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Chronic Tonsillitis

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Best Chronic Tonsillitis Treatment & Diagnostics in Karol Bagh, Delhi

Chronic tonsillitis is a persistent inflammation of the tonsils and the adjoining areas at the back of the throat – the first line of defense of the human body.

The adenoids and lingual tonsils may also cause problems.  Reinfection can cause the formation of small pockets full of infectious bacteria in the tonsils. Stones formed in these pockets, also known as tonsilloliths, may make a patient feel as if something is caught at the back of the throat.

Since children are most vulnerable, please ensure that you get an appointment with an ENT specialist near you for immediate care.

What is chronic tonsillitis?

Chronic tonsillitis is the term given to chronic and persistent inflammation of the two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat — the tonsils. Occurring mostly in children who are yet to have fully developed immune systems, the most common symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils and sore throat, occasionally accompanied by fever and almost always by difficulty in swelling food. Sometimes swelling may appear in the lymph nodes at the back of the neck.

Bacterial and viral infections are the most common causes of chronic tonsillitis. The condition may need strong medication and even surgery at times, depending on the severity.

What are the symptoms?

Irrespective of the age group it affects, some common symptoms of tonsillitis always include:

  • Red, swollen tonsils
  • Sore throat
  •  Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Tonsil patches turning white or yellow
  • Enlarged lymph nodes 
  • Husky or muffled voice
  • Bad breath due to bacterial biofilms
  •  Neck pain or stiff neck
  • Headache

If affecting children, common symptoms include:

  • Drooling due to difficulty in swallowing food
  • Loss of appetite due to persistent throat pain
  •  Unusual fussiness due to constant pain

What causes chronic tonsillitis?

  • Tonsillitis is caused by bacterial or viral infections
  • Streptococcus sp. is the most common causative bacterial pathogen
  • Viral causative agents include variants of the influenza virus, herpes virus and Enterovirus
  •  Immunocompromised individuals are at a higher risk of getting affected
  • Children between 5 and 15 years can be exposed to microbial pathogens owing to their developing immune system which is yet to become fully functional

When do you need to see a doctor?

Tonsillitis is referred to as chronic only when the symptoms remain persistent beyond 10 days. If the aforementioned symptoms persist, it is time to see a specialist.

Request an appointment at Apollo Hospitals, Karol Bagh, New Delhi.

Call 1860 500 2244 to book an appointment.

What are the complications?

  • Pus formed in small pockets called peritonsillar abscess in the tonsils – more common in adolescents, children and young adults
  • Middle ear infection (otitis media)
  •  Breathing problems due to spread of the infection to the respiratory tract
  • Tonsillar cellulitis when the infection spreads deep into the nearby tissues
  • Inflammatory conditions like rheumatic fever, which progressively affects the heart, joints, skin and even the nervous system
  • Spread to other organs can cause inflammation of the kidneys (post-streptococcal glomerulonephritis) and the joints (reactive arthritis)
  • Scarlet fever, a streptococcal infection, characterized by a prominent rash

How is chronic tonsillitis treated?

  • Over-the-counter medication is suggested for symptomatic relief (pain, fever)
  • Viral infections subside on their own within a week or two and only need symptomatic treatment if necessary
  • Antibiotics are prescribed for bacterial infections – the most common causative bacteria being Streptococcus sp. The typical duration of antibiotic therapy is 5-7 days and it is mandatory to complete the doses irrespective of the status of the throat.
  • Surgical intervention is required for more severe conditions; the most common methods include:
    • Surgical aspiration of fluids causing a peritonsillar abscess
    • Surgical removal of the tonsil gland in severe cases, which do not heal even after multiple rounds of antibiotics


Tonsillitis can be bacterial or viral, which subsides on its own within 7-10 days. If not, consult your nearest ENT specialist and get expert advice.

Can I do anything at home to take care of my tonsils?

Hot fluids, herbal drinks and warm water, along with the occasional use of lozenges, can be beneficial.

I have not had a fever, but my throat is still sore. Why?

If sore throat persists for more than a week, even without fever, consult your physician for possibilities of recurrent infection.

How does tonsillitis spread?

Tonsillitis spreads through cough and sneeze droplets. It is highly contagious.


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