About Tonsils And Adenoids

Tonsils and adenoids are located at the top of the throat, just behind the nose. They are important parts of the lymphatic system and are responsible for fighting off germs and bacteria from entering the body.

Tonsil And Adenoid Enlargement

Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can lead to sleep disorder breathing.  This can happen particularly in young children.   When the tonsils are too large for the throat, they can cause snoring and difficulty breathing while sleeping.  Enlarged tonsil and adenoids can cause severe snoring, mouth breathing, restless sleep, choking sounds and/or pausing while breathing.  Sleep disorder breathing can result in attention deficit issues, poor school performance, bed wetting, and behavior issues.  If symptoms persist, your child may benefit from a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy.

Swollen tonsils and adenoids are a common problem for young children but reduce in size as they get older.

Tonsillitis

Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils that is usually the result of a viral infection. Tonsillitis is most common in children and affects almost every child in the United States at least once throughout their childhood.

Symptoms Of Tonsillitis

Although the infection itself is not contagious, the viruses and bacteria that cause it are. Due to weaker immune systems in children, the tonsils have trouble fighting the germs they often come into contact with, leading to infection.

The most common symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat, which may be severe. Swollen, red tonsils with white or yellow patches are also common. Other symptoms include swollen glands, fever, and difficulty swallowing. These symptoms may last for multiple days and can cause irritability and lack of appetite.

Treatment For Tonsillitis

If the cause of tonsillitis is viral, no medication can be prescribed to treat it. If this is the case, the infection should clear up within 10 days. Getting lots of rest, drinking plenty of fluids, and gargling saltwater are remedies you can to at home to aid the healing process.

If the cause is bacteria related, your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat it. Although medicine is administered, continue the above remedies to recover faster and healthier. If the infection recurs frequently, your doctor may suggest full removal of the tonsils.

Adenoiditis

Adenoids are a grouping of tissue located at the top of the throat that are an essential part of the immune system. Adenoiditis occurs when the adenoid tissue is inflamed due to allergies, irritation from stomach acid, or infection.

Causes Of Adenoiditis

There are many known causes attributed to adenoiditis. Almost any bacteria or infection can cause inflammation of the adenoids. When allergens come in contact with the adenoid tissue, swelling or irritation can occur leading to adenoiditis.

Symptoms Of Adenoiditis

Inflamed adenoids can result in snoring, mouth breathing, and a sore throat. It can also affect the sinus cavities producing a discharge from the nose. Worst cases can result in aching ear and chest infections.

Treatments Of Adenoiditis

Because adenoids are often hard to observe, your child’s doctor will do an examination of the ears, nose, and throat, and possibly even order an x-ray, to determine the next steps.

Similar to tonsillitis, viral adenoiditis cannot be treated with medicine. Resting, drinking fluids, and over-the-counter medicines can aid the healing process and lessen the effects of the symptoms. If the inflammation is due to bacteria, antibiotics can be administered.

In more extreme cases, your doctor may suggest an adenoidectomy, which is a removal of the adenoids. This surgical treatment is routine and is recommended to be done at the same time as a tonsillectomy.

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