Do Photos of Swollen Tonsils Closely Represent Real, Swollen Tonsils?

A few reputable medical websites contain photographs of swollen tonsils, including a slideshow on, a quiz posted by the American Academy of Family Physicians, a blog post from Dr. Jeff Bradstreet and an explanation of the throat's anatomy by Dr. Martin S. Spiller. Although each picture shows swollen tonsils from different causes, these photographs contain actual representations of swollen human tonsils at the back of the throat.

The photograph on, number two in the slideshow, shows someone's swollen tonsils and white pus pockets typical of a strep throat infection, explains Dark red splotches around the tonsils may also indicate strep throat in children and adults.

The picture of swollen tonsils on the website likely shows hypertrophic tonsils, says the American Academy of Family Physicians. The patient shows swollen tonsils from recurring pharyngitis and local inflammation. This malady may lead to "kissing tonsils," a condition that causes the organs to swell enough to meet in the middle of the throat. This swelling could obstruct the airway and make it difficult to swallow.

Dr. Jeff Bradstreet shows a picture of a 7-year-old boy with a condition known as pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus, or PANDAS, according to his blog site. Bradstreet suggested long-term antibiotics for three months while monitoring the patient's gut flora as a treatment regimen for this type of swelling.