Dr Wouter Ten Cate - Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Specialist
Your tonsils are the oval-shaped lumps of tissue that lie on both sides of the back of the throat. Sometimes tonsils can become inflamed (red and swollen with white patches on them) as the result of a bacterial or viral infection; this is known as tonsillitis.
If you have tonsillitis, you will have a very sore throat and maybe swollen glands on the side of your neck, a fever, headache or changes to your voice. In some cases, pus can be seen on the tonsils.
Tonsillitis mostly occurs in young children and can be a recurrent condition (it keeps coming back).
If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, antibiotics will be prescribed. If the tonsillitis is caused by a virus, treatment will usually consist of medications to relieve symptoms such as a pain killer.
If tonsillitis occurs often over a period of two or more years, then surgical removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be considered.
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This page was last updated at 8:52AM on December 8, 2019.