Your tonsils are small pads of tissue located at the back of the throat, one on each side.
Tonsils produce a type of white blood cell that helps fight infection. The tonsils are the immune system’s first line of defense against bacteria and viruses that enter your mouth. As a result, they are particularly vulnerable to infection and inflammation. The problem is more common in children as, unlike an adult’s immune system, a child’s system has had less exposure to bacteria and viruses and has not yet developed an immunity to them.
When the tonsils get infected it leads to an enlargement of these glands and the development of the following symptoms:
- Painful throat
- Fever > 38⁰C with chills
- Loss of appetite
- Red and swollen tonsils – you can feel lumps on either side of your neck
- Hoarse voice
- Foul breath
- Difficulty in swallowing or breathing
- Children may have nausea, vomiting, and tummy pain.
Tonsillitis may be associated with the development of abscesses, ear infections or even difficulty in breathing if they are very large.