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.

References :






  1. James January 12, 2011
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  3. Joan September 6, 2011

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