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Tonsillitis and Sinusitis

People often notice that when they get a sinus infection they also suffer from swollen tonsils, a sore throat and pain. Sinusitis is awful for people as it causes pain, pressure and congestion, add swollen tonsils to the equation, and the effects can become unbearable.

What is Sinusitis?

Sinusitis occurs when there is inflammation and infection of the mucus membrane linings in one or more of your sinus cavities (air spaces inside your head connected to your nose) and nasal passages.

What is Tonsillitis?

Tonsillitis is the inflammation and infection of your tonsils. When the tonsils have trapped major infections entering the body through the mouth and nasal passages, they start to swell and turn red (inflamed). Tonsil infections are extremely common in children but can affect teenagers and adults as well.

How does Sinusitis cause Tonsillitis?

Sinus infections cause a person to experience many symptoms such as headaches, runny nose (rhinitis), congestion, stuffy nose, facial pain, sore throat and post nasal drip.

Post nasal drip is the backward flow of mucus from your sinus cavities down the back of the throat. If the mucus coming from your sinus cavities is infected with bacteria or viruses, they cause the tonsils to become inflamed, infected and aggravated. This then causes tonsillitis.

An individual would now be suffering with both sinusitis and tonsillitis. Both these conditions can cause many of the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Sore throat
  • Bad breath (halitosis)
  • White coating on the tongue
  • Sinus pressure
  • Sinus congestion
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Swollen and sore neck
  • Yellow discharge from nose and/or throat
  • Mucus stuck at the back of your throat
  • Swollen eye lids
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Swollen tonsils
  • White coating on tonsils
  • Finding hard to swallow
  • Stiff neck
  • Gruff voice or hoarse throat

Other symptoms could also be present depending on the severity and the duration of the sinus condition and tonsil infection.

How would I treat both of these infections?


  • Antibiotics prescribed by your doctor to treat the infection. Other medication may also be prescribed to treat allergies, congestion or other conditions that might make sinusitis worse.
  • Using a nettipot to help mucus drain and to get rid of congestion or trapped foreign particles in the mucus. Never use a solution that contains preservatives. Preservatives are toxic to your nose and sinuses thereby causing damage and making sinus problem worse. Rather use a solution made of warm water and salt to wash out your sinuses.


  • Antibiotics and penicillin provided by your doctor may also help in this case.
  • Lots of rest enables your body to fight off infections naturally.
  • Drinking plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and to decrease the severity of the infection.
  • Paracetamol and aspirin may be given to decrease pain.
  • Gargling your mouth and throat with a warm salt water solution. This cleans the tonsils and relieves swelling.
  • Surgery such as a tonsillectomy to remove the tonsils. Surgery is always risky and can only be performed when symptoms are severe (difficulties breathing, tonsil stones [white stone like particles in your tonsils] and tumors).

Sinusitis should be treated before it can develop into post nasal drip, tonsillitis and other sinus, throat and ear conditions. Sinusitis and tonsillitis are both debilitating conditions that can affect us emotionally and physically in our work and everyday life. The next time you have a runny nose, you’re feeling stuffy, you’re coughing or if you have a sore throat remember to treat it before it turns into something worse!











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