1. Sore throat: Pain in the throat is the most common presentation. However, young babies may not present with the pain but may present with an inability to eat.
2. Dysphagia: That is difficult swallowing. This may either be due to pain or due to huge increase in the size of the tonsils due to frequent inflammation.
3. Fever: Acute infection of the tonsils may present with moderate to high rise in body temperature. In case of septic foci on the tonsils, there may be fever with chills.
4. Apnea: Sleep apnea, a disturbed sleep disorder may occur due to an obstruction to the air passage due to heavily enlarged tonsils or adenoids.
However, it is interesting to note that most children with sleep apnea do not recover of this disorder after the removal of the tonsils. (This is because, in many cases, there are associated causes for apnea, such as obesity, adenoids, small jaw, bony skull deformity (congenital), neuromuscular disorder, etc.)
5. Snoring: Due to obstructed air passage caused by the enlarged tonsils, snoring may be one of the symptoms in many children suffering from recurrent tonsillitis. Again, it may be noted here that snoring may be due to reasons other than the enlarged tonsils.
6. General symptoms: Tonsillitis may be associated with general fatigue, tired feeling, bodyache, loss of appetite, low energy level, headache, etc.
7. On examination: The attending doctor may have a look at the throat with a torch to find inflamed, red, congested tonsils. There may be visible septic foci (small pus pockets). Externally, one may palpate enlarged and mildly painful neck glands, indicating some more lymph glands in the neighborhood.
The complications of untreated, recurring Tonsillitis, when the tonsils fail to check the spread of the infection, include spread of the infection to the heart (Rheumatic Fever), kidneys (Glomerulonephritis), and lower respiratory tract (bronchitis). However, it may be noted that the said complications are relatively uncommon.