Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils, which are two small glands at the back of the throat behind the tongue. Learn how to spot the symptoms and find out who is most at risk.

Media last reviewed: 11/07/2013

Next review due: 11/07/2015

Who's affected by tonsilitis?

Tonsillitis can affect both children and adults, but it's much more common in children. Most children have at least one episode of tonsillitis.

Viral infections that cause tonsillitis are easily spread through close contact with someone who is infected. Anyone who spends time in schools or nurseries is at increased risk of developing an infection that could lead to tonsillitis.

In teenagers and young adults, tonsillitis often follows glandular fever.

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils. It's usually caused by a viral infection or, less commonly, a bacterial infection.

It's a common type of infection in children, although it can sometimes affect adults.

The symptoms of tonsillitis include:

Symptoms usually pass within three to four days.

The tonsils

The tonsils are two small glands that sit on either side of the throat. In young children they help fight germs and act as a barrier against infection.

When the tonsils become infected they isolate the infection and stop it spreading further into the body.

As a child's immune system develops and gets stronger, the tonsils become less important and usually shrink. In most people, the body is able to fight infection without the tonsils.

Removal of the tonsils will usually only be recommended if they're causing problems such as severe or repeated episodes of tonsillitis (see below).

What causes tonsillitis?

Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by a viral infection, such as the viruses that cause the common cold or flu virus (influenza).

Some cases can also be caused by a bacterial infection, typically a strain of bacteria called group A streptococcus bacteria.

These types of infections spread easily, so it's important to try to avoid passing the infection on to others by:

  • staying away from public places, such as work, school or nursery until your GP says it's safe to return (this will usually be after the symptoms have passed)
  • coughing and sneezing into a tissue and disposing of the tissue 
  • washing hands before eating, after going to the toilet and, if possible, after coughing and sneezing

Read more about the causes of tonsillitis.

When to see your GP

Tonsillitis isn't usually a serious condition. You only need to see your GP if symptoms:

  • last longer than four days and don't show any signs of improvement
  • are severe – for example, if you're unable to eat or drink due to the pain, or you have difficulty breathing

Your GP will examine your throat and ask you some questions about your symptoms.

There are four main signs that tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection rather than a viral infection. They are:

  • a high temperature
  • white pus-filled spots on the tonsils
  • no cough
  • swollen and tender lymph nodes (glands)

Further testing may be recommended if you have at least two of the above signs. If you have three, it's highly likely that you have bacterial tonsillitis and antibiotics may be prescribed (see below).

Read more about diagnosing tonsillitis

Treating tonsillitis

There's no specific treatment for tonsillitis, but there are several things that can help alleviate the symptoms. For example:

  • taking paracetamol or ibuprofen to help relieve pain
  • drinking plenty of fluids
  • getting plenty of rest

If test results show that your tonsillitis is caused by a bacterial infection, a short course of oral antibiotics may be prescribed.

If oral antibiotics are ineffective at treating bacterial tonsillitis, intravenous antibiotics (given directly into a vein) may be needed in hospital.

In most cases, tonsillitis gets better within a week. However, a small number of children and adults have tonsillitis for longer or it keeps returning. This is known as chronic tonsillitis and surgical treatment may be needed.

Surgery to remove the tonsils (a tonsillectomy) is usually only recommended in cases where there have been several severe episodes of tonsillitis over a long period of time, or if repeated episodes disrupt normal activities.

Read more about treating tonsillitis.

Complications of tonsillitis

Complications of tonsillitis are rare and usually only occur if it's caused by a bacterial infection.

They're usually the result of the infection spreading to another part of the body, such as the middle ear (otitis media).

Read more about the complications of tonsillitis.

Page last reviewed: 09/04/2014

Next review due: 09/04/2016


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The 85 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

Mumsie24 said on 26 October 2014

Share your views and experiences with others. If you want a response from an NHS professional or the website team, please use the contact us link below.
My daughter now aged 20 is just suffering her first bought of tonsillitis after 18 months of having a reprieve from this condition. Nothing at all during her gap year, off to Uni and within a month, it's back - not good at all. She started at 14 and despite repeated trips to our with at least 3 boughts each school year, no referral for removal as it would affect her studies - it did that anyway. Even continued during 6th form but still did not get a referral as last time it was 3 boughts in 15 months, not 12 months. Now at a loss what to do with my now adult daughter's issue and reoccurring condition. She is totally fed up with it, could we get a private referral? Anyone have any ideas please?

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lolaruby said on 23 October 2014

This is the first time I have had tonsillitis and it is pretty unbearable. I'd say it was on par to the time I suffered with glandular fever. This is far from just a sore throat. I am literally bed ridden, completely fatigued, high temperature and chills, I hurt all over to the point I almost feel like I'm in labour again (not even joking!) And I can hardly move my neck with the swelling.
Really starting to feel terrible for the people that get this regularly. This feels worse then flu!

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smellymoo said on 15 October 2014

Where to start? Im a 28 year old teacher and never suffered with tonsillitis as a child, two years ago i came down with the worst sore throat, bone chills, fever, dizziness and headache and extreme fatigue, inability to swallow my own saliva without flinching in lasted a few weeks and i was given antibiotics which didn't make a difference....

I kept falling ill every 6 weeks or so and each bout would last a few weeks, i'd be bed ridden for 3-4 days at least, i had to take time off work which i felt extremely guilty about but i was in no state to be able to do my job.

I was referred to the ENT department at my local hospital and as luck would have it i didnt have a flare up at the time and the consultant was so dismissive :( he just sent me away, i carried on suffering. I had a particularly nasty bout in August and at this stage was diagnosed with chronic septic tonsillitis, since august i have had two lots of amoxycillin, azithromycin and one other penicillin based antibiotic - they dont help at all. Each time i get a bout i am completely floored. I think its because i never take enough time to rest it, i take the minimum days off work and then it just flares right back up again :(. I was seen again by another consultant who took one look at the scarred mess of tonsils and put me down for a tonsillectomy. I am mid-bout at the moment and it is awful. I have spent the last three days in bed, feeling chilled to my bones but sweating with fever, feel like rocks are in my head and so much pain swallowing its unreal. Im on cocodamol and ibuprofen and antibiotics..i know tonsillitis isnt life threatening but it is a horrendous thing to deal with continuously. It has made me so depressed. I cant be active and go to the gym, it has affected my work and personal life. Can't wait to have them out :( x

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frenchyd said on 03 September 2014

I'm 20years old and have been suffering with tonsillitis since I was 15 and its gradually getting worse! This year i've had it 5 times and all the doctor does is give me antibiotics. I know within a month it will be back so I hardly bother going to the docs any more I'm desperate to have a tonsillectomy so I wont have to suffer any more... I've made an appointment with my doctor and am going to ask her to refer me but I have low hopes because nowadays its all about saving money and I doubt I'll get it done she will probably just send me home with more antibiotics :(

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OseJo said on 20 June 2014

I have suffered from Tonsillitis every 2-3 months since I was 2 years old. Every time I went to the Dr and was given a 7 day course of antibiotics and it cleared up quickly. If I had Antibiotics as soon as it started, it usually cleared up in 3 - 4 days, if I waited it would take 1-2 weeks and more antibiotics. Having had it so regularly I knew the early warning signs. At 18 I had Glandular Fever and didn't have Tonsillitis for another 2 years. It was heaven 2 years of no sore throat!

8 years ago I read a tiny snippet of an article that said in "some" recurring cases of Tonsillitis it could be due to an intolerance of dairy. When I mentioned it to my GP he said he had never heard of that being the case. As I started getting it at the age I started drinking cows milk and having cereal with milk for breakfast, for me this made sense. I didn't cut it out completely but started only drinking black coffee instead of my usual very milky tea (I can't drink black tea even if it's loaded with sugar), and cut down the dairy in my diet. I didn't for example have pasta in sauce for lunch, then pizza for tea and then Ice Cream for pudding, far too much dairy!!

So at 35 I am now 8 years passed my last attack of the Tonsils. Yippee!!!

It was going really well until yesterday. Suddenly I have a headache like something is trying to escape through my skull and I'm feeling really stuffy. Today my throat is scratchy and my tonsils are starting to block my throat. Having not had it for 8 years it wasn't something I thought of until tonight and now I'm starting to think "I know where this is going to end up!!" Perfect timing as always. My Nan turns 100 next week and now, if this is a tonsillitis attack, I won't be able to go anywhere near her or the Care Home she lives in!!! It always picks it's moment!!

