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Tonsil: a small, rounded mass of tissue, especially of lymphoid tissue; generally used alone to designate the palatine tonsil.

Tonsillitis:  inflammation of the tonsils . It can be acute or chronic.  The uncomplicated acute form usually last 4 to 6 days and commonly affects children between the ages of  5 through 10, but can affect any age.

Tonsils tend to hypertrophy during childhood and atrophy after puberty.  (hypertrophy:  enlargement or overgrowth of an organ) (atrophy:  a wasting away)

Tonsillitis most common cause is beta hemolytic streptococci (a bacteria). The condition can also result from other types of bacteria and viruses.


  • Acute tonsillitis:  discomfort usually subsides after 72 hours Mild to severe sore throat (for children who are too young to describe pain, he/she  may have loss of appetite and or stop eating)
  • Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
  • Fever
  • Swelling and tenderness of lymph glands in the submandibular area
  • Muscle and joint pain
  • Chills
  • Malaise
  • Headache
  • May complain of ear pain An urge to swallow constantly Tight feeling towards the back of throat

For chronic tonsillitis: complains of frequent sore throat, purulent (contain pus) drainage in tonsillar crypts, and frequent episodes of acute tonsillitis

Your doctor may take a culture to determine the infecting organism. Lab  test may show  an elevated white blood cell count


  • Rest
  • Adequate fluid intake
  • Acetaminophen or Aspirin, as order

Antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor To prevent complications, antibiotic therapy should continue for 10 days or when medication is complete unless specified by your doctor)

Chronic tonsillitis may require a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils), but only after the patient has been free of tonsillar or respiratory tract infections for 3 to 4 weeks. Below is an enlarged tonsil with the presence of white pus from a probable infection. The most common bacterial infection is a streptococcal or (strep throat) Signs of a strep throat include: A bright red or strawberry appearance of the tongue, The back of the throat appears bright red, Painful swallowing, Fever, can reach as high as 104 or higher (“scarlet fever”) If strep a throat is suspected, patients need to be on antibiotic therapy as soon as possible.