The adenoids and tonsils are the body’s first defense against many viruses and bacteria. When these tissues detect possible threats, they release white blood cells and antibodies into the lymphatic system to fight infections. Sometimes the adenoids and tonsils get infected and inflamed. Symptoms include:

  • A white or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Voice change due to swelling
  • Sore throat
  • Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
  • Ear pain
  • Swollen lymph nodes (glands) in the neck
  • Fever 
  • Bad breath
  • Snoring and sleep disordered breathing;
  • Sleep disordered breathing 
  • Follow-up care may include dental treatment, speech therapy and hearing management.

Treatments include antibiotics for bacterial infections, especially streptococcus. If a child gets repeated infections despite using antibiotics, removal of the tonsils and adenoids may be recommended.