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Sandra93 said on 04 June 2014

I am a 49 teacher and had my tonsillectomy 2 weeks ago, doing fine, just a 'normal' sore throat now.
Take the advice of the hospital staff: be prepared for things to get worse before they get better, drink water or dilute squash continuously (keep it by your bed at night), eat toast from day one (even if it takes ages/is difficult), avoid ice-cream plus anything acidic or spicy, take it easy (you will get bored) and do not have contact with too many people (to minimise the risk of infection).
For those worried about a future tonsillectomy, yes you can read the horror stories but remember that every one is different. There will be some tough days/nights but it does not last forever. You will feel unwell and there will be pain but if you have been suffering for years and have ended up in hospital with Quinsy then you have to balance things up.
From my own perspective, nothing was as unpleasant as when I had Quinsy and could not even swallow my own saliva and had to grunt instead of talk!
The advice above is very important, if you force yourself to drink and eat you will get better. Contrary to the norm, I actually put on weight, largely I think due to a lack of exercise and copious amounts of toast!

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steph2014 said on 02 June 2014

I am 35 yrs, I have had my first experience with tonsillitis, originally I went to my GP and they said I had oral thrush which i was treated for with a course of antibiotics, however the following week I ended by in A&E, they took the normal blood tests and found out I had an infection. While being seen by the consultant I asked him to check my throat to see if the thrush had cleared. He said your tonsils are inflamed and infected. I was given a course of amoxocillin for seven days but i was still having trouble swallowing I ended up seeing a doctor at 12.45 am. She said that the tonsils were infected still and the amoxocillin would not work at all. I was put on a strong dose of erythromycin 2000mg. Which off course gave me the worse side affects possible I am still taking them now but my right tonsill seem to be resting on the back of tongue. I don't know what to do. I am at the stage where I don't want to eat sometimes have trouble swallowing to the stage that I panic and just fed up. I have arranged to see my doctor next week to see what she can advise.

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Eve081 said on 05 May 2014

Now 38 I have experienced tonsillitis a lot when I was a child. Would start with me fainting in the morning. Nowadays I can see it coming :-). Taking amoxylin at the mo but...
As I originally come from another outside the UK the proper treatment especially with repeated bouts of tonsillitis should be different.
Back home I would have a blood test and a swab to confirm. Another blood test when course of antibiotics completed. According to my GP back home to confirm it's gone as if not another course of antibiotics needs to be taken immediately - if you stop and start or take too often body eventually become resistant to penicillin and you need stronger antibiotics in order to clear the infections.
Another advise antibiotics kills the bad bacteria but also the good one apparently it takes up to 9 months after one course of antibiotics for the body to restore the good bacteria.
Probiotics should be taken at least once a day at least an hour after the antibiotics with food to help to restore the good bacteria. Optibac/ Biokult and I am sure there is more can be taken alongside antibiotics and should be taken for at least another 3-6 months after depending on over all health.
Old fashioned remedy helps the pain but cleanses the liver which tonsillitis has impact on - not mentioned anywhere hence the blood test back home. Grated ginger soaked for about 10mins + lemon + honey. You can keep drinking it all the time as first thing in the morning to maximising the benefits.
The long term probiotics and ginger drink work,long term. I am the living proof :-)). I have stopped taking probiotics and drinking ginger regularly about 9 months ago and here I am with tonsillitis first time in three years.
I have also been told that stress can cause tonsillitis and you should def rest.

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Frannieannie7 said on 30 April 2014

I agree with lunaldo this article makes tonsillitis sound like a common cold! I am 33 and have regularly suffered from severe bacterial tonsillitis on and off for years. It feels as though each time I get it it is slightly worse. I am now suffering my third bout in 6 weeks and I am having to take yet another week off work. If is truly horrible, I have just changed doctors and this time they have given me 10 days of antibiotics straight away, taken swabs of my throat and have given me prescription strength co-codamol and 600mg sachet ibuprofen which does take the edge off. For those suffering severe pain I would suggest asking the doc for pain meds too.

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tikker said on 15 April 2014

Do i bother with the doctor? Had tonsillitis fir approx 7 weeks varying in painfullness etc but constantly had the white spots and feeling that food is stuck at back of my throat. I have suffered since being a teenager (i am now 33) and i usually avoid the doctor as i am always told the same thing ....fluids,rest,ibuprofen,patacetemol blah blah blah but i have never suffered for this long and have been feeling tired and run down for weeks,no intetest in much as i have no energy. I still manage work and looking after my family despite wanting to just flop so maybe i am fairly lucky compared to some. I have had a lot of stress lately and i mean a lot and have been told that stress can cause tonsillitis,has anyone else been told this?

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MelissaCS said on 07 April 2014

I'm 21 and have repeatedly got tonsillitis since I was 18. I would say I have got it at least 20-23 times during this period. I'll wake up feeling groggy and within an hour I'm dizzy and unable to move around with big sore lumps all over my throat, being a student this is obviously a problem as I'm not paying 9 grand a year to spend weeks stuck to my bed! After multiple visits and having to put my foot down (I got told it was normal to get a sore throat! Yet I can assure you this is no sore throat! And also told that I should be glad I'm not in hospital with it - if I got the help then it would hopefully never have to reach such a severe stage!) I have finally been referred to the hospital about it. I've already had it three time this year and I'm currently on antibiotics for it (they upped the dose and extended it to ten days) which did start to work but now the lumps have just decided to spread further and get worse even though I'm still taking the antibiotics! I'm hoping the referral will give me some help, any will do but it's literally every month or two I'm stuck to my bed with it for a week or two! Fingers crossed it gets sorted soon! It's the most awful feeling when you can feel it coming on and you can't stop it!

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Lulubelle3 said on 30 March 2014

If you are getting repeated infections I read you should change your toothbrush so you don't infect yourself again!

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SharonS73 said on 28 March 2014

I am a 22 year old and have had 5 lots of tonsillitis since January. I have been to the doctors all times and all they have given me is antibiotics which clears it up and then a week or so later its back again. The past 2 times i couldn't eat as it was so painful and was finding it difficult to breathe, but only got given more antibiotics despite the pain i was in. To top it off i think i have another lot coming on now.. hot and cold and my eating is like eating razor blades. Just want to get rid of it now, its getting ridiculous and the doctors don't seem like they really want to help!

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rankyut said on 20 March 2014

I'm 24 years old and it's been 3 days since I got tonsillitis and it really irritates me. My throat is so itchy that I want to scratch it from the inside but that's impossible. Hehe. I'm taking antibiotics right now but it gave me relief for just a short period. My mom advised me to drink ginger brew/tea and it really worked.

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lunaldo said on 18 March 2014

I forgot to mention in my last post that I agree with others who have posted on this page disputing the facts portrayed. For a start as a long standing sufferer the illness has just never gone away by itself after 3 or 4 days.Every time my doc has diagnosed my illness as tonsillitis I have been prescribed antibiotics which according to this page is only required for rare cases when it's caused by a bacterial infection. All I can say is I must have been very unlucky to get the rare version every time ! Or have I just had lots of rubbish doctors and just being pacified. I also agree what others have stated regarding it's seriousness , okay generally not life threatening but damn right painful and it leaves you bedridden for days unable to function as normal. This page makes the illness sound trivial and common but for us sufferers it's definitely not!

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Pidge245 said on 12 March 2014

I'm 20 and have suffered with bouts of tonsillitis since I was aged 13. I could have it Up to 6 times a year.
I haven't had it for a year so finally thought I was rid of it but no, it started up yesterday and today I've been so dizzy and light headed I can hardly walk on my own, I have no appetite & I've been sick, and I'm boiling hot but freezing cold, like my teeth have been chattering non stop!
Looked in the mirror and saw the dreaded white sores all over my sore and inflamed tonsils :(

I've had ibuprofen & paracetamol but it's made no difference, not looking forward to another sleepless night.

I feel this article is very vague stating that it's a common infection and most times it will go away!
it needs more awareness for regular sufferers and the agony we go through, it literally puts your life on halt!

