It is a swelling of the tonsils caused by an infection. The most frequent cause of tonsillitis is a viral virus.

Several of the viruses are the same as the ones found in the common cold. Similar to a cold, tonsillitis is contagious and spread by coughing, sneezing, and breathing. Children between the ages 3 to 7 years are affected by Tonsillitis because at this age their tonsils are in the most active period, battling infections.

The germs only travel a short distance, typically less than 3 feet.

What To Expect

In general, Tonsillitis starts with an unexpected sore throat and painful swallowing. There might also be some difficulty with breathing and swallowing. It is normally not a life threatening condition.


  • Abnormal redness of tonsils
  • White or yellow layer on tonsils
  • Swollen Lymph Node in the neck
  • Difficulty Breathing
  • Weird voice
  • Fever


Usually, the pain and fever can be relieved by over-the-counter medicine, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol. Another option would be gargling with warm salt water. Mix 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water. Tonsillitis treatment is usually healed with basic home remedies.

Drink a lot of clear fluids to avoid dehydration.

The Tonsillectomy Operation

It is a common operation; around 45,000 are done yearly, mostly in children under the age of 15 years old. The operation takes about half an hour and an overnight stay in the hospital. Tonsillectomy is only suggested to people who:

  • Five tonsillitis in the past year
  • Recurrent ear infections caused by swollen tonsils
  • The swelling making it harder to swallow or breath


Tonsillitis is usually cured within 1 week but it may take a few weeks for the tonsils and swollen lymph node to return to normal size.