Tonsils and adenoids are glands or lymph nodes located in the throat area. The tonsils are two visible round lumps in the back of the mouth at the throat. Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. They cannot be seen without special instruments. Their primary function is trapping bacteria and viruses that enter the body through the nose or mouth.

The most common condition affecting the tonsils and adenoids is chronic infection of the ears, nose or throat that can infect the tonsils and adenoids. Though this can happen to all age groups, children more commonly have problems with tonsils and adenoids.

When the tonsils are infected, tonsillitis will cause swollen tonsils, white or yellow patches on the tonsils, sore throat, difficult or painful swallowing, fever, enlarged glands, scratchy voice, bad breath, stomachache, stiff neck and headache. When the adenoids are infected, adenoiditis will cause sore throat, stuffy nose, swollen glands in the neck and ear pain.

Your doctor may use medication such as antibiotics to treat tonsillitis and adenoiditis. If medication is not effective, tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy may be suggested. These are surgical procedures to remove the tonsils or adenoids.

If you or someone you care for is experiencing symptoms of tonsillitis or adenoiditis, please contact our North Sioux City office at (605) 217-4327 to schedule an appointment.