Tonsillitis is an infection of the tonsils.
The adenoids and the tonsils are the body’s first line of defense in the immune system. They are similar to the lymph nodes (glands) that are found in your groin, armpits, and neck.
The tonsils are found in the back of the throat— they are the two round lumps back there.
The adenoids are found high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth (the soft palate); they are not visible through the nose or mouth without the use of special instruments, though.
Bacteria and viruses get “sampled” when they enter through the mouth or nose; during this process, the tonsils sometimes become infected. Also during this process, sometimes the tonsils become a liability rather than an asset. Airway obstruction or repeated bacterial infections can occur. In this case, our ENT specialists in Johns Creek, Suwanee, or Lawrenceville can provide the best treatment.
Two of the most common problems that affect tonsils and adenoids are:
Other problems that may affect the tonsils and adenoids include:
If you or a child are experiencing symptoms of infected or enlarged tonsils or adenoids, schedule an appointment with our doctors. During that appointment, we can discuss your symptoms, conduct an examination, and evaluate your tonsils and adenoids.
There are several different ways we can check the tonsils and adenoids:
There are 3 ways to treat tonsillitis and adenoid diseases:
Antibiotics are first used if bacterial infections of the tonsils are caused by streptococcus.
If there are recurrent infections (despite antibiotic therapy), and/or difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils/adenoids, a tonsillectomy or an adenoidectomy may be needed. Obstruction can lead to snoring and disturbed sleep patterns, which can then lead to daytime sleepiness, and behavioral/school performance problems in children.
If the adenoids become chronically infected, other areas can get affected, such as the eustachian tube (the passageway between the back of the nose and the inside of the ear). If this happens, frequent ear infections and temporary hearing loss may occur due to the building up fluid in the middle ear. There are various studies that conclude that the removal of adenoids can help some children with chronic earaches accompanied by fluid in the middle ear (known as otitis media with effusion).
Another reason for removing the adenoids and tonsils can include cancer or a tumor in adults. Even though uncommon, cancers of the tonsils require an early diagnosis along with aggressive treatment.
Lastly, for patients who have infectious mononucleosis, severe enlargement can cause airway obstruction, which means steroids (i.e. prednisone) could be used for treatment.
There are different ways to prepare for surgery, depending on whether you are a child or an adult. We will present preoperative care for children and adults.
Your ENT specialist will provide specific details for postoperative care and answer your questions.
After surgery, postoperative problems can occur, including:
If you experience bleeding, notify your surgeon immediately. During your postoperative period, drink liquids as frequently as possible to avoid dehydration. If you have any questions regarding your postoperative care, call your doctor’s office.