and Adenoid Disorders
The tonsils and adenoids are a
normal part of the immune system.
Large numbers of white blood cells which fight infections are located
there. They are located
in the throat so that they can respond to infectious agents entering
the body by priming the immune system.
Fortunately, there are redundant systems which can take over if
the tonsils become chronically infected or enlarged and need to be
The tonsils and adenoids can
become chronically infected and themselves become a source of
recurrent infections. The tonsils and adenoids can become can also enlarge to the
point that they obstruct normal breathing, swallowing and speech.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common cause of
obstructive sleep apnea in children.
The initial treatment for
tonsillitis is antibiotics. If
the tonsils become chronically infected or are constantly becoming
reinfected tonsillectomy is usually recommended.
The adenoids are usually removed at the same time.