Conditions and diseases

Tonsil infection

Symptoms and causes

Symptoms and causes

What is it?

A tonsil infection can be caused by virusses or bacteria.


The most common symptoms include:

  • sore throat
  • fever
  • swollen or painful lymph nodes in the neck

clinical symptoms:

  • red and swollen tonsils, even if they do not have a white coating or white spots

Diagnosis and treatment

Diagnosis and treatment

If the tonsils are infected often (tonsilitis), they may be removed (tonsillectomy). Guidelines indicate 'frequent occurrence' is defined as four to six infections per year.


In many cases, it is a viral infection and observation along with the right pain relief is appropriate. In the case of a bacterial infection, an antibiotic can be given.

Some children have symptoms of enlarged tonsils. When both tonsils are touching each other, this is called ‘kissing tonsils’. This can lead to breathing difficulties, snoring and apnea (pauses in breathing), which influence the quality of sleep and make eating more difficult.

Treatment centres and specialisations

Treatment centres and specialisations

Latest publication date: 15/05/2024