Swollen Tonsils – Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Treatment and Home Remedies

Suffering from an acute pain in the throat? Finding it hard to swallow foods? Has the process of eating become a nightmare for you? If your answer is yes, you are most probably having a case of swollen tonsil or Tonsillitis.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis Pictures
Picture 1 – Tonsillitis
Source – typepad

Tonsillitis is a health condition that is characterized by swollen or inflamed tonsils. As you must be aware, tonsils are the two large masses of tissue in the throat that act as a defense against invading germs and organisms. There is a tonsil on either side of the throat. When one or both of these tissue balls suffer an inflammation, there is a case of Tonsillitis. If the tonsils get too enlarged, they may even be touching each other.

Swollen tonsils in children are also known as kissing tonsils. However, there may also be a case of Swollen Tonsils on one side.

Symptoms of Swollen Tonsils

Tonsillitis comes with many symptoms. Some of the major Tonsillitis symptoms are :


Inflammation or swelling is one of the main symptoms of Tonsillitis in adults as well as children. Swollen tonsils lead to difficulties in swallowing and cause much discomfort while eating or drinking. Sufferers may also find it difficult in opening their mouth.

Red Tonsils

The tonsils may appear red in case of an inflammation. Red Swollen Tonsils are very common in case of a cold virus infection. Tonsillitis in babies leads to very red tonsils.


In people with swollen tonsils white spots or yellow patches are often visible. Swollen Tonsils with white spots give the mouth a ghastly appearance.

Foul Breath

The patients of Tonsillitis also commonly suffer from a bad breath condition.

Sore Throat

The patients may also experience soreness in the throat. This is felt even in normal circumstances. If you have a sore throat Swollen Tonsils may be the cause.


Pain in the throat also gives rise to headache in sufferers.

Sore Eyes

Inflammation in the tonsils can also make the suffering person experience soreness in the eyes.

Aches in Body

Inflammation and pain in the tonsils can also give rise to aches in the body in the suffering person.


In some cases, high fever may also be one of the signs of Tonsillitis.


The patient may also experience chills in the body because of Swollen Tonsils and glands.


In Swollen Tonsils no pain usually arises until the suffer tries eating and drinking. An acute pain is felt while consuming anything. Even drinking liquids like water can be quite painful.

Acute Tonsillitis

Acute Tonsillitis Pictures
Picture 2 – Acute Tonsillitis
Source – google

In worse cases of tonsil inflammation, the patient suffers from acute Tonsillitis. This happens due to bacterial or viral infection in the throat. An acute condition of the tonsils gives rise to symptoms like bad breath, fever and sore throat other than usual discomforts like difficulty in swallowing. Acute Tonsillitis in children often makes them miss out on school.

What causes Swollen Tonsils?

How do you get Tonsillitis? People with swollen tonsils are often curious to know what causes Tonsillitis. Check out some of the major causes of Tonsillitis.


Common cold viruses like Adenovirus, Coronavirus or Rhinovirus are found to be one of the most common causes of Swollen Tonsils. Viral Tonsillitis is also caused by Epstein-Barr virus and Influenza virus.


Infection by bacteria like Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus (GABHS), Streptococcus pneumonia, Chlamydia pneumonia and Staphylococcus Aureus can lead to this disease. Other bacteria that give rise to venereal diseases like Gonorrhea and Syphilis may also result in this condition.

Low Immunity

Adults or children suffering from low immunity are more likely to be infected by bacteria or viruses resulting in tonsil inflammation.

Spicy Foods

Spicy and pungent foods or condiments often cause an infection and subsequent inflammation of the tonsils.

Respiratory Infection

The swelling of the tonsils can give rise to respiratory infection that goes away and comes back after regular intervals.

Risk factor from Swollen Tonsils

tonsil pictures
Picture 3 – Swollen Tonsil
Source – kids-ent

Swollen tonsils may not lead to life-threatening complications. But they can cause some serious discomforts in the suffering person which may impair his or her daily activities. These include :

Greatly Swollen Tonsils

If the tonsils swell and get enlarged too much, the affected person may suffer from difficulties in breathing.

Ear Infection

Acute cases of tonsillitis can result in recurring pain in ears. In some cases, it may even lead to ear infection.

Heart Disease

If bacterial infection of the tonsils is not treated in time, the patient may suffer from heart ailments.

Retarded Development

Children suffering from recurring cases of Tonsillitis are seen to have slow development. Such kids often miss out on school.

Mouth Abscesses

Recurring attacks of Tonsillitis in adults can give rise to abscesses in the mouth which may turn into a medical emergency.

Swollen Tonsils Remedy

Want to know how to get rid of swollen tonsils? Medical professionals usually carry out Swollen Tonsils treatment by using antibiotics for 7 to 10 days. Use of antibiotics for Tonsillitis cure is very common. Analgesics are used to provide relief from pain. Anti-inflammatory medicines and drugs like Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen that reduce fever are also used as a cure.

