Children's Hospital Colorado

Tonsillitis

What is tonsillitis?

Tonsils are lymphoid tissue located in the back of the throat. Tonsillitis is an infection that involves only the tonsils, but often the infection also involves the throat and is called pharyngitis. Pharyngitis is commonly known as a sore throat.

What causes tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis and pharyngitis may be caused by a virus. Over 90% of pharyngitis cases are caused by viral infections. Tonsillitis and pharyngitis can also be caused by a bacterial infection. Strep bacteria cause the bacterial infection commonly known as strep throat.

Who gets tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is most common among children between the ages of preschool and adolescence.

The Connection Journey
Reassurance before your child’s surgery

The idea of having your child go through surgery can feel intimidating when you don't know what to expect. Lora gives Meghan advice on getting through the rough nights.

Watch their stories

Get to know our pediatric experts.

Steven Hamilton, MD

Steven Hamilton, MD

Otolaryngology

Leila Covrigaru, PNP

Leila Covrigaru, PNP

Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Erin Teravest, PA

Erin Teravest, PA

Physician Assistant

Patient ratings and reviews are not available Why?

Steven Leoniak, MD

Steven Leoniak, MD

Otolaryngology