The tonsils and adenoids are part of a “ring” which is located at the back of the neck (waldeyers ring). The adenoids are located behind the nose and the palate and are not seen by mouth. They can only be seen using special tools. It is located at the entrance of the airways at that point from where they enter the body by various infections. Their role is to identify the various bacteria and viruses and produce antibodies against them activating defenses organisms. The function of adenoids and tonsils occurs early in life and as the years go their function fades. In fact their role stops after the age of three (3) years. The methods used to evaluate the adenoids and the tonsils are:
- Medical history
- Physical exam
Clinical examination of the nose and throat may require the use of special tools like a small mirror or flexible endoscope. Examination is done when a child or adult suffers from frequent tonsillitis, pharyngitis, feverish conditions, breath odor, nasal obstruction and shortness of breath, recurrent ear infections, mouth breathing, snoring and sleep disorders and swallowing problems. All infections of the tonsils and adenoids are treated first with antibiotics. Sometimes they may require removal. The main indications for tonsillectomy and / adenoidectomy is:
- Repeated infections despite antibiotic treatment.
- Difficulty breathing due to swelling of the adenoids and the tonsils.
It is commonly known that obstruction of the airway causes snoring and sleep disorders resulting in daytime sleepiness in adults and behavioral problems in children. Moreover chronic inflammation can lead to problems of the ears as well as a large bulge that can cause orthodontic problems, especially in children.