Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils resulting from an infection. It may be caused by either viruses or bacteria, and often the symptoms are the same no matter which germ is causing the infection.
The tonsils become enlarged, red, and often coated (either partly or entirely) by a substance that is yellow, gray, or white. In older children, illness usually begins with sudden sore throat and painful swallowing. A child may also experience loss of appetite, a generally ill feeling, chills, and fever.
Bacterial tonsillitis can be treated with antibiotics, but viral tonsillitis cannot. Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids can occur with or without sore throats. This enlargement can cause snoring or brief obstructive apnea periods at night leading to poor sleep that can have a variety of daytime behavioral effects.