Tonsillitis | Diagnosis & Tests

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How is tonsillitis diagnosed?

Your doctor will ask you what symptoms you have. He or she may also examine your ears, nose and throat to check for signs of infection.

Your doctor may use a swab to take a sample from the back of your throat. This sample may be used for a rapid strep test or a throat culture. A rapid strep test can show whether your infection is caused by strep bacteria in just a few minutes. A throat culture can show whether you have strep or another bacterial infection, but the results from this test aren’t available for 24 hours or more.

In some cases, your doctor may do a blood test to find out what is causing your infection. For example, a blood test can check for mononucleosis.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 05/14
Created: 08/09

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