Exams and Tests
Diagnosis of tonsillitis is based on a medical history and a physical exam of the throat. An accurate medical history is needed to find out whether tonsillitis is recurrent, which may affect treatment choices.
If your symptoms suggest Reference strep throat Opens New Window, your doctor may want to confirm this diagnosis by doing a Reference throat culture. Strep throat is more likely if 3 or 4 of the following signs or symptoms are present:
- White or yellow spots or coating on the throat and/or tonsils (tonsillar exudates)
- Swollen or tender lymph nodes on the neck
- Absence of coughing or sneezing
If a strep infection is suspected, your doctor may do a Reference rapid strep test or a Reference throat culture or both. Both of these tests can be done in a doctor's office. You may want to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each test to see which test is appropriate.
The results of these tests will determine whether antibiotic treatment is needed. These results combined with an accurate medical history will be considered in deciding whether surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) is recommended.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference December 8, 2010|
|Medical Review:||Reference Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Charles M. Myer, III, MD - Otolaryngology