Tonsils and Adenoids in Tuscaloosa
Both tonsils and adenoids are small lumps in the back of the throat. The tonsils and adenoids work as the body’s defense as part of the immune system. These structures “test out” different bacteria and viruses that can enter the body, but can sometimes become infected themselves. When tonsils or adenoids frequently become infected, they can cause other problems like an obstructed airway.
Problems Associated with the Tonsils and Adenoids
Common problems associated with tonsils and adenoids include recurrent infections of the nose and throat, swelling or enlargement of the tonsils or adenoids, and sleep issues. Problems with the tonsils and adenoids are common in young children but can occur with older children and adults as well.
Tonsillitis can occur when there is an infection and inflammation of the tonsils caused by a virus or bacteria. The most common symptom of tonsillitis is a sore throat, but you might also experience one of the following:
- Red or swollen tonsils
- Tonsils with white or yellow spots
- Difficulty or painful swallowing
- Bad breath
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Head and neck pain
While mild swelling of the adenoids might not cause problems, severe swelling can result in issues with the nose and throat with symptoms such as:
- Breathing through the nose
- Constant runny nose
- Ear infection
Treatment for Tonsils and Adenoid Problems
Infections of the tonsils might clear up on their own or with home remedies if it is caused by a virus. If tonsillitis is caused by bacteria, an antibiotic might be needed. Mild symptoms of enlarged adenoids can go away on their own as well and often shrink as a child ages. If symptoms of a tonsil or adenoid infection are severe, further treatment might be needed. In some cases, abscesses, infections, or chronic tonsillitis may occur, in which the tonsils or adenoids should be removed. Children struggling with these symptoms may need pediatric tonsil and adenoid treatment.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
Tonsils and adenoids are commonly removed when they become swollen or enlarged and cause breathing difficulties. Recurrent tonsil infections or strep throat that cannot effectively with antibiotics are also signs that surgery may be needed. In some cases, both surgeries can be performed at the same time.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are both outpatient surgical procedures that are performed under general anesthesia. It commonly only takes about a week to recovery from surgery. During recovery, a soft diet may be required, and activity can be resumed when pain medication is no longer needed.
A consultation and examination with one of our Tuscaloosa ENT physicians are needed to determine if you are experiencing symptoms associated with tonsil or adenoid problems. Contact our office today to take your first step towards symptom relief.