Tonsils are round pieces of tissue located at the back of the mouth, on both sides of the throat. These are meant to fight infections by making antibodies. Tonsillitis is a condition that occurs in children when the tonsils are inflamed. You can see the tonsils with a flashlight.

Adenoids are much similar to tonsils and are made up of lymph tissue. They are made of lymph tissue and are placed above the soft nasopharynx (the soft roof of the mouth). They also help fight infections and can lead to problems when they are infected or enlarged. However, you will not be able to see adenoids by looking into the throat or nose of the child as in tonsillitis.

Adenoiditis and Tonsillitis

Adenoiditis is a condition that happens when the adenoids are inflamed due to infection. The symptoms of the problem can resemble other medical problems or conditions. You can visit low income clinics in your locality to diagnose the problem. The symptoms of adenoiditis can vary much depending on the cause and can appear gradually or suddenly. The common symptoms of adenoiditis may include:

  • Noisy breathing
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Nasal speech
  • Periods at night when breathing stops for some time

As said, tonsillitis is the condition when the tonsils are inflamed from infection. The most common symptoms of the problem are:

  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Ill feeling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Painful swallowing
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Stomachaches
  • Visual redness in throat

Some of the patients may be referred to an ENT surgeon to get the tonsils and adenoids removed. The surgical procedure to remove tonsils is called tonsillectomy and that to remove adenoids is called adenoidectomy. Tonsils and adenoids can be removed at the same time if necessary. After the surgery, you need to increase the fluid intake, take the pain medication as prescribed, and should not indulge in heavy physical activities.

Risks of Adenoidectomy and Tonsillectomy

Like any other surgery adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy can also pose risks like:

  • Bleeding (can happen during surgery, after surgery, or at home)
  • Fever
  • Dehydration (due to decrease in fluid intake. If severe, fluids will be given via intravenous catheter in the hospital).
  • Difficulty in breathing (due to swelling around the area of surgery)

Get in touch with our low income clinics to learn more about the ill-effects of adenoiditis and tonsillitis, as well as the need of surgical procedure to treat the condition.

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    About the Author

    Dr. Ghassan M. Al-Jazayrly, MD

    A graduate of University of Aleppo Faculty of Medicine, Dr. Al-Jazayrly or, as he is colloquially known: Dr. AJ, is an oncologist and hematologist of a Complete Care Community Health Center (CCCHC) with more than 36 years of experience. In recent years, he’s been involved with a non profit organization known as Every Woman Counts (EWC) which provides free breast and cervical cancer screening and diagnostic services to California’s underserved populations in order to eliminate health disparities for low-income individuals.

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