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andy4955 said on 01 March 2014

I'm 48 and experiencing tonsillitis for the first time. Sure, I've had sore throats before, but pus in the back of my throat and white spots and feeling like you're constantly swallowing razor blades, its just plain miserable. Pain killers don't work, the prescribed amoxycillin hasn't touched it and its now into almost my 3rd week of misery. On the plus side, I've lost a few pounds, on the negative, I've got races coming up and no energy or stomach for running or gym work. Does anyone have any suggestions for alleviating the pain at least?

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sillymummy said on 24 February 2014

i have to laugh if i could at some comments iam a 43yr old with a 2yr old daughter and iam also the sufferer of tonsilitis bed rest i dont think so take it easy no chance my home would fall appart if i didnt just get on with it no matter how bad i feal i even tryed to put my baby in front of the tv so i could have a lay down i was suffering that bad but she had to get her doctors bag to help me and my husband says i will take her out in the garden for a bit wile you get dinner made haha laugh again if i could nobody understands the pain iam going thru appart from my fellow sufferers so lets all go on strike lol kidding letsall get well soon hopefully iam of to bed for a well earnd rest since its the only one iam getting sillymummy feeling sorry for herself lol

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Bluesky22 said on 24 February 2014

I am 42 and am presently enduring the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life. I started with a sure throat on the Wednesday morning and it is now the following Monday, I have practically O/D'd on most of the over the counter pain killers available have been prescribed antibiotics in case it's bacterial, (clearly not as they've had no effect,) I have barely slept in a week and haven't eaten because I can't even swallow my own saliva. The pain has been intolerable yet the description if tonsillitis on this page uses bland terms like, common infection, no specific treatment, not usually serious. Some acknowledgement please of the intense pain would be helpful.

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Yummypot said on 18 February 2014

I am 40 and have been diagnosed with tonsillitis. It started with a normal sore throat but it got really worse when the pain became unbearable, even drinking was so painful. I couldn't eat and I couldn't sleep. I also had headache and temperature. I just took Paracetamol but it did not really help with the pain in my throat. After 3 days, I went to the GP and she prescribed Amoxicillin for 5 days. The pain started going away 2 days after taking the antibiotic. I still feel weak due to not being able to eat and sleep for days but at least, the pain is less now and I'm feeling better.

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simone73 said on 13 February 2014

Im 41 I used to suffer a lot as a teenager earlier this year .I woke feeling a bit groggy. By the time I got home with the children from school I could barely stand up. I was frozen and sweaty alternately . My neck was like a football and my throat was like id swallowed glass. I was so weak by morning I couldn't even drive myself to the Dr. It took me down so fast..I don't remember it being this bad as a teenager.I was completely bedridden for 4 days. I still felt very weak and shaky and had something like palpitations when going out and walking ie taking kids to the park felt like doing the marathon. That feeling continued for at least 10 days. It most certainly was not a mild illness.

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Chelseyj said on 09 February 2014

I posted on the 28th with tonsillitis I got better after taking antibiotics but I have developed it again I was well for 3 or 4 days.
I can barely talk, I'm irritable and in a lot of pain it's my 4 year anniversary tomorrow and I'm going to have to spend it at the doctors.
Something needs to be done better testing stronger medicines because it's not fair for people to suffer like this it's not just a sore throat it hurts 100x more than that!

Really hope I get better soon as my life is currently on hold! And to other sufferers, get better soon!

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SilverMuk said on 05 February 2014

Day 5 and still no improvement. GP prescribed 500mg penicillin 3 times a day but day 5 and still suffering from a high temp, fever with freezing cold bouts, an inability to swallow feel like glass in my throat and now an unbelievable piercing ear ache grrrrr >:( back off to the GP. Again!

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User841924 said on 05 February 2014

I'm currently suffering with the worst case of tonsillitis I've ever had. I'm 26 and haven't had tonsilitis since my teens.
It's Tuesday today but mine started on Wednesday night last week with the tell tale sore throat and a bad headache - hardly any sleep that night and I winced when I looked at my tonsils in the morning.
I knew it I had tonsilitis. I struggled through with meds and ibuprofen & paracetamol.
On the Saturday my ear had severe stabbing pains ehich I couldn't ease - at around midnight my mum picked me up and took to her house because I was so ill - we called 111 as I had lost most of my speech they booked me an emergency GP appointment - I also had one on Monday morning because the symptoms were getting worse.

Yesterday I lost all ability to talk the pain was so severe in my ear and I couldn't swallow at all. The lack of food and sleep for 4 days + had taken its toll.

You have to keep on at your GP - I ended up being put in the car and seen by yet another GP and he sent me straight to hospital with suspected quinsy and called ahead to have me admitted onto a ward. The Drs were amazing - they gave me steroids and last night I slept for the first time and managed to eat last night. This morning I have atleast 50% less ear pain and am able to eat and drink now.

If you are suffering you have to keep on and on - mine got worse everyday and I saw 3 different GPs until I got rushed to hospital. And the ENT department were great.

This page says about not going to your GP - but you have to!

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vickykaf said on 31 January 2014

I am 36 and for the first time since I was a kid I got tonsillitis. I had a persistent cold for the last 3 weeks which I thought I was getting over, albeit slowly, and then yesterday my tonsils flared up. I am currently in bed with high fever, dizzy, aching, freezing, then boiling, and swallowing is almost impossible. My doctor saw me today at 7.30pm -bless him- and prescribed penicillin and nurofen. He is also sending me to have an x-ray tomorrow in case I have a chest infection as well.

Group hug everybody, get well soon.

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Annabelle L said on 30 January 2014

I had tonsillitis a month ago lasted for around 2 weeks and today i have just been diagnosed with it again. I took the whole course of antibiotics but clearly they didn't work or they aren't strong enough. I am 21 years old and i have never had it before last month

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Chelseyj said on 28 January 2014

I went to my doctor yesterday after reading this page believing I have glandular fever but she laughed then checked my throat and apparently it's tonsillitis but this site states that tonsillitis in adults is glandular fever.
So I'm unsure of what I have I'm 21 and use to regularly suffer from tonsillitis but it ended when I was about 14.
I've been given antibiotics (amoxicillin) in liquid form as I'm struggling to swallow tablets, it is the most disgusting medicine in the world so avoid if you can!

If anyone can shed any light on what I have or treatments that work wonders would be amazing!
Because I just want to be healthy again I miss food,sleep and the ability to speak properly.

I hope any people reading this with tonsillitis have a speedy recovery.

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hayzm said on 24 January 2014

I'm 26 and is currently suffering with tonsilitis. I've had it before but never this bad. It started Sunday afternoon and I just felt like I had a blocked up nose, but during the night I developed a really high fever. It's now early hours of Friday morning and I'm still suffering. I've spent the week sweating it out in bed and dribbling. I've been given a 10day course of antibiotics (although I don't think they've kicked in yet) and I've only managed to eat one bag of crisps since Sunday. I now have the worst earache imagineable! Is it worth going back to the docs or waiting a little longer for the antibiotics to kick into full effect? When you have a 3yr old and a 14week old to look after it's even harder!

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Cazlenno said on 18 January 2014

Currently sat in hospital with my 19 year old daughter who has has a severe case of tonsillitis . After 2 weeks of feeling run down and flu like symptoms and being sick the tonsils flared up and dr referred her straight to a&e where she was given a blood test and antibiotics. Within 2 days her condition worsened with inability to close her mouth, swallow or sleep & eat/drink. She came straight back to a&e last night and they immediately put her on a drip and gave 2 doses of intravenous antibiotics overnight as well as steroids to reduce the swelling. Her glands are still swollen but less so but she feels so much better and can close her mouth and actually ate some lunch. We are just waiting to be discharged with more cocodomal and antibiotics. All I can suggest is get straight to a&e if it's so bad as the hospital ( in our case leeds general infirmary) were fantastic.

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farquhar said on 12 January 2014

I am 41 years old and developed tonsilitis on 27th december. It got so bad that i could hardly breath at night. Doctor prescribed penicillin and it began to feel better, i finished the course amd 1 day later at 235 am was woken up not being able to swallow again. Seemed the infection had not gone.

Returned to the doctor, swollen glands, neck and face, another 5 day course of penicillin. Now i am due to finish in 1.5 days, and glands still swollen and white lumps still visible. Im so worried the same is going to happen again. I felt so ill, bedridden and i have 4 children!! They have all bee fine.

