Tonsillitis is an infection in one or both tonsils. One sign is the swelling of the tonsils and a sore throat.
Tonsils are masses of tissue that are similar to the lymph nodes or “glands” found in the neck, groin, and armpits. They are the two masses in the back of the throat, near the entrance to the breathing passages, therefore, they can catch incoming germs causing infections. They “sample” bacteria and viruses and can become infected themselves. Tonsils work as part of the body’s immune system by filtering germs that attempt to invade the body, and they help to develop antibodies to germs.

Tonsillitis: Signs and symptoms

  • Red swollen tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • A slight voice change due to swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Fever
  • Bad breath

You should visit your ENT specialist at EYiasis, when  your child suffers the common symptoms of infected or enlarged tonsils or adenoids.

Complications of Tonsillitis

Inflammation or swelling of the tonsils from frequent or ongoing tonsillitis can cause complications such as:

  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Infection that spreads deep into surrounding tissue (tonsillar cellulitis)
  • Infection that results in a collection of pus behind a tonsil (peritonsillar abscess)

Tips to prevent the spread of a bacterial or viral infection to others:

Keep your child at home when he or she is ill and has fever
Teach your child to cough or sneeze into a tissue or, when necessary, into his or her elbow
Teach your child to wash his or her hands after sneezing or coughing


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  • Klug TE. Peritonsillar abscess: clinical aspects of microbiology, risk factors, and the association with parapharyngeal abscess. Dan Med J. 2017 Mar;64(3):B5333.
  • Ece B, Aydin S. Can Shear Wave Elastography Help Differentiate Acute Tonsillitis from Normal Tonsils in Pediatric Patients: A Prospective Preliminary Study. Children (Basel). 2023 Apr 10;10(4):704.