Tonsillitis

Home Services What we Treat Throat & Respiratory Tract
tonsillitis symptoms

About Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis means inflammation of the tonsils which are located at the back of the throat, one on either side.

It is most commonly caused by a virus especially when associated with other symptoms such as cough and cold.

However in some circumstances it can be caused by a bacterial infection, which usually requires treatment with antibiotics.

The symptoms of tonsillitis usually include:

- pain or difficulty when swallowing
- sore throat
- red swollen tonsils with or without pus-filled spots
- coughing 
- swollen neck glands

Very occasionally, a bacterial tonsillitis can into a peritonsillar abscess (known as a quinsy). The symptoms can then include difficulty opening the mouth, drooling, and a change to the voice. 

96% of the 6703 patients who have reviewed DocTap would recommend us to their friends and family.
How would you rate your doctor?
(4494 reviews)
How would you rate the booking process?
(4486 reviews)
How would you rate the premises?
(4459 reviews)

Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a viral infection, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu virus (influenza).

Some cases can also be caused by a bacterial infection, typically a strain of bacteria called group A streptococcus bacteria.

Treatments to reduce the discomfort from tonsillitis include:

- pain and fever reducing medications such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
- warm salt water gargle, lozenges, or warm liquids


When tonsillitis is caused by a virus, the length of illness depends on which virus is involved. Usually, a complete recovery is made within 7 -10 days week; however, symptoms may last for up to two weeks.


If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria (classically with pus-filled spots on tonsils), then antibiotics are useful,


Chronic or recurrent cases may be treated with tonsillectomy (surgical removal of tonsils) as a choice for treatment. It is usually only recommended if:

- you've had several severe episodes of tonsillitis over a long period of time
- repeated episodes are disrupting normal activities

tonsillitis treatment

Start feeling better now

Our doctors are available now to help you with tonsillitis or any other medical condition which you would normally see your GP about. Book an appointment now and start feeling better right away.

DocTap is featured in

More about Throat & Respiratory Tract

Doctors Appointments from £34