Just wanted to say its not just children that suffer!!

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kimmy2605 said on 09 January 2014

I am a 26 year old female currently suffering.

this is my 4th experience of tonsillitis and by far the worse, my previous experiences have not been to pleasant either with my last bout seeing me bed ridden an knocked out for 4 days from a doubled dose(prescribed by doctor) of solpadol/kapake and penicillin.

This time I have caught it off my 2 year old daughter. She was diagnosed with the bacteria strain, I was advised to keep an eye on my older daughter but advised that it is common in children and I was less likely to catch it.

I did not take the advice given to myself as my last 2 bouts have occurred in the last 2 years.

this bout has spread so fast. I attended college today as usual, no sore throat or headaches. I felt tired and left early. When I come home I lay down for an hour. Im now awake with 3 septic spots and a few leisions on my left tonsil and my gland is the size of a golf ball. Needless to say I shall be attending docs tomorrow and hopefully will be fighting fit again in a few days.

I must stress also that the age range is nothing to go by. My daughter is 2 (3 in a week) and I am 26. Neither of us fit into the age range specified.

I advise you all to be cautious if you know anyone who is suffering. It does not seem to discriminate against age, unlike the advice on here.

may all you sufferers have a speedy recovery:)

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Janinemccue said on 06 January 2014

I'm a 21 year old female and I just got tonsillitis on January 2nd and I just thought I had 2 canker sores on the back of my mouth on my tonsils then on Friday night I realized maybe I have tonsillitis, this wasn't the first time I had tonsillitis as I got it last year for the first time and they gave clarithromycin last year for my infection cause I'm allergic to penicillin and this year they gave me erithromycin for it and seriously I felt better last year when I got on the antibiotics it worked faster but I'll have to wait till later in the week like last year I was able to go back to school before the week ended cause I felt better but now I still feel blah

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CiaraaEwing said on 01 January 2014

I have had tonsillitis twice this year in october and now its very painful i can barely eat or drink i have this awful pain in my ear that has now spread to my face and neck my neck glands are severely swollen and i have been sick 3 times this week something doesn't feel right and i dont know what to do anymore the antibiotics arent working the doctors arent helping i need help please

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LittleMissPortia93 said on 28 December 2013

I am a 20 year old female and I have suffered from tonsillitis since I was 15 years old. I used to get tonsillitis about 4-8 times each year.

On 17th December 2013 was the day I had my tonsillectomy at Croydon. I woke up in the recovery room post surgery in mild pain and I was on the ward for 6 hours before being discharged in that time I had half a hot drink and half a tuna sandwich as I couldn't really eat. When discharged they gave me Diclofenac sodium and Co-codamol for the pain.

On the first few days I really couldn't eat much however I did try and managed to eat a few biscuits as the nurses advise you to eat solids such as biscuits to scrape your throat. On days 4, 5 and 6 the pain was unbearable and I had a very bad earache and I didn't eat anything on those days because it was impossible. On day 6 I was running very low on pain relief and had to urgently request more from my GP and got them on the same day (Use the pills sparingly on days 1-4). Day 7 was Christmas eve, not as much pain but still painful but as I wanted Christmas dinner I forced fed myself cookies on noodles on that day which I ate and took my pain relief as normal. Day 8 was the day I ate for the first time ate normal meals with no discomfort.

I'm on day 11 now post surgery I can eat normally and haven't really used pain relieve since day 8. Still a little pain but it's hardly anything.

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odiriverere said on 17 December 2013

I am a 22 year old female who is suffering from sever tonsillitis I could not eat or drink for 3 days and the pain was worsening everyday I am currently at Guys & St Thomas's receiving treatment because it got so bad that I could not breath I've been in hospital for 3 days now and I am getting better little by little and started eating yesterday even though eating the soft food was still hard for me I can honestly say that I am doing much better. The medicine is working and I am glad that the swelling when down so now I don't have to do any surgery.

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mrmouse said on 13 December 2013

I am a 21 year old male currently suffering from tonsillitis, i've never had it before but can certainly say it is one of the most painful experiences that I have had. it is quite a deceptive illness to have as you wake up in the morning often in excruciating pain, which can often subside during the day, after taking the medication (penicillin, lemsip, paracetamol, depending on how bad it is). However, do not be fooled by this! it is a rather cruel trap. by late afternoon/early evening you may start to feel a very sharp pain in your throat again and I have found that it is better often to dribble or spit into a cup as swallowing can simply be too painful. My advice therefore, would be to of course stick to your medication guidelines, and in the period where your throat is feeling less violent to drink as many hot drinks as possible. I found that hot water with a slice of lemon and lots of honey is very soothing, and a also green tea (as these do not contain any paracetamol etc. they will not interfere with your medication timetable). I hvee just started on a course of antibiotics so hopefully will start to feel better soon. Good luck to all fellow sufferers and get well soon!

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Bealers said on 19 November 2013

I must admit, reading all these comments has made me feel a lot better! I am 39 and have suffered with tonsillitis several times in my life. I have always gone to the GP as soon as the symptoms started and got antibiotics into me straight away. This time my symptoms started on Friday evening and I wasn't prepared for how fast and how severe they were. Of course I couldn't see my GP till monday morning by which time I was in agony. The right side of my throat was so painful and swollen that it was better to lie with a tissue under my face and dribble than to swallow. I forced myself to take ibuprofen 4 hourly but I felt this didn't make much difference. I couldn't drink apart from sips of water to wash the tablets down and I couldn't eat. When I looked at my throat I couldn't believe how bad it was, so swollen you could hardly see my back teeth!
This is without doubt the worst case of tonsillitis I have ever had. I'm now on day five and still feeling pretty rubbish! Eating is still just too painful but I can drink a bit more. I'm hoping that by tomorrow the antibiotics will have kicked in and the swelling will start to go down.
Anyone else out there suffering, you have my sympathy.

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Xxjjordan28xX said on 18 November 2013

I'm. 17 a month away from being 18 and I regually get tonsillitis, it ranges from mild to being really sore. I struggle to swallow my food and drink due to the pain sometimes, due to my age is it something I should worry about much, since on the site it said its more common for children 15 years and younger to have it. I've had reoccuring tonsillitis for a few years now and my asthma doesn't help, so is it something I should be worried about, what affects could it have on me if I don't have them out?

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sherri41 said on 27 October 2013

Im 41 and have just got back from my gp surgery and been told I have tonsillitis.. I ha been feeling run down for the last couple of weeks so thought I was gonna get a cold.. But Friday eve my throat was killing me felt like I was swallowing sandpaper.. I feel weak,tired,temperature feeling sick plus a few other symptoms..I've been taking paracetamol and hoped it would go away.. Oh no this morning I woke up and thought I was trying to swallow a tennis ball I was in excruciating pain and called 111 which got me a apt.. I've been given penicillin and strong pain killers and to get bed rest and stay warn and if I need to go out to wear a chance of me going out that's for sure I'm to weak.. I was admitted to hospital end if last year with thyroid probs and when that doctor looked at my tonsils he said "wow I've never seen tonsils so big before!" You may want to speak to your gp bout having them removed as I'm asthmatic and they affect my breathing and I snore bad.. I wished I had of done but where I've never had tonsillitis before I thought I'd be soon as I'm well enough docs I go to demand they be removed (as told I can) as adults we need more info as I thought it was just kids that got it.. I'm hoping these antibiotics work soon as can't bear this pain much longer!! Get well soon all you that are suffering right now with it :(

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clmchive said on 18 October 2013

I had only cold/flu symptoms for 3 days, couldn't lift my own head or when I did leave the bed was in so much pain all over. I only had a very slight sore throat at this point, but then one morning my throat glands became swollen and as I've had tonsillitis before, thought it could be this. Been given penicillin, 8 tablets for next 10 days. I'm 28 and never had something take it out of me so much that I can't work.

When I was 22, I had a persistent cough, was working in a call-centre at the time and was tested for throat cancer (don't smoke), turns out I had chronic tonsillitis. Then 1.5 years later, different call-centre it came back again. They blamed all sorts; talking too much at the call centre, stress in life causing tension in throat, diet (too much cheese), my breathing habits...etc. I had to go hospital and have a camera through my nose and down into my throat but still inconclusive. Had speech therapy to use my voice better. Then left call-centre work and it stopped. I'm now a teacher, so worried if it is over use of my voice I could loose my profession, if this returns again. It isn't taken seriously by employers, I think they just think it's a sore throat and doesn't help when all information is focused on children and speedy recoveries. I've asked to have them removed but refused don't know what to do long term.

