ABC Medical Center > Tonsillitis

What is Tonsillitis?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It is a condition whose manifestation is an inflammatory process of the tonsils, which are two oval-shaped pads of lymphatic tissue located at the two ends of the back of the throat, which have cells related to the immune system to help you fight infections.

Tonsillitis is classified into:

  • Acute: it is the most common, mainly in children and adolescents.
  • Chronic: the tonsils are infected by bacteria or viruses on a recurring basis, facilitating the development of related conditions.

The most common viruses and bacteria that cause acute tonsillitis are:

  • Adenovirus.
  • Enterovirus.
  • Streptococcus.
  • Epstein-Barr virus.
  • Herpes.
  • Flu or cold.

Chronic tonsillitis is a more serious infection that regularly affects and inflames the tissues of the tonsils, causing pharyngitis most of the time.

Signs and symptoms Tonsillitis

Symptoms depend on your type of tonsillitis.


  • Loss of voice.
  • Swollen glands.
  • Difficulty swallowing.
  • Pain in the highest part of the throat, mainly when opening the mouth or eating liquid or solid food.
  • Headache and ear pain.
  • Excess salivation.
  • Tiredness and weakness.


  • Permanent swollen glands.
  • Swallowing problems
  • Bad breath and bad taste in the mouth.
  • Abscesses.

If tonsillitis is not treated promptly, an abscess may develop as pus collects in the back of the throat, which may require surgery to remove it.

Potential risks:

  • Childhood and adolescence: its highest incidence occur between 4 and 15 years. 
  • Daily contact with bacteria and viruses: infants and adolescents of school age are at greater risk of suffering from tonsillitis due to being in contact with many people every day. 

As with all viral and bacterial diseases, the most effective prevention methods are frequent hand washing, good hygiene, not sharing food or personal items, and avoiding contact with infected people.

Diagnosis and treatment Tonsillitis

After analyzing your symptoms and medical history, your doctor will perform a physical examination to listen to your breathing, observe your throat, ears, and nose, feel the lymph nodes to see how swollen they are, and, finally, a pharyngeal exudate will be performed to obtain a sample of the secretions to be analyzed in the laboratory. 

If it considers it necessary, it will also request a blood test to precisely determine the origin of your tonsillitis and attack it in time.

Treatment usually consists of taking analgesics and anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce pain and fever, and to treat dysphagia; as well as antibiotics to fight the infection, along with a high consumption of liquids fortified with vitamin C.

When tonsillitis is chronic and produces severe symptoms, a tonsillectomy will be necessary to minimize possible complications. This surgical procedure is usually outpatient and low risk.

In the ABC Medical Center Internal Medicine Department, we offer you health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies, from both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


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