Tonsillitis: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

doctor checking child's throat

Suffering from a sore throat that just won't go away? You may have a case of tonsillitis. This infection is fairly common, however, not everyone knows and understands the causes and symptoms associated.

The Urgentology Care team is here to lay out all the facts so you and your family are ready to spot and stop a case of tonsillitis in its tracks.

What Is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is an infection that inflames the tonsils. The tonsils are two small, round lumps of tissue at the back of your throat — one on each side. They're part of your lymphatic system, which helps fight infection.

A Urgentology Care doctor will likely diagnose tonsillitis based on a physical exam and your symptoms. They may also do a rapid strep test, which involves taking a swab of your throat and checking it for bacteria.

What Causes Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is most commonly caused by viruses, such as the common cold or influenza (the flu). Bacteria, such as Streptococcus (strep throat), can also cause tonsillitis.


Tonsillitis symptoms can vary from mild to severe and usually develop over the course of one or two days. The most common tonsillitis symptom is a sore throat that gradually gets worse. Other symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Tender, swollen lymph nodes in your neck or jaw
  • White patches on your tonsils or throat
  • A sore throat that lasts more than a week
  • Painful swallowing

If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to contact your doctor right away.


Certain cases of tonsillitis can be treated from home with plenty of rest, fluids, antibiotics prescribed by your doctor, and of course, plenty of popsicles and ice cream!

In some cases, an individual may develop chronic tonsillitis. If you or a loved one continuously suffer from tonsillitis infections, your doctor may recommend a tonsillectomy, an outpatient surgery in which the tonsils are removed.

Visit Your Urgent Care Team

If you're experiencing the symptoms listed above, it is important to visit your doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment. The Urgentology Care team is standing by, waiting to help get you on the road to recovery. Visit us today and find relief!