Tonsillitis: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Tonsillitis is the inflammation of the two oval-shaped pad of tissues present on both sides at the back of the throat. They function as a defense mechanism to protect the body from infections. Most tonsillitis cases are caused by infection from a virus or certain bacteria like Streptococus.


Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is a common illness for children. It is most common in children from preschool to mid-teens. The appropriate treatment methods depend on the cause for tonsillitis, and surgery is only performed when tonsillitis is recurring, not responding to other treatments, or causing serious complications.


The symptoms of tonsillitis:

Possible symptoms of tonsillitis include the following:

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen tonsils
  • Difficulty eating or swallowing
  • Fever
  • Muffled voice
  • Bad breath
  • Stomach ache
  • Neck pain
  • Headaches

For younger children, the following may be an indicator of tonsillitis:

  • Refusal to eat
  • Irritable child
  • Drooling due to painful swallowing

Causes of tonsillitis:

Tonsillitis can be caused by a virus-like common cold or from a bacterial infection like strep throat.


Viral tonsillitis:

A virus is the most common cause for tonsillitis, and the virus may be the common cold, but other viruses can also cause tonsillitis like Rhinovirus, Coronavirus. RSV and parainfluenza. If you have viral tonsillitis, you may have other symptoms such as a stuffy nose or coughing. Antibiotics will not work against viral tonsillitis; however, other remedies such as drinking many fluids, taking pain medications, and resting so that the body can heal may help ease your pain.


Bacterial Tonsillitis:

Bacteria cause around 30 % of tonsillitis cases, and most commonly, it is streptococcus bacteria. Bacterial tonsillitis is most common in children from five to fifteen years old. The doctor may prescribe antibiotics for these infections.


Tonsillitis treatment:

Mild cases of tonsillitis, especially ones caused by the common cold, don’t necessarily need treatment. For severe and recurrent cases, antibiotics and tonsillectomy may be considered. A person suffering from dehydration due to tonsilitis may require intravenous fluids.



This is a surgical procedure for removing the tonsils and is recommended only to those patients with recurrent infection and risk of complications. If the patient has had tonsillitis at least 3 to 4 times in a year, tonsillectomy is advised.


Tonsillectomy is an effective surgery and alleviates tonsillitis issues such as difficulty swallowing, muffled voice, and rarely breathing issues. The surgery is usually a day care surgery, and the patient can leave the same day, but in some cases, the patient may be recommended to stay.

At Aahan ENT clinic, we understand the difficulty of dealing with tonsillitis. If you are facing these issues, schedule a consultation with our specialist surgeons; please fill out our online contact form today.