How Does Tonsil Grading Work? The Stages of Tonsil Grading

Doctors use tonsil grading in order to determine the severity of your sickness. The technique is extremely easy and you can even do it yourself or ask a friend to take a look in your throat.

What is tonsil grading

Tonsil surveying is the technique that determines how inflated your tonsils are just by looking at their size. This is usually done by a medic but you can also do it yourself, at home, if you have a mirror and the proper lighting. All you have to do is to know how many stages of inflated tonsils are there.


The stages of tonsil grading

Tonsil surveying has four categories. The first one is the normal one, which shows no sign of inflammation. This means that you do not see the almonds because they are hidden within the  pillars. In the second category, you can see a bit of the almonds because they extend to the pillars. In the third stage, they are swollen and you can easily see them because they have passed the pillars.Tonsil grading has four

The fourth stage is the worst because you can’t see anything else besides the almonds, since they extend to midline. This stage usually shows great danger because they can leave to room for air and the patient can die from asphyxiation. Some doctors consider that there is a stage zero, in the cases of surgically removed almonds. In this case, you have nothing to worry about.

Is it possible to make mistakes when tonsil grading?

Yes, you can make mistakes, but they do not have severe consequences. The problem with almond exploration is that almonds can swell in different stages and most of the times the degree can not be precisely used. For example, you can easily mistake stage two for stage three.

This is why it is better to consult a doctor, although you can look for yourself and have an idea about the severity of the sickness.

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  • Updated September 2, 2014
Rekha - February 12, 2017

My father is 56 years old …today he went to ent for throat pain during swallowing..doctor said he had a last stage on tonsils…duevto his age we can’t make it to surgery..what should we do now?is this very dangerous?what will it cause?I need a rly asap?????

    Nikki - January 16, 2018

    Take him to a different ENT for a 2nd opinion. We have pt’s who have had them out in their 70’s if necessary. Other option is to have a sleep test done and get a C-pap machine to help with breathing!!

Matthew Beeton, DO - November 3, 2020

Surgery should almost always be the very last resort. Oftentimes, things sort themselves out before then.

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