Tonsils are two lymph nodes that can be seen in the back of the throat. It is what your physician looks at when he asks you the famous “say ahhhh” question, while holding a stick on your tongue. Although they function as part of the immune system, to stop infections, they can become infected and impede on swallowing, causing tremendous pain.

Tonsillitis is a common childhood infection and usually occurs more rarely past the age of 15.


  • Very sore throat, making it difficult to even swallow your saliva
  • Bad breath
  • Mild fever
  • Ear congestion, that can lead to otitis
  • Neck lymph nodes swollen
  • Scratchy voice
  • Tonsils that appear either red and swollen (angine rouge in French) or covered with white spots (angine blanche) note that no differences in symptoms or treatments occur with differences in the tonsils
  • In very young children, loss of appetite


If the sore throat does not go away after 72 hours, it is important to see a doctor. Your physician will conduct a strep test in order to diagnose the cause and know whether you should take antibiotics or not. In addition, anti-inflammatories such as advil and Panadol can reduce the inflammation and easen the throat pain, while also reducing fever. Complications could lead to a tonsillectomy, a surgical procedure to remove the tonsils. This is why it is important to book an appointment with your physician quickly if the sore throat does not improve.