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Causes of Tonsillitis

Explore the factors behind the painful condition of tonsillitis, its causes, and potential treatment options in this informative article."

  • 06 Oct 2023
  • 3 min read

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, which comprise two tissue masses at the back of the throat. These are oval-shaped pads of tissue on each side that are part of the body’s immune system that helps to filter out bacteria and viruses entering through the mouth and nose. As a result, tonsils become inflamed or infected, leading to conditions like tonsillitis that causes swollen tonsils, presence of white patches on the tonsils, sore throat, trouble with swallowing and tender lymph nodes which may require medical attention. In this article, we’ll explore the possible causes of tonsillitis.


How is Tonsillitis Caused?

The following are the causes of tonsillitis:

  • Bacteria: The most common bacteria causing tonsillitis is Streptococcus pyogenes belonging to group A streptococcus which causes strep throat. Other bacteria like Haemophilus influenza, Moraxella catarrhalis, Staphylococcus aureus and other strains of streptococcus bacteria are also reported to cause tonsillitis.
  • Virus: A virus damaging the tonsils is one of the major causes of tonsillitis. Various kinds of viruses that cause tonsillitis include adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, enterovirus, cytomegalovirus and the Epstein-Barr virus, and other viruses which attack the tonsils at the back of the throat. It is advised to stay in a clean and dust-free environment to avoid any damage to tonsils, especially children who can easily get affected.
  • Age– Children aged 5 to 15 years are more prone to getting affected by this infection because their body is still adapting to immune system changes occurring due to exposure to new viruses and bacteria.
  • Exposure to Germs– Constant exposure to germs and bacteria also increases a person’s chances of getting affected by swollen tonsils. So it is advisable to maintain a cleaner and germ-free environment to avoid such infections.


Don't mix up tonsillitis with tonsil stones, also known as tonsilloliths, the main symptom of which is bad breath. So, what causes tonsil stones? They are formed when materials and debris get stuck in your tonsils and harden. The trapped material can include calcium, food, bacteria, or fungi.

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Tonsillitis is a common condition that mostly affects young children and sometimes adults. So it is very important to understand the signs, symptoms and causes of tonsillitis that can help us to manage this condition before it worsens. One should practice and maintain good hygiene and a healthy lifestyle which can help lower the risk of tonsillitis and other infections. If a person suspects symptoms related to tonsillitis, they should consult a healthcare practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment. Also, ensure that you have a health insurance plan in place to safeguard yourself against any financial stress. 

Disclaimer: The above blog aims to provide general information about health and related topics. Any information provided in this blog, website or in any linked materials is not intended and should not be considered, or used as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is important that you contact your Doctor before starting a new medicine or health regime.

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