The Causes of a Sore Throat

Pharyngitis is the medical term used to describe a sore throat

Tonsillitis caused by Streptococcal bacteria can be serious if left untreated

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is due to an infection of one or both of the tonsils located at the back of the throat. The infection can be either viral or bacterial. Anyone can suffer from Tonsillitis, but it mainly affects children and teenagers. For the majority of people, it settles within a few days without any specific treatment. However, sometimes patients will require treatment in the form of antibiotics.


  • sore throat
  • headache
  • ear ache
  • fever
  • sickness
  • tiredness
  • swollen or painful neck glands
  • voice change

You may also notice that your tonsils look red and swollen or have white spots on them.


Treatment depends on the cause and frequency of the illness.

If the Tonsillitis is caused by a virus, then rest, paracetamol and plenty of fluids are required. If the Tonsillitis is due to a bacteria infection, then antibiotics might be necessary.

If you experience frequent episodes of Tonsillitis, you may need to have your tonsils removed. This operation is known as a Tonsillectomy.

Generally, a Tonsillectomy will be considered if you have suffered 7 or more episodes during the last year, 5 or more each year over 2 consecutive years or 3 or more infections per year for the last 3 years.

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Coronavirus update:

Mr Kirkland offers both video and face to face consultations for his patients. If you are elderly, vulnerable or shielding, a video consultation in the first instance can be beneficial. Quite often, we are able to instigate treatment or investigations following video consultation. If you are happy to be seen in a face to face consultation, we follow strict hospital guidelines regarding COVID-19 to prioritise patient and staff safety.