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Tonsil & adenoid problems

Your tonsils and adenoids are part of your immune system. They trap germs that come into your body through your mouth and nose. Your tonsils are the two round lumps in the back of your throat. Your adenoids are behind your nose and you can’t see them without special instruments.

Sometimes your tonsils or adenoids become infected or enlarged. In some people, they can cause frequent bacterial infections and can block airways, making it harder to breathe.

If your adenoids and tonsils are enlarged, you might notice:

  • It is hard to breathe through your nose
  • It might be hard to sleep
  • Your voice sounds like your nose is plugged up
  • A runny nose
  • Noisy breathing
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Snoring

Others might notice pauses in your breathing while you sleep.

Signs of tonsillitis, an infection of the tonsils, include:

  • Red tonsils
  • White or yellow coating on the tonsils
  • Sore throat
  • Ear pain
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Fever
  • Bad breath


If you have symptoms of infected or enlarged tonsils or adenoids, see your doctor. Your doctor will probably prescribe antibiotics. If you have ongoing infections or problems with enlarged tonsils or adenoids, your doctor might suggest you have them removed.

Our Physicians

Rex ENT Specialists at Wakefield can help treat infections and enlargement of the tonsils or adenoids. Dr. Esa Bloedon and Dr. Brett Dorfman specialize in treating ear, nose and throat disorders in adults and children.

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