Chronic Tonsil and Adenoid Infections

Ton­sils and ade­noids play a large role in keep­ing infants and small chil­dren healthy but become less impor­tant as their bod­ies devel­op oth­er ways to fight germs. Around the age of five, ton­sils and ade­noids begin to shrink and are almost com­plete­ly gone by the time your child reach­es their teenage years.

As germs and bac­te­ria are trapped, ade­noid tis­sue can become swollen and cause symp­toms including:

  • Noisy or dif­fi­cult breath­ing through the nose
  • Snor­ing
  • Dis­rupt­ed breath­ing dur­ing sleep­ing (obstruc­tive sleep apnea)
  • Sinus symp­toms
  • Recur­ring infec­tions or flu­id accu­mu­la­tion in the mid­dle ear

Ton­sils can also become enlarged or infect­ed when your child is exposed to res­pi­ra­to­ry virus­es, strep throat or mononu­cle­o­sis (mono). Inflam­ma­tion of the ton­sils, or ton­sil­li­tis, caus­es a vari­ety of symp­toms including:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough­ing
  • Headaches
  • High fevers
  • Painful swal­low­ing
  • Vis­i­ble white spots or pus on the tonsils

Learn more about chron­ic ton­sil and ade­noid infec­tions and when to see a pedi­atric ENT >