What is a tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils. The condition is most common in children. Often there is also an infection in and around the throat, a laryngitis (pharyngitis).

A tonsillitis can be painful at first sight, because the tonsils are swollen, so it is always useful to know how to deal with tonsillitis.

On this website you will find all kinds of information about the inflammation itself and about the treatment, causes and symptoms of such inflammation. You will also find in-depth information about a bacterial infection and a virus infection . That way you will learn more about the cause of the inflammation, and in the future you can try to prevent this inflammation. This allows you to save yourself a lot of pain!

What exactly is tonsillitis?

The throat tonsils (the tonsils) are inflamed with tonsillitis. This means that they are swollen and painful. This inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection or by a virus infection. The viruses and bacteria then cause the swelling. This swelling is mainly because extra white blood cells are present on the spot. The body is, as it were, fighting with its immune system against the invaders.

Causes and Symptoms of a tonsillitis?

A tonsillitis is usually caused by viruses, but also by bacteria (including streptococci). Usually the bacteria or virus is transmitted via air, in tiny droplets. Sometimes the contamination is transmitted via objects. Also certian virus infection like mononucleosis can cause laryngitis or tonsillitis.

First, tonsillitis can be very painful. This does not have to be the case in all cases, but the possibility exists. So if you have a lot of pain, you can go to the doctor. In addition to the pain, there are also a number of other physical characteristics that are typically associated with tonsillitis. For example, you may experience the following symptoms:

  • red swollen tonsils;
  • sore throat;
  • white dots around almonds;
  • swollen lymph nodes in the neck.

This is a selection of symptoms, because in some cases it is also accompanied by nausea and fever.

Treatment of tonsillitis?

In some cases, tonsillitis can be treated. This is possible in the cases when the inflammation is caused by a bacterial infection. This means that bacteria cause the swelling. These bacteria can be controlled with penicillin (an antibiotic treatment). This treatment will fight the bacteria, so that the body becomes healthy again. The tonsillitis will disappear within a few days.

However, if the infection is caused by a virus infection, it can not be treated easily. This is because there are no drugs available that target viruses. It also applies that an antibiotic treatment can not disable the viruses. Since the viruses can not be controlled, the only possibility to get rid of the viruses is to take a rest. By taking a rest and waiting, the body will be able to fight the viruses on its own at a given moment. In some cases this can go fast (3 to 4 days, but sometimes it also takes a few weeks).

The doctor can determine whether the throat malignant inflammation is caused by bacteria or viruses. In general, inflammation is caused by bacteria when you get a fever. Do not you get a fever, but are you ill? Then chances are that the inflammation is caused by viruses. However, there are many exceptions, so the doctor is the only truly reliable service provider.

Causes of tonsillitis

The causes of the inflammation are already mentioned a bit: the inflammation can be caused by bacteria and viruses. In the first case, bacteria will penetrate the body and start nesting in the tonsils. These bacteria can be acquired by breathing them in, or by eating contaminated food.

In the case of the viruses, the viruses will settle in the tonsils. These viruses can also be inhaled. Viruses are very light and small particles, so they float freely in the air. It is therefore easy to breathe it. In many cases, the body can stop a viral infection prematurely, because the body produces antigens as soon as a virus enters the body. However, viruses mutate rapidly (their appearance changes), causing the antigens to be retrieved and no longer effective. The body will thus have to fight the viruses again and make new antigens again. This takes a while, giving the viruses the opportunity to cause damage, in this case with the tonsils.


The symptoms of tonsillitis usually disappear automatically within a few days to a week. The sore throat can be relieved by drinking cold liquids or eating a water ice cream. Gentle food is less painful than solid food. Some people benefit from regular gargling with warm salt water. Take enough rest. If you have a lot of problems, you can suppress the symptoms with painkillers, which often also have antipyretic effects (Ex: paracetamol).

If the infection is serious and suspects that it is caused by bacteria, you need to consult a Doctor and he may in some cases prescribe antibiotics. If tonsillitis recurs or if tonsillitis causes complications, surgical removal of the tonsils may be necessary  which is called tonsillectomy.

You may also like to see: how to cure psoriasis