Tonsils are the two lymph nodes located on each side of the back of your throat. They function as a defense mechanism, helping to prevent infection from entering the rest of your body. When the tonsils themselves become infected, the condition is called tonsillitis. Tonsillitis can occur at any age and is a common childhood ailment. It is most often diagnosed in children from preschool age through their mid teens. Symptoms include a sore throat, swollen tonsils, and fever.
Tonsils are your first line of defense against illness and they produce white blood cells to help your body fight infection. The tonsils combat bacteria and viruses that enter your body through the mouth, but are vulnerable to infection from these invaders themselves.