Visit our foundation to give a gift.
View Locations Near Me
Main Campus – Hartford
Connecticut Children’s – Waterbury
Urgent Care – Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Danbury
Connecticut Children’s Surgery Center at Farmington
Specialty Care Center – Fairfield
Search All Locations
Find a doctor
Find A Doctor
Request an Appointment
Amenities and Services
Who’s Who on Care Team
Getting Ready for Surgery
What to Expect—Picture Stories
Pay a Bill
Understanding the Different Fees
Pricing Transparency and Estimates
Raytheon Technologies Family Resource Center
Family Advisory Council
Legal Advocacy: Benefits, Education, Housing
Electronic Health Records
Share Your Story
Pay a Bill
Login to MyChart
Clinical Support Services Referrals
About the Network
Join the Network
Graduate Medical Education
Continuing Medical Education
MOC/Practice Quality Improvement
Educating Practices in the Community (EPIC)
Learning & Performance
Meet our Physician Relations Team
Request Medical Records
Join our Referring Provider Advisory Board
View our Physician Callback Standards
Read & Subscribe to Medical News
Register for Email Updates
Update Your Practice Information
Refer a Patient
Find and Print Health Info
Health Information For Kids
Adenoids and tonsils are often talked about together. You can see your tonsils in the back of your throat, but where are your adenoids? For that matter, what are your adenoids? Let’s find out.
The adenoids (say: AD-eh-noyds) are a patch of tissue that sit in the back of the nasal cavity. Like tonsils, adenoids help keep your body healthy by trapping harmful bacteria and viruses that you breathe in or swallow.
Adenoids do important work as infection fighters for babies and little kids. But they become less important as a kid gets older and the body develops other ways to fight germs. Adenoids usually shrink after about age 5, and by the teenage years they often practically disappear.
Because adenoids trap germs that enter the body, adenoid tissue sometimes temporarily swells (gets puffier) as it tries to fight off an infection. The swelling sometimes gets better, but sometimes adenoids can get infected.
Swollen or infected adenoids can make it tough to breathe and cause these problems:
Tell a parent if you have any of these problems, so he or she can take you to the doctor.
At the doctor’s office, the doctor will ask you how things feel in your ears, nose, and throat, and then take a look at these parts. Your doctor will also feel your neck near your jaw.
To check the size of your adenoids, your doctor might ask you to get an X-ray or look in your nose with a tiny telescope. If it looks like your adenoids are infected, the doctor may give you an antibiotic (a germ-fighting medicine).
Sometimes doctors recommend removing the adenoids if medicine doesn’t help or if they’re making a kid sick a lot. This means going into the hospital and having a surgery called an adenoidectomy (say: ad-eh-noy-DEK-teh-me).
Sometimes, tonsils and adenoids are removed at the same time. This means a kid has a tonsillectomy (say: tahn-suh-LEK-tuh-me) and an adenoidectomy. Both are common surgeries for kids to have.
During these surgeries, kids get special medicine (anesthesia) that makes them fall asleep. The anesthesia makes sure a kid doesn’t feel any pain while the operation is being done. Most kids can go home the day of the surgery.
Neither operation requires stitches. The cut areas will heal on their own. It takes a little time, though. After surgery, a kid will have a sore throat and will need to eat soft foods for a while.
Most kids are feeling back to normal in less than a week. And do they miss their adenoids? Not one bit! Your immune system has many other ways to fight germs.
Sometimes tonsils need to be removed, but how is it done? Find out in this article for kids.
Surgeries and operations happen in the operating room, sometimes called the OR. Find out more in this article for kids.
Sinuses are hollow spaces in your head that can fill with mucus when you’re all stuffed up. Find out more in this article for kids.
It may seem scary to go to a hospital, but doctors and nurses are there to help people who are sick or hurt feel better. Read our article for kids to find out what happens inside a hospital.
Are you a kid who snores? Find out why some people are such noisy sleepers in this article for kids.
If your tonsils get infected, it can make your throat feel very sore. Find out more in this article for kids.
Strep throat gives you a sore throat and makes it hard to swallow. Find out more in this article for kids.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2020 KidsHealth®. All rights reserved.
Images provided by The Nemours Foundation, iStock, Getty Images, Veer, Shutterstock, and Clipart.com.