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broostine said on 19 September 2013

I am 20 and have suffered with tonsillitis my whole life. I get it about 7-8 times per year (if I'm lucky I get a whole month or two without it!). It is simply the worst illness because it just comes back again and again. The only good thing about it (if you can call it good) is that, once you've had it so many times, you get kinda used to it to the point you just know what to do. I personally think the over the counter 'Tyrozets' are amazing, although their effectiveness has started to wear off compared to when I first started using them whenever I felt tonsillitis coming on. Unfortunately, penicillin seems to be the only thing that completely works time after time. I am terrified of having to have my tonsils out as I've heard horror stories of infections after the op. However, it is getting to the point now where I'm thinking when is this ever going to end? It completely puts your life on hold whilst you have to 'recover' back to full health. It seems to be true for most adults who get this regularly that tonsillitis lasts for roughly a week. I really feel sorry for any adult or child that continually gets this illness as it seems to be quite down-played by medical professionals as being a minor thing that doesnt impact life all that much (much like the common cold which im sure any of us would kill to swap this for!) I agree that much more information, advice and self-help guides need to be added to this site as it seems that so many people get this and don't know what to do or how to handle it.

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SMCASH said on 28 August 2013

The bad taste and soreness slowly starts to ease after 5 days in. You'll still feel run down and tired but that's to be expected. Food is a bit easier to swallow but then my right ear was hurting when I ate. It also hurts first thing in the morning too.

I'm now exactly a week after surgery and the sore throat has eased, food tastes a lot better. The white stuff that coats the area of the removed tonsils has began to move.

I wrote this because some of the stories concerned me a bit on here. A lot are very negative. No it's not easy, yes it hurts, but in time things get better.

Good luck with your recovery.

Note I wrote this a week after recovery. I'm now over 3 weeks since operation

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SMCASH said on 28 August 2013

I had my tonsils out at Whiston last week (05/08/13). I'm 29/male and found reading the reviews before surgery helped me prepare for the pain ahead.

Firstly I want to place on record my gratitude to the surgical team and all the nurses and staff on Ward 4B for their excellent care. Thank you so much.

Now I will share my experience ; On the day of my surgery I was given a room and bed and bathroom- no ward. Then you get ready and put the gown and socks on. When ready you walk to theatre and wait in the room to be put asleep. I was slightly apprehensive but the staff were super and before I knew it I was asleep at 12.05PM. The next thing I remember is coming around after surgery at 13.30PM feeling a bit dazed. My throat felt a bit weird. Then wheeled back to 4B at 1340PM and as time went on I woke more and had regular sips of water. At 5.30PM I ate most of the tea and all the pudding (NHS food much better these days). I was reviewed at 7pm and I was on my way home with a bag of medicine and a warning that the pain would come. At this time it was sore just a dull ache.

The next morning the pain did get worse and I was soon taking my tablets but I had a decent sleep 10pm-6am. Then back asleep about 7ish. I got up around 11am and forced myself to eat, it wasn't easy but to recover quicker has to be done. I also found drinking water the best and maybe a slice of toast. There is pain but not unbearable.

The next three days pretty much were the same as the paragraph above. The only difference is the taste when you are eating, it's not nice but eating helps. When you wake up you will be sore as your throat is dry from sleeping so take your tablets to bed and water and take them once you wake up. Make sure of the correct spacing between tablets! On the Friday I managed to get out and about to a children's play centre for a couple of hours. I was OK but got steadily tired so went home and relaxed.

(To be continued 1/2)

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Natalieboo said on 26 August 2013

I'm living with tonsillitis now. It's the first time I've had it and I'm suffering pretty bad. I'm supposed to be going to a theme park but unable to go if the penicillin I was giving doesn't kick in. I was just wondering how long does it take to ease the pain as I have only just started taking it?

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nanci84 said on 24 August 2013

Im 29 since having my little girl ive had tonsilitus 7 times in 2 years. I never used to get poorly before having a baby. I find it so hard coping with being a mum and having tonilitus, i do find that the onlything that gets me through it is ibprofen every 4 hours and amoxycillin pescribed by the doctor my doctor has always been really good with me so im lucky, i just now really want my tonsils removed as im fed up of feeling this rough and being house bound for at least 3 days. I think this is the worst ive ever felt so far im sure every time i get it its always worse than the last.

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Rhi2013 said on 22 August 2013

I'm 29 and I'm having my tonsils removed in two weeks. I'm currently on penicillin for a nasty bout of tonsillitis. I've had almost a week off work as I can't speak properly, I'm in a lot of pain and my face and neck is swollen. Prior to this I had quinsy which put me in hospital for five days and where my tonsil was drained three times. Again I had another two weeks off. There's absolutely no information for adults on tonsillitis (quinsy yes) so before I saw all these comments I thought there was something wrong with me as all the information is related to children. In fact when I asked about work my dr told me that children tend to go back to school or play after a couple of days, to which I replied 'what about adults?!!'. This is really frustrating! Especially as I can see several adults my age and above have suffered from it! They say tonsillectomy is more painful for adults so I'm guessing the same for tonsillitis?!

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Nusrat Latif said on 16 August 2013

My 9 year old has been diagnosed today by the Nurse at my GP Surgery at the
'Kingsway Medical Practice', Manchester.

I probably asked the nurse the question 5 times:
"Is my daughters Tonsillitis, which you say has been caused by a streptococcus infection, contagious'

Each time the nurse today clearly replied no it is not contagious.

I am not surprised our infectious disease rates are amongst the highest in Europe.

We put our lives in the hands of professionals in whom we are expected to have a large degree of blind faith.

We need to get the basics right.

Bad advice leads to bad heath outcomes and increases the economic impact on the health system.

Both are avoidable risks.Get. it. right.

(Thank goodness for the internet)

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DebbieO said on 16 August 2013

I'm 38 and just got my first dose of tonsillitis and OMG it has to be the worse thing I have ever had. I woke up on Sunday morning with a slight sore throat, banging head feeling sick and every part of my body hurt (just moving hurt). By Monday my throat was so swollen, and sore i found it difficult to drink. Tuesday got worse and I just thought I was being soft, but Wednesday was so bad I booked in my docs :-( To find I had as the Doctor put it a nice severe dose of tonsillitis so she prescribed antibiotics. I'm now on Friday and my throat is still very swollen and sore and I'm finding drinking very difficult, im also feeling very sick still and feeling very weak. I must admit I never thought tonsillitis would be this bad.....How wrong was I? I just hope I start feeling myself soon :-(

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Lyndseyg98 said on 14 August 2013

I had my tonsils removed when I was at primary school, I am now 25 and have just returned home from the doctors with a diagnosis of tonsillitis!

The doctor asked me if I had had it before and I explained that I don't have tonsils, to which she replied "yes you do!" So all the pain I went through as a child was for nothing as the little blighters have grown back!!

Anyway, I've been in bed in agony for two days, a struggling to eat or drink (which is a nightmare for a type 1 diabetic) but at least have some antibiotics to fight the infection!

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Siena1987 said on 13 August 2013

I'm 25 and I have never had tonsillitis before, but I did once have glandular fever when I was younger. But nothing like this.

I felt ill, achey and had a headache for a week or so, and then suddenly my throat hurt so much and I couldn't swallow. I thought maybe I had flu as my glands were the size of golf balls but looking in my throat in the morning (with my iPhone torch app!) I almost cried. I've never seen something so disgusting. Parts of my tonsils that weren't covered in pus were black. I went straight to the GP and she gave me antibiotics, but the problems only started there. After that, came the fever, hallucinations, uncontrollable drooling, not being able to swallow or eat or drink but being told to "drink as much fluid as possible", the constant nausea and headaches, earache and swelling.

I've been in bed for three days and it just doesn't seem to be going away. I'm missing a fanatic job opportunity because I genuinely can't get out of bed without feeling sick and dizzy.

