Tonsillitis, cause, symptoms and treatment?

ARTICLES, Conditions & Diseases, HEALTH

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the tonsils, which are two lymph nodes located at the back of the throat. It can be caused by:

  1. Viral Infections: The most common cause, including common cold viruses, influenza, and Epstein-Barr virus (which causes mononucleosis).
  2. Bacterial Infections: Often caused by Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus), which can lead to strep throat.


Symptoms of tonsillitis can vary in severity but commonly include:

  1. Sore Throat: Often severe and can cause difficulty swallowing.
  2. Red and Swollen Tonsils: Sometimes with white or yellow patches or coating.
  3. Fever: Low to high-grade fever may be present.
  4. Bad Breath: Due to the infection.
  5. Painful Swallowing: Difficulty and pain while swallowing.
  6. Swollen Lymph Nodes: Particularly in the neck.
  7. Hoarseness or Loss of Voice: Due to throat inflammation.
  8. Headache: Sometimes accompanied by ear pain.
  9. Fatigue: General feeling of tiredness and malaise.


Treatment for tonsillitis depends on whether the cause is viral or bacterial:

  1. Viral Tonsillitis:
    • Rest and Hydration: Get plenty of rest and drink fluids to stay hydrated.
    • Pain Relief: Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
    • Throat Soothers: Gargle with warm salt water, use throat lozenges, and consume warm beverages like tea with honey.
    • Humidifiers: Using a humidifier can help keep the throat moist and reduce discomfort.
  2. Bacterial Tonsillitis:
    • Antibiotics: If a bacterial infection, especially strep throat, is confirmed, a course of antibiotics (like penicillin or amoxicillin) is typically prescribed. It’s important to complete the entire course even if symptoms improve.
    • Supportive Care: Same as for viral tonsillitis – rest, hydration, pain relief, and throat soothers.
  3. Chronic or Recurrent Tonsillitis:
    • Tonsillectomy: Surgical removal of the tonsils may be recommended for those who have chronic or recurrent tonsillitis (usually defined as several episodes per year over multiple years) or if tonsillitis leads to complications.
  4. General Care Tips:
    • Avoid Irritants: Stay away from smoke and other pollutants.
    • Maintain Good Hygiene: Regular hand washing to prevent the spread of infections.


Tonsillitis can be caused by viral or bacterial infections and presents with symptoms such as sore throat, swollen tonsils, fever, and difficulty swallowing. Treatment varies based on the cause, with viral tonsillitis primarily requiring supportive care and bacterial tonsillitis often necessitating antibiotics. For chronic cases, a tonsillectomy may be considered. Always consult with a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

For Doctor’s Schedule and any inquiries please call 0960-937-0533, 0916-195-1086, 0975-224-0996.
B.Mendoza St., Sto.Rosario, City of San Fernando, Pampanga.