Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index
Medical Author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Swollen tonsils can accompany a number of different infections of the upper respiratory tract. Some people have larger tonsils than others, and it is possible to have large tonsils without associated symptoms or problems. Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the tonsils, which typically occurs due to infection. Infection is most commonly due to viruses or bacteria. Tonsillitis is a common illness, especially in children. It is possible to have multiple episodes of tonsillitis throughout life. Tonsillitis is often accompanied by other symptoms, including sore throat, cough, sneezing, enlarged lymph nodes, fever, chills, hoarseness, headache, muscle aches, or fatigue. When the tonsils are infected, they may also appear to be coated with yellowish-white pus.
Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.
Longo, Dan, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.
Main Article on Swollen Tonsils
Causes of Swollen Tonsils
In This ArticleAdenovirus 14 Article
- Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) facts
- What is the killer cold virus?
- What are symptoms and signs of an Adenovirus 14 infection?
- What causes an infection with Adenovirus 14 (Ad14)?
- How is an Adenovirus 14 infection diagnosed?
- What is the treatment for an Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) infection?
- What are complications of an Adenovirus 14 infection?
- What is the prognosis for an Adenovirus 14 (Ad14) infection?
- Can an Adenovirus 14 infection be prevented?
- Where can people get more information about the killer cold virus (Adenovirus 14)?
In This ArticleCommon Cold Article
- Common cold facts
- What is the common cold, and what causes it?
- How is the common cold transmitted?
- What are risk factors for acquiring the common cold?
- What are the symptoms and signs of the common cold in adults, children, and infants? What is the incubation period of the common cold?
- Does it have anything to do with exposure to cold weather?
- What is the difference between the common cold and influenza (the flu)?
- How do physicians diagnose the common cold?
- What is the treatment for the common cold? Are there any home remedies for the common cold?
- Are antibiotics a suitable treatment for the common cold?
- When should a health-care professional be consulted?
- What is the prognosis for the common cold? What is the duration of the common cold?
- What are complications of the common cold?
- Is it possible to prevent the common cold?
In This ArticleFlu (Influenza) Article
- Flu (influenza, conventional, H1N1, H3N2, and bird flu [H5N1]) facts
- What is flu (influenza)?
- What are the causes of the flu (influenza)?
- What are flu (influenza) symptoms in adults and in children?
- How is the flu (influenza) diagnosed?
- What is the key to flu (influenza) prevention?
- Are there any flu shot or nasal spray vaccine side effects in adults or in children?
- Why should the flu (influenza) vaccine be taken every year?
- What are some flu treatments an individual can do at home?
- When should a person go to the emergency department for the flu?
- Who should receive the flu vaccine, and who has the highest risk factors? When should someone get the flu shot?
- What is the prognosis (outlook) and complications for patients who get the flu?
- What is the bird (avian) flu?
- Do antiviral agents protect people from the flu?
- Is it safe to get a flu shot that contains thimerosal?
- Where can I find additional information about the flu?
In This ArticleInfectious Mononucleosis Article
- Infectious mononucleosis (mono) facts
- What is infectious mononucleosis?
- What is the cause of mono?
- What are the risk factors for mono?
- How is mono transmitted or spread? What is the incubation period for mono? What is the contagious period for mono?
- What are the symptoms of mono?
- What are the signs of mono?
- How is mono diagnosed?
- What is the usual course and treatment of mono?
- What are the complications of mono?
- How can mono be prevented?
In This ArticleIs Tonsillitis Contagious? Article
- What is tonsillitis?
- Is tonsillitis contagious?
- How will I know if I have tonsillitis?
- How is tonsillitis spread?
- When will I know I'm cured of tonsillitis?
- When should I contact a health-care professional about tonsillitis?
In This ArticleMeasles Article
- Measles facts
- What is measles? What does measles look like?
- What is rubeola? What is rubella? What are other names for measles?
- What is the history of measles?
- What causes measles? How is measles spread?
- How does one become immune to measles?
- Who is at risk for getting measles?
- Is measles deadly?
- What are measles symptoms and signs?
- What is the danger of getting measles while pregnant?
- What is the incubation period for measles?
- What complications are seen with measles?
- What is atypical measles?
- What is modified measles?
- How is the diagnosis of measles made?
- What should someone do if he or she has been exposed to measles?
- If it is not measles, what else could it be?
- Is there any treatment for measles after symptoms and signs develop?
- What is the prognosis for measles?
- Is it possible to prevent measles with a vaccine? How effective is the measles vaccine?
- Why should people get vaccinated against measles?
- Is there any truth to the fear of getting autism from the MMR or MMRV?
- Who should not receive measles vaccinations?
- Do people need to be revaccinated against measles if they are traveling to Europe?
- What adverse reactions or side effects can occur with the measles vaccination?
- If a child has an egg allergy, can they still receive the measles vaccine?
- Who should be revaccinated against measles?
- What is herd immunity? Why should people care if others choose not to be vaccinated?
- Can the measles virus be used to cure cancer?
- Where can I find more information about measles?
Other Causes of Swollen Tonsils
- Bacterial Infections
- Fungal Infections
- Hypertrophy (Benign Enlargement) of the Tonsils
- Peritonsillar Abscess
- Viral Infections
Symptoms & Signs A-Z List
Find out what women really need.