Hope it goes away soon :'(

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nushycat said on 02 August 2013

I am 27 and currently suffering from my first ever bout of tonsillitis and I have to say it is the worst illness I have ever been struck down with. Started feeling ill at work two days ago and by the next day I had a fever, aches and pains, nausea and mainly my throat and neck were so sore and swollen. After spending a day struggling to drink cool water and take paracetamol my husband had to ring the 111 service as my throat had become so swollen I couldn't speak or breathe. I managed to get an appointment at my local urgent care centre and the doctor didn't even need to look at my throat to tell I had tonsillitis because she could smell my breath from across the room! How awful! She did look however and saw a ton of pus on my tonsils so I am now taking antibiotics and they have already started kicking in. If anyone else is struggling with this please see a GP and insist on them checking you over thoroughly. The doctor that I spoke to on the phone was happy to dismiss my symptoms as cold and flu and had I not been seen in person would still be struggling to breathe.

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Kiwichkinuk said on 04 July 2013

I had severe tonsillitis at the age of 17 and 18 and think the advice is pretty spot on above whether you are a child or adult. If you have it as an adult you need plenty of rest, plenty of fluids, go to doctor and take paracetamol as required. It is worse for adults agreed, as I now have a 3 year old with it who bounced back pretty quickly, but still the care is the same.

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Rockchick33 said on 03 July 2013

I'm 33 and currently suffering from my first bad case of tonsillitis. Why do they say it's just kids?!
I woke up Sat morning in complete agony. Not able to swallow at all with that dangly bit in the middle the worst affected at first. So swollen it's resting on my tongue, it's bright red with one of those white spots on the end. My main tonsils swelled up the next day. Every time I manage to sleep I wake up choking on my own saliva. I also have very swollen glands, earache, fever and throwing up. I was taking solphadine max and ibuprofen and it barely touched it. I managed to see the GP Monday morning and thankfully got some Amoxicillin. Today I feel slightly better. Guessing it was bacterial as I've
not had a cold or anything. Feel sorry for anyone else that suffers with this. My only advice is get to the Dr's surgery ASAP.

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cileo said on 29 June 2013

My 4 year old daughter had tonsillitis about 6 months ago. Her tonsils have never gone down - they really are huge - and sometimes she gets stinky breath and a white coated which started when she first got tonsillitis. She was treated with antibiotics and her symptoms got better but her tonsils stayed the same.
I took her back to the doctor a couple of months after the episode to check and he said this was normal, sometimes they never go down! She only has a small space at the back of her throat now, I wonder if this will ever change?

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3qualizer said on 27 May 2013

I'm on to my 4th bout of tonsillitis in just under 18 months, I'm almost 36 and have been getting bacterial tonsillitis at least once a year for the last 4 or 5 years. It doesn't help that I'm on medication that compromises my immune system. I'm hoping that they will at some point take the stupid things out because I cant take my medication when I'm ill and I need to take my meds to stop me from getting too bad as I have a family to look after.

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Saz373 said on 17 May 2013

I agree with MaddyB12 above. Its horrid and more information should be available for adults. I am 39 and just got back from the Drs after being told that is what I have - acute tonsillitus. Its the first time I have had it. My glands are up on one side & I expected him to say I have flu. I have so many symptoms its a joke! Thought I was dying in the early hours. Could not get my temperature down, feel like I am going to be sick all the time, aching from head to foot including bad headache, all noise and light is hurting it, ear ache and my skin even hurts, all over my body. Last night it felt like it was on fire. My insides hurt too, no appetite. Can hardly move, stiff and keep tripping over my own feet, no energy. As you can imagine after that list I did not expect it to be my tonsils!! Been given penicillin & told to keep my fluids up.

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BarryThomson said on 16 May 2013

i'm 24 and never had it!!

went to the doctor a couple of days ago to get checked because i was running a fever (was actually sitting at 40oC) and was just generally feeling unwell.

he took my blood pressure (I'm Dead because the machine or the ball and pump couldnt get a reading) tried to take my pulse (and that was well through the roof)

so he said you have the flu mr Thomson gave me some penicilin and sent me on my way....

my flatmate is actually a ENT Speciallist and he told me that i have Tonsillitis,

The Doctor didnt even check inside my mouth, come to think about it i havent had that done for quite a while now, remember when they stuck a wooden lolly stick on your toung, or shined the light in your eyes and years at every visit, im 24 years old so couldnt of been that long ago.

but anyway my point is, is that my doctor has been in his profession for 20+ years and he failed to spot this!!! so as you can guess, im not a very happy bunny just about now!!

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maddyB12 said on 13 May 2013

Hi I have just been diagnosed with my first bout of tonsillitis at 36!! Oh my Lord !!! I have never experienced anything so horrid in my life ! I swore the doc was going to say I had throat cancer ( no offence) and missed the symptoms. It came on sudden and crushed me within hours. Fever chills a splitting headache and just an overall feeling of being very very unwell. I was also on the brink of being sick . I always thought tonsillitis was more common in kids but coming on here I can see its not . Please can we have more info on adult tonsillitis ...its common! Its Horrid ! The information provided by the nhs is not helpful for the adult sufferers. :(

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KennedyP said on 01 May 2013

I'm 17 and always suffered with tonsillitis when I was a younger. I didn't get it for a few years and then this year I have had it a total of 7 times just since January. I keep going to the GP and they just giving me Penicillin. I don't want to keep taking these because I'm scared of the reactions. My mum said to them how many more times do I need to get this before they take it out, they said they don't do this anymore and just told me to Gargle salt water and keep to the course, I've done this since last week (when I last got it) this week I began getting a sore throat and my mum looked at it, this is the most severe case I've had in the matter of 2 days of getting rid of it last! I've missed so much time of college and can't go to my placement as I work in a school, I'll miss even more time now. It's getting too much for me now and I am off today with my mum to the GP to receive yet another course of penicillin. My mum this time though will be printing this off and saying that they say surgery. I can't swallow and haven't eaten properly since yesterday morning. I am now being sick and that even hurts my throat. I believe that this is caused by so many people crying wolf that the NHS avoids doing this procedure now, so other people have to suffer. If you're a sufferer like me, don't give up on trying to get them out. Don't bow down to the GP's and do research before hand. Drink plenty, plenty of rest and best wishes on getting it sorted.

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dsz said on 27 April 2013

I am 40 and having second bout of tonsilitis in 8 years. Never had it as a child. My primary symptoms both times are high temperature hurting all over and feeling generally terrible. My throat feels swollen but not too painful thank goodness. The first time I had it everything hurt so much I didn't realise the problem was in my throat. I recognized it this time and got antibiotics on day 2 but still spent several hours feeling totally awful. I think at one point I had a conversation with the cat who was not actually in the room! The symptoms described by NHS are not accurate.

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thisneedsfixing said on 21 April 2013

The information was great, but I only gave 1 star because you (and every GP I've seen over the last 10 years) has not mentioned tonsilloliths. Even the spell checker is telling me I just made that word up. Well Google it, there are published journals (Chang) detailing methods for surgeons to prevent them!!
I've have never been without bad breath for around 10 years now. I have tried everything, all kinds of toothpastes, mouthwashes, flosses etc. I go to the dentist at least twice a year and I have had perfect teeth for the past 4 years. I don't eat sweets or sugar drinks. I stay away from processed foods, I gave up smoking when I was about 19, I exercise regularly etc.
Well after coughing up a white lump that smelled like concentrated cat feces, I googled it and found that millions of people suffer from these horrble things called tonsilloliths that are buried in tonsil crypts. These things ruined college, university, social life, family get togethers. I hardly speak to my own friends because of the reaction I get. People make fun of me, and think I don't realise, because I don't say anything about it, because Im trying to not to talk. Anyway, these things are real, trust me, just google it. My GP neglected to even glimpse at a published ENT journal I brought in with me, because I think 1) its a big cover up or 2) He didn't want to seem less knowledgable than some random guy. Well I'm an animal science graduate and I know how to research.
Please, nhs, recognize this problem. This causes people to become social outcasts. I've almost reached critical point I need a cryptolysis or a tonsillectomy

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jasperdog said on 13 April 2013

My daughter has had so many bouts of tonsilitis over the last few years, we've lost count. She's had so many antibiotics over the years that she's been left with IBS. She regularly misses school, outings, family occasions, hobbies and activities. Basically, it's spoiling her life. Yet the GP won't entertain the idea of referring her to the ENT specialist, because she hasn't had a certain number of infections over a certain period of time. I've registered with this site and left this comment because she's supposed to be away this weekend doing part of her Duke of Edinburgh award; instead, she's sat on the sofa with another course of antibiotics.

