Both tonsils and adenoids are the two ENT conditions which are raised due to infection from different organisms. These two are treated as first line of our body’s defense system and helps to trap viruses and bacteria from entering our body. They also produce required antibodies and protects our body from different infections. While in the process of protecting our body, sometimes these two also get infected and becomes enlarged. If left untreated these enlarged tonsils and adenoids leads to complications like hearing loss, sinusitis, obstructive sleep apnea and so on. In severe cases these tonsils and adenoids are removed using invasive procedures.
As discussed earlier both tonsils and adenoids plays crucial role in protecting our body. Let us in detail discuss about them along with their causes
Tonsils– These are the two lymph nodes present at back of your throat. Tonsils mainly produces leukocytes (WBCs) which assist in fighting infections caused due to virus and bacteria. Tonsils when get infected leads to a condition called tonsillitis. Infection due to virus or bacteria is the main cause of tonsillitis. This condition is most commonly seen among children as they are more prone to virus and bacteria in schools and other play areas. When get infected these tonsils enlarge and interfere with swallowing and breathing. Tonsillitis can be both recurrent and chronic.
Adenoids– these are the pads of tissues present at the back of your throat. Adenoids also produces antibodies to fight infections. These mainly helps to trap the organisms from entering our body through mouth and nose. Just as tonsils, adenoids also get affected with virus and bacteria. Adenoids are very common among children. Children with adenoids mainly faces difficulty breathing through nose and hence start breathing with mouth.
Common symptoms of tonsils and adenoids
Though both tonsils and adenoids are the lymphoid tissues, they affect our body in different ways. Here are few common adenoid and tonsillitis symptoms
Symptoms of tonsils
- Fever and chills
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- Stiff neck
Symptoms of adenoids
Enlarged adenoids are associated with several signs. Here are few common adenoid symptoms
- Facing difficulty breathing
- Breathing loudly through mouth
- Runny and blocked nose
- Altered speech
- Frequent sinus infections
People with adenoids faces dry mouth problems as they breathe through mouth. Due to this people also face other symptoms like bad breath and cracked lips. Most of the people with adenoids also face recurrent ear infections, this is due to nasal blockage and excess collection of ear wax.
How to identify?
Learning difference between tonsils and adenoids is very crucial. One can easily see through enlarged tonsils but cannot see through adenoids as they are located at back of your throat and need small instruments to see. Consult specialist if you experience any of the above symptoms like blocked nose, sore throat, fever and so on. Your doctor can easily identify your condition and differentiate between tonsils and adenoids through physical examination and may also ask few questions regarding your symptoms.