Health problems from diseases of the tonsils and adenoids are among the most common problems in children. Sore throats, upper respiratory infections and associated diseases of the ear account for the greatest number of visits to doctors.


Tonsils are collections of lymphoid tissue located on each side of the back of the throat. Tonsillitis occurs when the tonsils become infected. This may be caused by bacteria or viruses. Generally, under preschool age children develop viral tonsillitis while older children and adults are affected by bacterial infections.

Treatment of infected tonsils - Tonsillectomy

Tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils. A tonsillectomy is done when medical and supportive measures are not effective. This may be done both for recurrent infections and for chronically enlarged tonsils.


Adenoids are collections of lymph tissue very similar to tonsils, found in the back of the nose. Adenoids shrink or atrophy as children enter adolescence or young adulthood. If adenoids are enlarged, they may obstruct air flow through the nose, forcing children to breathe through the mouth, or snore. In addition, the adenoid is located near the opening of the Eustachian tube which drains the middle ear. Enlarged and infected adenoids may serve as a source of infection or bacteria to travel up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear.

Treatment of Adenoids

In cases where enlarged adenoids are chronically infected, significantly obstruct nasal breathing, or contribute to ear infections, removal of the adenoids has been found to be beneficial. This may be done in conjunction with a tonsillectomy for severe breathing difficulty during sleep (sleep apnoea) or, along with ventilation tube placement in cases of chronic ear infections