Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils and willoften, but not necessarily, cause a sore throatand fever.
Symptoms of tonsillitis include a severe sore throat (which may beexperienced as referred pain to the ears), painful/difficult swallowing,coughing, headache, myalgia (muscleaches), fever and chills. Tonsillitisis characterized by signs of red, swollen tonsils which may have a purulent exudativecoating of white patches (i.e. pus). Swelling of the eyes, face, and neck may occur.
In some cases, symptoms of tonsillitis may be confused with symptoms for EBV infectious mononucleosis, orcolloquially, mono. Common symptoms of mono include fatigue, loss of appetite,an enlarged spleen, enlarged lymph nodes, and a severe sore throat, sometimesaccompanied by exudative patches of pus.
It is also important to understand that symptoms will be experienceddifferently for each person. Cases that are caused by bacteria are oftenfollowed by skin rashand a flushed face. Tonsillitis that is caused by a virus will develop symptomsthat are flu-like such as runny nose or aches and pains throughout the body. Eventhough the infection will not cure immediately, tonsillitis symptoms usuallyimprove 2 or 3 days after treatment starts.
Acute tonsillitis is caused by both bacteria and viruses and will beaccompanied by symptoms of ear pain when swallowing, bad breath, and drooling alongwith sore throat and fever. In this case, the surface of the tonsil may bebright red or have a grayish-white coating, while the lymph nodesin the neck may be swollen. The most common form of acute tonsillitis is strepthroat, which can be followed by symptoms of skin rash, pneumonia,and ear infection. This particular strand of tonsillitis can lead to damage tothe heartvalves and kidneysif not treated. Extreme tiredness and malaise are alsoexperienced with this condition with the enlargement of the lymph nodes andadenoids.
Chronic tonsillitis is a persistent infection in the tonsils. Since thisinfection is repetitive, crypts or pockets can form in the tonsils wherebacteria can store. Frequently, small, foul smelling stones are found withinthese crypts that are made of high quantities of sulfa. These stones cause asymptom of a full throat or a throat that has something caught in the back. Afoul breath that is characterized by the smell of rotten eggs (because of thesulfa) is also a symptom of this condition. Other symptoms that can be causedby tonsillitis that are not normally associated with it include snoring anddisturbed sleep patterns. These conditions develop as the tonsils enlarge andbegin to obstruct other areas of the throat. A person's voice is generallyaffected by this type of illness and changes in the tone of voice a personnormally has. While a person may only become hoarse, it is possible for laryngitisto develop if the throat is used too much while the tonsils are swollen orinflamed. Other uncommon symptoms that can be experienced with tonsillitisinclude vomiting, constipation, a tongue that feels furry or fuzzy,difficulty opening the mouth, headaches and a feeling of dry or cotton mouth.