Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, and is evidenced by red, swollen tonsils sometimes coated with white, gray or yellow patches. Other symptoms include difficulty swallowing, fever, enlarged or tender lymph nodes in the neck and extreme fatigue or weakness. Both children and adults can get tonsillitis.
Most cases of tonsillitis can be treated with extra rest, plenty of fluids, throat lozenges and over-the-counter pain medication. If the tonsillitis is caused by bacteria such as group A streptococcus ("strep throat"), your physician may prescribe antibiotics. If you or your child is suffering from frequent tonsillitis your physician may recommend evaluation by an ear, nose, and throat specialist to consider surgery to remove the tonsils, called a tonsillectomy.