Adenoids are a patch of tissue that is high up in the throat, just behind the nose. They, along with the tonsils, are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. The adenoids and tonsils work by trapping germs coming in through the mouth and nose.
Adenoids usually start to shrink after about age 5. By the teenage years, they are almost completely gone. By then, the body has other ways to fight germs.
Enlarged adenoids are adenoids that are swollen. It is a common problem in children.
Your child’s adenoids can be enlarged, or swollen, for different reasons. It may just be that your child had enlarged adenoids at birth. Adenoids can also become enlarged when they are trying to fight off an infection. They might stay enlarged even after the infection is gone.
Enlarged adenoids can make it hard to breathe through the nose. Your child might end up breathing only through the mouth. This may cause
Other problems that enlarged adenoids can cause include
Your child’s health care provider will take a medical history, check your child’s ears, throat, and mouth, and feel your child’s neck.
Since the adenoids are higher up than the throat, the health care provider cannot see them just by looking through your child’s mouth. To check the size of your child’s adenoids, your provider may use
The treatment depends on what is causing the problem. If your child’s symptoms are not too bad, he or she may not need treatment. Your child might get nasal spray to reduce the swelling, or antibiotics if the health care provider thinks that your child has a bacterial infection.
In some cases your child may need an adenoidectomy.
An adenoidectomy is surgery to remove the adenoids. Your child might need it if
If your child also has problems with his or her tonsils, he or she will probably have a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) at the same time that the adenoids are removed.
After having the surgery, your child usually goes home the same day. He or she will probably have some throat pain, bad breath, and a runny nose. It can take several days to feel all better.
Also called: Tonsil Inflammation
Tonsils are lumps of tissue at the back of the throat. There are two of them, one on each side. Along with the adenoids, tonsils are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system clears away infection and keeps body fluids in balance. Tonsils and adenoids work by trapping the germs coming in through the mouth and nose.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation (swelling) of the tonsils. Sometimes along with tonsillitis, the adenoids are also swollen.
The cause of tonsillitis is usually a viral infection. Bacterial infections such as strep throat can also cause tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is most common in children over age two. Almost every child in the United States gets it at least once. Tonsillitis caused by bacteria is more common in kids ages 5-15. Tonsillitis caused by a virus is more common in younger children.
Adults can get tonsillitis, but it is not very common.
Although tonsillitis is not contagious, the viruses and bacteria that cause it are contagious. Frequent handwashing can help prevent spreading or catching the infections.
The symptoms of tonsillitis include
You should call your health care provider if your child
You should get emergency care right away if your child
To diagnose tonsillitis, your child’s health care provider will first ask you about your child’s symptoms and medical history. The provider will look at your child’s throat and neck, checking for things such as redness or white spots on the tonsils and swollen lymph nodes.
Your child will probably also have one or more tests to check for strep throat, since it can cause tonsillitis and it requires treatment. It could be a rapid strep test, a throat culture, or both. For both tests, the provider uses a cotton swab to collect a sample of fluids from your child’s tonsils and the back of the throat. With the rapid strep test, testing is done in the office, and you get the results within minutes. The throat culture is done in a lab, and it usually takes a few days to get the results. The throat culture is a more reliable test. So sometimes if the rapid strep test is negative (meaning that it does not show any strep bacteria), the provider will also do a throat culture just to make sure that your child does not have strep.
Treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause. If the cause is a virus, there is no medicine to treat it. If the cause is a bacterial infection, such as strep throat, your child will need to take antibiotics. It is important for your child to finish the antibiotics even if he or she feels better. If treatment stops too soon, some bacteria may survive and re-infect your child.
No matter what is causing the tonsillitis, there are some things you can do to help your child feel better. Make sure that your child
In some cases, your child may need a tonsillectomy.
A tonsillectomy is surgery to remove the tonsils. Your child might need it if he or she
Your child usually gets the surgery and goes home later that day. Very young children and people who have complications may need to stay in the hospital overnight. It can take a week or two before your child completely recovers from the surgery.