An illness that will make the patient feel very unwell, tonsillitis can affect anyone but is more common in younger people.

Read more about the illness here.

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Symptoms of tonsillitis can include the following:

  • Enlarged glands
  • Red, swollen tonsils with white spots
  • Bad-breath
  • Headache
  • Aching and high temperature

Read more about the symptoms here

Those most at risk

Children and young teenagers due to the infections they are exposed to daily and their developing immune systems. Many will grow out of tonsillitis as they reach adult-hood.

Read more about the causes of tonsillitis here.

How to treat tonsillitis

Mostly caused by a virus, tonsillitis is not generally treated by antibiotics, but by the following methods.

  • Paracetamol and/or Ibuprofen
  • Plenty of fluids
  • Avoiding smoky areas or smoking
  • Gargling with salt water
  • Rest at home

If the tonsillitis does persist your GP may sometimes prescribe antibiotics. Please see your GP if symptoms persist for more than 3-4 days without improvement.

Read more about treating tonsillitis here


This procedure is now less common as research has shown that long term the patient can still experience as many throat infections as they did before.

Plus, there are risks posed by having surgery and a general anesthetic, and also after-bleeding.

Things to Remember

  1. Never give aspirin to children under 16 years of age, as there can be harmful side affects
  2. Most of the time tonsillitis is caused by a virus and cannot be treated with antibiotics
  3. A key indictor for diagnosing tonsillitis is white spots on the tonsils

Word from our GP

 In most cases, at home TLC is the best treatment for tonsillitis as patients will feel very unwell.
After a few days of paracetamol, plenty of fluids and some rest and relaxation they should be on the road to recovery.

Sophie Nelson, Oak Tree Surgery