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Tonsillitis is an inflammatory disease that can cause a sore throat, fever and difficulty swallowing. It is most common in children between preschool age to the mid-teenage years.

Identifying Tonsillitis  

Tonsils are the oval-shaped areas of pink tissue located at the back of your throat––there’s one on each side. Tonsillitis occurs when your tonsils become infected by a virus or bacteria.  

Common symptoms of tonsillitis include red swollen tonsils, white or yellow coating or patches on the tonsils, enlarged lymph nodes in the neck, bad breath, stiff neck and headaches. If you have a young child who can’t describe how they feel, look out for symptoms including drooling due to difficulty swallowing, refusal to eat and unusual fussiness.

Our Approach to Tonsillitis

One case of tonsillitis doesn’t warrant surgery, but if you experience persistent trouble with your tonsils, your doctor may recommend they be removed with surgery (tonsillectomy).

If you experience recurring, chronic or severe tonsillitis, or complications from enlarged tonsils, talk to an Inspira doctor about treatment options. Your doctor may suggest a tonsillectomy if:

  • There have been more than seven episodes in one year
  • Tonsils create breathing or swallowing difficulty
  • Tonsillitis does not respond to antibiotic treatment
  • Tonsillitis causes obstructive sleep apnea
A doctor examining a child's tonsils with their hands

Questions about tonsillitis? Our providers are here to help.

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