Tonsil Infection

A tonsil infection is also referred to as tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can happen to anyone at any age, and it is an inflammation of the tonsils (the lymph glands in the throat). Tonsillitis is typically caused from viruses or bacteria. Children occasionally get tonsil infections. Find out about the symptoms and solutions for a tonsil infection.

Causes and Concerns

Tonsillitis from bacteria and viruses occurs when the disease is transferred by direct contact or through the air.  Often, tonsillitis occurs due to a viral source.  Bacterial tonsillitis is often caused by Streptococcus bacteria (strep throat). This infection is a problem if left untreated, as it can lead to complications.

Symptoms and Signs

There are combinations of symptoms that occur with tonsillitis. The symptoms range from minor to severe:

  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Pain when Swallowing
  • White Patches on the Tonsils
  • Swollen Lymph Glands
  • Redness in the Throat

Solutions and Options

If you suspect that you or your child has tonsillitis, it is important to get it checked out by your physician.   The physicians and nurse practitioner at Vero ENT Associates specialize in this type of evaluation.  A doctor will diagnose tonsillitis based on the following:

  • Redness, swelling, discharge, or swollen glands
  • Inability to swallow, drooling, and muffled speech
  • Performing a swab test (rapid strep test)
  • Any abscesses on the tonsils

When treating tonsillitis at home, you can use over the counter pain medications such as Tylenol or Advil. These medicines will help with any associated fevers and throat pain. Gargling warm salt water in the back of your throat can also help ease pain.  Medical treatment of tonsillitis may entail use of prescription antibiotics, or in cases of chronic or recurrent tonsil infections, surgery may be recommended to remove the tonsils.  If an abscess is present in the tonsil, this sometimes needs to be drained with an office procedure or surgical procedure.

Tonsillitis can be prevented by following proper care. Frequent hand washing with soap and water to prevent  bacteria and viruses from spreading is a good policy. If you know someone who has tonsillitis, it is recommended that you limit your interactions with them, as bacteria and viruses can be spread through the air or by direct contact.

Also, it is essential to you or your child’s health to keep follow up appointments and checkups. Even if the symptoms go away completely, you should complete any prescribed course of antibiotics.  If you have been treated with antibiotics, you are no longer likely to be contagious after 24 hours and can return to normal activities. As with any other sickness, if you or your child starts to feel worse or the symptoms persist, contact your physician.


Tonsillitis should always be treated by a physician who has experience with this type of infection. If you feel that your symptoms are related to a tonsil infection, call one of the caring throat specialists at Vero ENT Associates. With proper diagnosis and a good treatment plan, a solution can be found for your symptoms.

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