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What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

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The main symptoms of tonsillitis are inflammation and swelling of the tonsils, sometimes severe enough to block the airways. Other symptoms include:

  • Throat pain or tenderness
  • Redness of the tonsils
  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Painful blisters or ulcers on the throat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty swallowing or breathing through the mouth
  • Swollen glands in the neck or jaw area
  • Fever and chills
  • Bad breath

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

SOURCES:

Kliegman R.M., Behrman R.E., Jenson H.B., Stanton B.F., eds., 18th ed., Philadelphia, Saunders Elsevier, 2007. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics,

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Tonsils and Adenoids."

Nemours Foundation: "Tonsillitis."

University of Virginia Health System: "Tonsillitis."

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise: "Rapid strep test for strep throat," "Throat culture."

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Fact Sheet: Tonsillectomy Procedures," "Fact Sheet: Fact Sheet: Tonsils and Adenoids PostOp."

Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian on March 10, 2019

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What are the symptoms of tonsillitis in children?

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