Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils, which results in a sore throat. Tonsillitis can be caused by either viruses or bacteria

The tonsils and adenoids are composed of tissues that are similar to the lymph nodes or glands found in the neck or other parts of the body. Together, they are part of a ring of glandular tissue (Waldeyer's ring) encircling the back of the throat.

The tonsils are the two masses of tissue on either side of the back of the throat. Normal tonsils are usually about the same size and have the same pink color as the surrounding area. On their surfaces are little depressions, called crypts, which may appear deep and contain pus pockets or stones.

Acute Tonsillitis (Strep Throat)

The disease usually begins with high temperature and possibly chills, especially in children. The patient complains of a persistent pain in the throat, and pain radiating to the ear on swallowing. Opening the mouth is often difficult and painful, the tongue is coated, and there is a mouth odor. The patient may also complain of headache, thick speech, marked feeling of malaise, as well as swelling and tenderness of the neck glands (lymph nodes). Both tonsils and the surrounding area including the posterior pharyngeal wall are deep red and swollen. Later, whitish spots (follicles) form on the tonsils, hence the name follicular tonsillitis. There is also swelling of the neighboring organs such as the faucial pillars, the uvula, and the base of the tongue.