can afflict persons of all ages, though it is most frequently seen in children. This article will tell you about tonsillitis- its cause, consequences, and cure.


Tonsillitis typically strikes unexpectedly and may be acute in these cases. While some people have permanent, i.e., chronic tonsillitis, others have frequent symptoms of tonsillitis.

Infection with bacteria or viruses is a common cause of tonsillitis. Children frequently have tonsillitis, and most of them in the US have at least one case. In addition to assisting in treating bacterial tonsillitis, medications have greatly decreased its consequences, such as a non-contagious or rheumatic fever that mostly affects the blood vessels, heart, and joints.

Your tonsils, a component of the immune system, aid in trapping sickness-causing microorganisms. Swelling and pain are symptoms of tonsillitis, which also makes swallowing uncomfortable. Although tonsillitis is sometimes known as tonsillopharyngitis, people refer to it as a painful throat. Let us discuss the symptoms of tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis: Symptoms

A sore throat is the main symptom. You can feel particularly weak and exhausted as if you had the flu or a severe cold. There are numerous additional symptoms that tonsillitis patients may encounter, which are as below.

Sometimes tonsillitis might be sudden, often known as acute tonsillitis, and most frequently affects children under the age of 2. Acute tonsillitis symptoms include −

  • Fever

  • Sore throat

  • Dysphagia or difficulty in swallowing.

  • Odynophagia or pain in swallowing.

  • Lethargy and tiredness.

  • Bad breath.

  • Sleep apnea and snoring

A tonsillitis condition may be complicated by scarlet fever if there are red rashes all over the body. However, with therapy, such symptoms can linger for one or two weeks. They normally go away in about 3 to 4 days. Some patients have actual recurrent tonsillitis, where the illness recurs soon after antibiotics have ended. People suffering from chronic or permanent tonsillitis may have more and different symptoms. The following are the symptoms of chronic tonsillitis −

  • Permanent sore throat

  • Tonsil stones

  • Bad breath

  • Neck lymph nodes that are persistently sore.

If one possesses symptoms of tonsillitis, he should start taking the following measures as first aid −

  • Get lots of sleep.

  • Drink cold beverages to relax your throat.

  • Taking ibuprofen or paracetamol can also be helpful.

  • Use warm, salty water to gargle.

Tonsillitis Causes

Tonsillitis is a viral and bacterial infection. Streptococcus bacteria which can also develop strep throat, is a frequent cause. Other typical reasons involve −

  • Adenoviruses

  • Parainfluenza viruses

  • Influenza virus

  • Enteroviruses

  • Epstein-Barr virus

The above are among the top viruses that cause acute tonsils in as many as 70% of instances. Tonsillitis can occur in young people and children with mononucleosis caused by the EBV, i.e., Epstein-Barr virus. Tonsillitis has also been linked to cytomegalovirus, measles, and the herpes simplex virus.

An important thing that could increase your risk of developing tonsillitis is age. Children, as compared to adults, typically develop tonsillitis. 5 to 15-year-old children are more susceptible to tonsillitis brought on by infections. Younger children are more likely to have viral tonsillitis. Adults above the age of 65 are more susceptible to tonsillitis.

Additionally, because they devote more time to groups of children their age at school and camps, children are more likely to transfer illnesses that cause tonsillitis. Teachers and other adults who frequently interact with young children could also be more susceptible to infections and tonsillitis.

Tonsillitis Consequences and Complications

A few complications are most common when bacteria are to blame for your infection. They consist of the following −

  • Pus accumulating around the peritonsillar abscess or the tonsil-infected middle ear.

  • Difficulty breathing or sleep apnea- breathing that comes and goes when you're sleeping.

  • Tonsillar cellulitis- an infection that permeates adjacent tissues severely and spreads.

Tonsillitis Cure and Treatment

Treatment for tonsillitis is based on the source of the infection. Although the signs of bacterial and viral tonsillitis could be similar, they are treated differently.

Tonsillitis symptoms must be treated by an ENT specialist or an otolaryngologist, not the person's primary physician. A doctor will often swab the tonsils or throat to establish whether a person has a bacterial or viral illness. It is advised that clinicians collect a throat sample from individuals who have negative fast strep testing. Still, they exhibit signs of streptococcal illness since false negative results with this test might happen. Patients who test positive for GABHS in the throat culture but do not exhibit tonsillitis indications are most likely strep-bearers.

Even if you start feeling improved after a few days, you must take the entire course of antibiotics as your doctor prescribes. To prevent the infection from returning, getting worse, or spreading to another area of the body, patients must take antibiotics to the end.

Preventive Measures 

The greatest method of avoiding tonsillitis is to practice excellent hygiene, which includes −

  • Frequently washing hands.

  • Not giving someone your utensils, food, drink, or personal goods like your toothbrush.

  • Avoiding those who have tonsillitis or perhaps a sore throat.

  • Consuming a lot of water

  • Consuming fewer items with added sugar

  • Sugar-free gum, which can increase saliva production, is especially beneficial for those who suffer from dry mouth.

  • Intake of fluoridated water.


Tonsillitis can result in sore throat, trouble swallowing, fever, and other signs. Whether an illness is bacterial or viral will affect the course of treatment. Sleep and medication are effective treatments for tonsillitis, a widespread condition. Your doctor may advise a tonsillectomy if you consistently get tonsil infections.