Tonsillitis is a very common condition which causes the tonsils to become inflamed. Anyone can be affected by tonsillitis but it is most common amongst children aged between 5 and 15; it can be spread by sharing glasses or toothbrushes with an infected person or coming into contact with droplets of saliva that have been released as a result of sneezing or coughing.

Symptoms of tonsillitis

Common symptoms of tonsillitis include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Inflamed, red tonsils
  • Cough
  • Headaches
  • Swollen glands (especially in the neck)
  • Fatigue
  • Spots on the tonsils (these may be white as they contain pus)
  • Pain in the neck and ears
  • Raised temperature

Treatment for tonsillitis

Many cases of tonsillitis clear up without treatment but you can take over the counter painkillers to ease aches and pains and gargle saltwater to help your throat. If you are having trouble swallowing, try to eat soft foods that are easy to swallow like soup; eating cold foods like ice cream can also help to ease the pain in your throat. If you have recurrent tonsillitis you may be advised to have an operation to have your tonsils taken out.

Guide to Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions

Ear, Nose and Throat



Glue ear

Infectious mononucleosis




Staying healthy