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Tonsillitis & Adenoids

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Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils most commonly caused by viral or bacterial infection. Adenoids are glands that look like tonsils, and they are found at the back of the nose. The main function of adenoids is to fight off infection and trap bacteria that enter through the nose. A child is naturally born with small adenoids, and they grow larger as the child grows bigger. By the age of 10 to 12, the adenoids reach their full maximum size and stop growing and shrink on its own.

Signs and Symptoms of Enlarged tonsils & Adenoids

There are several symptoms of enlarged tonsils &adenoids in children. Some of them include but are not limited to the following:

  • Red and/or swollen tonsils
  • White or yellow patches on the tonsils
  • Tender, stiff, and/or swollen neck
  • Sore throat
  • Painful or difficulty swallowing
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Earache
  • Fever, Chills
  • Unusual and increased snoring
  • Sleep disorders such as apnea
  • Mouth breathing
  • Hearing loss
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Difficulty in breathing

Fact About Chronic Tonsillitis & Adenoid Enlargement

Adenoids and tonsils are composed of lymphoid tissues. Infection of tonsils or adenoids are caused by several possible types of bacteria or viruses. Among them Haemophilus influenzae (HI), Streptococcus pyogenes (SP), Streptococcus pneumoniae (SPn), and Staphylococcus aureus (SA) are the most common microorganisms. Haemophilus influenzae (HI) is the most common occurance in adenoid infection. Most tonsil and adenoid hypertrophy is simply caused by the normal growth pattern for that type of tissue. Less often, the hypertrophy is due to repeated throat infections by cold viruses, strep throat, mononucleosis, and in the past, diphtheria. The acute infections are usually referred to as tonsillitis, the adenoids getting little recognition because they cannot be seen without special instruments. Typically, adenoid hyperplasia produces symptoms of respiratory obstruction. Parents may report that the child breathes through the mouth; snores at night; experiences frequent, prolonged nasal congestion; and has a history of chronic otitis media with some hearing loss. Sleep apnea, rhinorrhea, daytime sleepiness, fatigue, fever, and nasal discharge are also common.

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