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LiliFire said on 07 April 2013

I too had lots of bouts of tonsillitus as a child & have had the odd attack in adulthood.
I'm now aged 45 and currently have the most severe case of tonsillitus I've ever had. The pain has been excrutiating and I've been trying to sleep on my side with a towel under my face to catch the saliva because at times I've found it totally impossible to swallow.

Then I read other peoples helpful comments last night and invested in some ibuprofen tablets this morning (had been avoiding due to wondering how on earth I was going to swallow them)

First thing I did this morning was suck on a popsicle, then I gargled with warm salt water. This managed to numb my throat just enough for me to be able to slowly sip 1000mg disolvable parecetamol and they killed the pain enough for me to take 2x 342mg ibuprofen tablets.

An hour after that I was eating a bacon sandwich!!! It didn't taste brilliant but I don't care!! I ate food!!!!

I've taken another 500mg of paracetamol and another 342mg of ibuprofen every 4 hrs throughout the rest of the day & I'm just about to go to bed without the fear that I'll choke to death on my own saliva.

Anyone who has this illness ... I really do wish you a speedy recovery xx it's so dibilitating and so painful and hard to explain to anyone who's never suffered that no, you don't just have a really bad sore throat!

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User759520 said on 25 March 2013

I'm 17 and I've been getting tonsillitis since I was 10. I used to get it every 2-6 weeks but the doctors refused to take them out. I went a couple of years where I didn't have tonsillitis but when it did come back I began to worry but my mum wouldn't take me doctors cos she knew they would only say I need antibiotics.
I'm now at college doing a childcare course and so far have had tonsillitis in January, February and March, each time its getting worse and its shocking the doctors how bad my tonsils get. Today was the first time that having tonsillitis has made me vomit which was a very horrible experience
My advice to anyone who gets it is to go straight to your GP as soon as you start to show symptoms, stick to the given course of antibiotics, drink plenty and get plenty of bed rest

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wispa2 said on 18 March 2013

In 2011 my 10 year old daughter finally had her tonsils out, after 5 years of pain and suffering with them,and our doctor saying it wasn't a bad enough case to have them removed! It had got to the point where she was missing 2 weeks of school in every 4 weeks. antibiotics got stronger and stronger as were failing to take affect and clear it, she had sickness with it and completely drained, finally at my wits end i changed her doctors and she was lovely, took one look at notes from old surgery and said why has this poor child not been referred to ENT, what felt like a long wait 6 new cases of tonsillitis later she was on children's ward waiting for her op. A mum's nightmare having to see her child put to sleep, luckily mine wasn't scared, more relieved to be getting rid of them. The longest 45 minutes of my life, but then she was back, and i thought it was over, til the post op hemorrhage, which meant another trip to theatre for stitches 3 hours after her 1st op. 18 months later, not 1 single absence from school, all that pain and worry was worth it in the end.

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mufftarkin said on 20 December 2012

At 47 had my first case of Tonsillitis diagnosed yesterday. Just thought it was a bad case of the flu with a really sore throat. My wife also had it a couple of days before and generously passed it on to me. So that's 2 things I hadn't realised: A) it's not just kids that get it and B) that it's contagious.

Had tried everything for the pain, Strepsels, Paracetomol, Ibuprofen (as it's also an anti-inflammatory), but nothing seemed to make a dent. Did the usual advise of keeping hydrated, drinking iced water to see if that helped bring the inflammation down.

However in my case it wasn't actually my tonsils which are affected, but my Uvula, which has swollen to almost 3 times its normal size. when this started to affect my speech, plus the thought of Xmas Day like this I decided to go to the docs yesterday. They prescribed a course of antibiotics and advised that I also keep taking the Ibuprofen. So now just waiting for it to take effect.

I just hope this isn't something that will re-occur now I've had it once. Not a pleasant experience and not one I'd like to re-visit in a hurry.

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MrSkippy said on 19 December 2012

I'm having my first ever bout of Tonsillitis at 33, now that I'm experiencing it I have a lot of sympathy for people who have it regularly as I can understand how awful it is. Initially it freaked me out when I saw the white stuff over the tonsils. It took about 4-5 days before the pain got really bad and now I'm on day 9 having been on clarithromycin for 4 days now. My tonsils look worse but in the past 24 hours the pain has reduced considerably. I read that you should gargle with salt water in order to relieve the pain and help sterilise your throat... I couldn't gargle as I'd never needed to learn but have worked it out now and I have to say that it gives instant relief so definitely do this, it's quite amazing actually. I've been alternating ibuprofen and co-drydramol every four hours and this is quite effective, with the ibuprofen being superior but obviously you have to be really careful not to overdose as apparently small overdoses over a number of days are worse than one-off larger overdoses. Anyway, good luck to all those who come here seeking advice.

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hollydunne said on 19 December 2012

I had mine out in Sept this year and its the most painful thing i've ever had done but i suffered tonsillitus about 5 times or more a year and sore throats every few weeks so i went to the hospital who told me they'd take them out

Today i have such a sore throat and there's tiny white spots where my tonsils used to be :( hope its going to go away as dont want to be ill for Xmas

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tobesure said on 12 December 2012

I'm 54 and have tonsilitus on average once a year. As a child I had it much more frequently, sometimes 4 or five times a year, and aged 10 had septic tonsilitis which put me in hospital where I had blood transfusions and was quite poorly for a couple of weeks. Even after this episode the medics would not agree to removal preferring caution on the basis that I would most probably grow out of it.

So I put up with it as part of my life. Most people don't realise how debilitating it can be and I guess like many things you don't really know how it feels until it happens to you!

I also get colds and sore throats of course but I've come to recognise my adversary now and fortunately I have a doctor who understands this and prescribes penecillin when I need it (after the usual checks of course!) and fortunately this has always worked for me.

When I look back to my 20's and 30's I remember wishing I'd had them removed, but on balance as the years have gone by I'm probably glad I didn't as I've met people who've had surgery but still get it which seems bizzare to me but shows it might not be fully effective.

I guess there's no right or wrong answer to this and surgery may be for you but as my case shows even though it hasn't gone away it has become much less frequent over time.

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dancingannie said on 11 December 2012

I agree with everybodies comments so far. I have suffered from tonsilitis all mylife but has definitely got worse in the last few years. I am 29 ears old and have just had my tonsils removed. At the moment I am regretting it because of the severe pain I am in but I am hoping it will be all worth it as I really do not think I could have coped with another onset of tonsilitis. Luckily for me the doctor suggested surgery but I was very close to asking anyway. Looking at all the information regardig post-op I can only find hep for children. There is very little help or advice for adults in ths area. I am happy to help anyone if they have any questions about the surgery etc but rest assured you are not alone. :-)

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Jiddles said on 03 December 2012

I am a 50 year old woman and suffered a severe tonsillitis 3 years ago. Even the doctor winced when she visited me and looked down my throat! Penicillin got rid of it, but I was debilitated for almost a week. I got the illness a lot as a child, with severe symptoms, but never had my tonsils removed. I also had glandular fever when I was 15 years old and was off of school for a month.
Could we please have more recognition of adult tonsillitis? It is awful to suffer it, much worse than I can remember as a child. Thanks.

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mrsdoolittle41 said on 12 November 2012

Hi, my sister aged 46 has severe Tonsilitis and has been given ant-biotics ,my question is iam due to visit her in 5 days time ,can she still pass in to me or our dad who is in his 60's ? Thanks

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mp72 said on 08 November 2012

The pages about tonsillitis seem to focus on children - but like a lot of people making comments on here, I'm 40 and suffering as well. I did get tonsillitis quite a bit asa teenager/young adult, but this is the first time for a lot of years.

I woke up yesterday with a sore throat and felt very achy. But by the time I got home from work in the evening, all I wanted to do was sleep. I was shivery but my temperature was 40. After ringing the out of hours doctor, I was advised to got to my local a&e dept - where I was diagnosed with tonsillitis and given paracetamol, penicillin and steroid tablets.