Tonsillitis cases resulting from infection by Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus is cured by antibiotics like Amoxicillin and Penicillin. If the patient suffers from a Penicillin allergy, medicines like Erythromycin may be prescribed for Tonsillitis treatment.

Removing tonsils may be necessary in chronic cases of Tonsillitis. Tonsillectomy or surgical removal of the tonsils is normally used in worst cases. Such cases involve swollen tonsils in children that recur twice a month. It can cause speech impairments, swallowing difficulties, respiratory problems and even heart illnesses.

Other than medicines, there are also some useful home remedies for Tonsillitis. Doctors often advise patients of severe Tonsillitis to use these remedies alongside medical treatment.

Swollen Tonsils Treatment (Home)

Want to know some of the home remedies for swollen tonsils? Here are some remedies that are often used for Tonsillitis cure. Go over these to find out how to treat Swollen Tonsils in the comforts of your home.

Salt water Gargle

Warm a glass of water. Add in one teaspoon full of salt into this and mix well. Gargle with this solution for 3-4 times a day to get temporary relief from pain and soreness in throat. It is an effective Swollen Tonsils remedy. This method also safeguards the tonsils from bacterial or viral infection.

Fenugreek Seeds

Pour a handful of Fenugreek seeds into water. Gargle with this solution daily for 3-4 times. It is supposed to be an effective way to reduce swelling in tonsils.

Vegetable Juice

Drinking juice of vegetables like cucumber, carrot and beetroot is said to be one of the powerful home remedies for Swollen Tonsils. It has been found useful in reducing swelling in tonsils.

Turmeric Powder

Pour a teaspoon of turmeric powder into a glass of milk. Mix the solution well. Drink this 2 times a day. Turmeric powder is believed to guard the body against infections.

Pictures of Swollen Tonsils

Not sure how Tonsillitis looks like. Here are some Swollen Tonsils Pictures. Check out these Swollen Tonsils pictures to know how inflamed tonsils appear to the naked eye.

Swollen Tonsils
Picture 4 – Swollen Tonsils
Source – homoeocure

Swollen Tonsil pictures
Picture 5 – Swollen Tonsils Picture
Source – doctorspiller

Tonsillitis is not a lethal disease. At the same time, it can be very discomforting for the suffering person. The condition can disrupt daily activities like eating, drinking or even opening the mouth. Associated symptoms like fever and headache may impair the person’s ability to function. If you or anyone in your family is having a case of Swollen Tonsils, do not neglect it. Timely treatment can help you avoid a number of complications in future and enjoy life as usual.

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Published on January 6th 2011 by  under Ear, Nose and Throat.
Article was last reviewed on 3rd September 2011.

3 responses to “Swollen Tonsils – Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Treatment and Home Remedies”

  1. James says:

    I had fecal breath odor for YEARS. Talked to many doctors who I am sure thought that I was crazy….I finally had a friend who suffers too, send me a eBook he bought 5 or 6 months ago he ask me how his breath smelt and I didn’t smell a thing. He said the eBook amongst much else had him stop eating dairy food/ soft drinks and coffee/tea. So I’m like reading it and doing all the stuff it says to do. Thinking this has to be bull. But after a few days my tongue started turning red and felt nice. I worked up the courage to ask a friend how my breath smelt and hes like I don’t smell anything. Now I’m thinking all those years of humiliation and I could have solved it ffs! There a site about it called BadhalitosisbreathCom When I read the site I felt sorry for the guy as he clearly had a real tough time with his bad breath, which pretty much ruined his school years. At lest he found a way to beat his bad breath and is letting others know how. Post this every! where to help people!! Thanks

  2. shannon says:

    Hi,I have been suffering from sore throats now for about 6 months. This last month I have been sick for a week. I was treated for strep,even though it was not on the test. then two weeks later I became sick again. Sore and achy all over,very,very sore throat to the point that I was having problems swallowing my own saliva. Treated again for strep. started to feel better in about 5 days,but then my ear was sore and eye on the same side. treated for ear and eye infection. I started to feel better while on drops, put them in one night and it was like my ear stayed full. dr. said that my ear looked ok. my sore throat has come back on the other side of my throat and I feel like my ear is full of water. I can even hear crackling in it if I blow my nose. This is the stranger part. I had a friend look in my throat(she is a nurse) She shows me her throat and then has me look in mine. I have what looks like two huge lumps or masses on both side of my throat,sitting on my longue. She said she had never seen anything like it. Also to mention when I came down sick the second time I went to an after hour clienic and the dr, there said that my tonsil were very swollen. I told him I did not have any tonsils. He then looked again, drew pictures of my throat on his paper. He treated for strep,but said he was not convienced it was. H e said that he had not seen anything like it before. I have asked my dr. if my tonsils have grown back his only ansewers with I am going to send you to a ENT. My my ear is still full feeling and my right side of throat is very sore. I have been told that me ear looks normal and that my throat looks normal(from infection) Any advice

  3. Joan says:

    Good day, I have no tonsils but have what appears to be tonsillitis, what is the cause and cure of this?

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