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Swollen or red tonsils

Also known as Inflammed tonsils

Your tonsils and adenoids are part of your lymphatic system. Your tonsils are in the back of your throat and your adenoids are higher up, behind your nose. They help protect you from infection by trapping germs coming in through your mouth and nose. Sometimes your tonsils and adenoids become infected themselves. Tonsillitis makes your tonsils sore and swollen. Enlarged adenoids can be sore, make it hard to breathe and cause ear problems.

The first treatment for infected tonsils and adenoids is antibiotics. If you have frequent infections or trouble breathing, you may need surgery. Surgery to remove the tonsils is tonsillectomy. Surgery to remove adenoids is adenoidectomy.

Source: MedlinePlus

What causes it?

The most common causes of swollen or red tonsils are tonsillar hypertrophy, common cold, and tonsillitis. Other possible causes, such as seasonal allergies (hay fever), are more rare.


What might my doctor prescribe?

Common Tests and Procedures

Patients with swollen or red tonsils often receive excision, tonsillectomy and/or adenoidectomy, other diagnostic procedures (interview; evaluation; consultation), ophthalmologic and otologic diagnosis and treatment, influenzavirus antibody assay, tracheoscopy and laryngoscopy with biopsy, other or therapeutic procedures on nose; mouth and pharynx and diagnostic procedures on nose; mouth and pharynx .

Common Medications

The most commonly prescribed drugs for patients with swollen or red tonsils include clarithromycin, ropivacaine, cefprozil, ofloxacin, gadoteridol (prohance), mivacurium, benzoyl peroxide-sulfur topical, cefditoren (spectracef), acetaminophen / chlorpheniramine / pseudoephedrine, dihydroergotamine, clavulanate (augmentin), retapamulin topical and desflurane .

Who is at risk?

Groups of people at highest risk for swollen or red tonsils include race/ethnicity = hispanic, age 5-14 years, age 1-4 years and age 15-29 years. On the other hand, age 75+ years almost never get swollen or red tonsils.

Age

< 1 years
0.1x
1-4 years
3.6x
5-14 years
3.6x
15-29 years
1.6x
30-44 years
0.5x
45-59 years
0.2x
60-74 years
0.2x
75+ years
0.0x

Sex

Male
1.0x
Female
1.0x

Race/Ethnicity

Black
0.9x
Hispanic
1.5x
White
0.9x
Other
1.1x
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