I've been told to try and drink but only eat when and what I fancy (difficult as everything tastes vile) and rest. My penicillin are for a course of 7 days (500mg 4 times a day). I've also been told to take a couple of days off work and maybe go back on Monday, which will be 4 days in all, but I'll have to see how I am when the antibiotics kick in....

Please can we have more information on here about adults with tonsillitis as there seems to be quite a lot more than you realise....

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wheresspot said on 11 September 2012

I would echo what others have said and say that this page also need to focus on tonsillitis in adults. I am 33 and have just been diagnosed with it for the first time.

I don't know whether it is considered more serious in adults, but certainly when I spoke to NHS Direct after 24 hours of symptoms they wanted me to be seen by a doctor that same day. When I did see someone a few hours later, she obviously felt it was quite serious and made me take ibuprofen there and then and she also made me drink two glasses of water because my temperature was so high. So I don't think the advice above is very realistic.

She also did not perform any tests before prescribing penicillen (an 11 day course!). Plus she told me I would need to take at least a week off work - so I think saying it only lasts 3 -4 days is inaccurate.

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donald king said on 18 August 2012

I have had tonsilitis for the first ever time this month - I am 52 and live alone. Went to bed on a Sunday night with a tickly sore throat - but when I woke up on Monday morning I couldn't swallow at all, speak, or eat. Stayed in bed all day, and felt not much better on Tuesday. Called out my doctor, who told me I had (much to my astonishment) tonsilitis. Gave me penicilin and codeine. The pencilin soon shifted the severity of the sore throat, but I found that I as I carried on taking the pencilin it made me feel sickly. I got about half way through the course and had to stop. The sore throat has virtually gone, but it is taking an age for my sense of taste to come back. I have lost about a stone in weight (which is not in itself a bad thing.) I suffer from clinical depression, and am starting to think: will I never get my appetite and sense of taste back? Phoned up Health Direct, which was a very good service (my surgery were very busy and couldn't give me a quick appointment) - a nurse phoned me back after 15 minutes or so. She told me to eat when I felt like it and drink lots of fluids. (She reassured me that I would not actually starve to death unless I went on hunger strike - we had a bit of a laugh about that...) Just hope I don't get a telling off from my GP for not finishing the course of penicilin, but I just couldn't go on with them. One of my friends has a niece who had tonisilitis very badly when she was about 8 - she had had to have her tonsils out in the end. (Example of weird sense of taste: went to drink some orange juice last night, and it smelled like paint!)

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HannahPryor said on 08 August 2012

I am 21 and for as long as I can remember I've always had this problem. I have it right now and it's at times agony. Can't eat drink or swallow. Sometimes have trouble breathing, took a tablet today and my tonsils are so swollen It got wedged between them. Neck hurts, face hurts, chest hurts. Mouth hurts everything. And I have this once a month. I know when it will come on as I have a pain that feels like a needle stuck in my tonsils and then I have about 3 days of agony a month!! Doctor is now refusing me antibiotics and says I don't need them out. My tonsils are constantly swollen it's just waiting for it to come on again. It's hell!!!

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BobW said on 01 August 2012

It would be helpful if the NHS would provide information more tailored to adults. I have yet another bout of tonsillitis and am on antibiotics again (and being allergic to penicillin the alternatives don't always work). I believe I have only suffered with tonsillitis since my early-twenties. For example, the advice of "plenty of bed rest" is not applicable, nor achievable, to me as a mother of two children under school age. Thank you.

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Bagpu5s said on 02 June 2012

For everybody with regular recurring symptoms I can not recommend enough getting your tonsils removed. I just stumbled across this site and the messages on here. I sufferd regular infections from about 12 years of age, increasing in intensity until I was 27. I was never offered surgery, as everyone points out it is not reccomended. It is by all accounts it is a dangerous operation, but continuing down the same path was not an option for me. I play sport and have a physically demanding job, my quality of life was getting ruined, the last bout I suffered was completely debilitating, I have never felt pain like it. I'm a 6 foot 1 firefighter and all I wanted to do was cry, it felt like every single major organ in my body was shutting down. I went to A&E and the nurses thought it was amusing, the doctor offered antibiotics for the millionth time. 15 years of terrible tonsillitis and I had to basically force the doctor to book me in with a specialist. Weeks later the specialist peers in my mouth for approx one second looks at me and says, they have to come out as soon as poss, why weren't you referred years ago? Op went well, I have never felt fitter, 7 years no infections, no more antibiotics, the best thing without doubt I have ever done. I wish more than anything it was offered when I was a kid. In my experience Doctors do not by any means have your best interests at heart, if you have suffered like I have don't waste years being told by someone you're fine take these pills. It's your quality of life not theirs at the end of the day. Demand to see that specialist.

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beauchampkid said on 20 May 2012

I'm now 37 and had my tonsils removed when I was 5. However, I've just had a severe bout of tonsillitis. Apparently even after your tonsils are removed tissue that is identical to that in your tonsils remains in your throat leaving you susceptible to further episodes. This felt worse than anything I experienced as a kid. The lesson to learn from my experience is that your GP may not properly diagnose. Mine send me away saying it wasn't anything serious and just to take paracetamol. He never suggested it could be adult tonsillitis. By the next day I couldn't eat or drink and ended up dehydrated in hospital. Am now taking penicillin which is sorting it out.

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Leland2012 said on 18 May 2012

I'm 23 years old and can genuinely say that I've had more of these infections than my lifespan! Currently have it just now, Doc gave me a tonne of penicillin (80 tablets - 8 a day) The previous time I had it, I ended up being admitted into hospital with quinsy and getting a needle shoved in my throat to drain it! Not pleasant as you can imagine....Anyway, this is something I clearly am not growing out of and what's more I don't even know why they've never referred me to have my tonsils removed. I'll just have to put up with feeling like death for now until next time, yay!

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odiesmum said on 23 April 2012

It is inaccurate to exclude adults. I am 52 years of age and have been diagnosed today, approx 5th time in adulthood, last time approx 5 years ago ended up hospitalised at Kettering G I.
"Joke" is, i had my tonsils extracted at approx 6 years of age.
I would like someone to take the time to explain how this can be, as it makes no sense to me, feeling so bad x

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stacey589 said on 19 April 2012

I am also 22 and from a baby suffered with tonsilitus and when swollen block my throat as they were massive. I had chronic ear infections and a hole in my eardrum i had my anedoids removed and operations on my ears however my mum persisted my dr refused and said it was something i had to put up with!? At the ageof 21 i went to see a new doctor had it 8 times in 6 months and he reffered me straight the way my consultant was disgusted that i hadnt been reffered sooner. I still waited another 8 months for my operation but id say thats good going these days! And in october im finally tonsil free i wont lie it was sooo painfuull but worth it. I can breath and not even had a sore throat since! Be really persistant make a diary and record all the times u have it and if
ur drs not keen try another i really hope u get reffered as i so no howmuch pain and disruption it can cause!

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scetwee said on 11 April 2012

i'm 22 and have had tonsillitis once a year since i was 15. as a child i often had chest infections. the past three years have been horrendous and i have had tonsillitis nearly ten times in three years. i am now on the strongest dose of antibiotics i've ever had and hoping to be referred to a specialist to have my tonsils removed. the nurse told me today that surgeons are more likely to remove tonsils nowadays because so .many people have been getting infections due to stopping this practice of readily removing them. my grandad and dad both have a history of bad tonsillitis and my dad had his tonsils and adenoids out as a child. i wish i hadnt had to wait so long to be referred as the operation is harder for adults. i am not happy that this article focuses on children, there doesnt seem to be anything useful for adults with recurring symptoms

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youfunkithing said on 07 March 2012

at the age of 36 this is my first bout of tonsillitis and i have to say the pain my throat is extremely uncomfortable. Doc gave me diflam spray which helped a little to make it easier to drink fluids, i found warm drinks easier to swallow than cold. Also keep an eye on your temp as my flew up to over 41 degrees which caused vomiting and wrenching which is not nice when your throat is already hurting. Its quite easy to diagnose yourself if you read the above and the most important thing is to get to your doc

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ILOVEBRUNOMARS said on 07 September 2011

I'm only 10, but I've had tonsillitis about 6 times, and it really hurts! I'd say don't panic, just go to the doctors as soon as symptoms start to show, or even if you have a sore throat. Penicilin is the best medicine, but check with your local doctor first. If you have got tonsillitis, get well soon, and all the best from me xxx

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