Tonsillitis is a common infection that affects the tonsils in the throat and can be caused by either a virus or bacteria, such as strep throat.
The main symptom of tonsillitis is swollen, red tonsils. Symptoms are caused by the same bacteria that causes strep throat.
The main symptom is having swollen, red tonsils. You may be able to see this in a mirror. Other key symptoms include:
With more severe tonsillitis, you might also have:
While tonsillitis itself isn’t contagious, you can still spread the viruses or bacteria that have caused it. The infection is usually spread through droplets from coughing, sneezing, or touching contaminated surfaces.
How long you’re contagious depends on the cause of your tonsillitis. You’re usually contagious a couple of days before you develop symptoms and might be contagious until your symptoms disappear.
If you or your child has tonsillitis, staying home and resting is recommended. The following steps will help to prevent you from spreading the infection:
If you think you have tonsillitis, consult a doctor. Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with antibiotics, which can be prescribed by a doctor who can also differentiate between bacterial and viral tonsillitis. Unfortunately, there is no cure for viral tonsillitis, but you can take self-care measures to speed up your recovery:
If you experience white spots on your tonsils or have difficulty swallowing food or drink due to a sore throat, it is important to consult a doctor. If tonsillitis symptoms persist for more than four days, a doctor may recommend a swab test to check for bacterial tonsillitis or a blood test to check for glandular fever.
A Wells doctor will ask you questions about your symptoms. They’ll make an individual assessment, recommend a treatment or refer you to a specialist if needed.