Symptoms and Diagnosis


Dr. Patel
Symptoms of tonsillitis may vary slightly depending on the cause of the infection, but there are many symptoms that are common to all forms of tonsillitis. Dr. Alvarado, can you tell parents what symptoms to look for in their children?

Dr. Alvarado
Of course, Dr. Patel. Some common signs of tonsillitis include:

  • Red and swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow coating over the tonsils
  • A "throaty" voice
  • Sore throat
  • Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, and
  • Fever

In younger children, headache and stomachache can also be signs of tonsillitis.

In addition to inflammation of the tonsils, some children may experience adenoid enlargement as part of tonsillitis. Symptoms of adenoid enlargement include:

  • Breathing through the mouth instead of the nose most of the time
  • Nose sounds "blocked" when the child talks
  • Noisy breathing during the day, and
  • Snoring at night

If you notice that your child's breathing pauses for short periods at night during snoring, a condition called sleep apnea, or if they make choking or gasping sounds during sleep, it may be a sign that both the tonsils and adenoids are enlarged. This can also cause difficulty swallowing, especially with solid foods.