Tonsils and adenoids and strep throat

The tonsils and adenoids are part of the lymphatic system.

The tonsils are located on each side at the back of the throat. The adenoids are located above the roof of the mouth and behind the nose. See an illustration that shows the location of the tonsils and adenoids.

  • If either is irritated or infected, tonsillitis and/or adenoiditis may develop.
  • The tonsils and adenoids may enlarge any time there is an infection in the throat, mouth, or nose. They may also enlarge for no apparent reason.
  • When the adenoids swell, they may block the tubes leading from the throat to the ear (eustachian tubes), causing earaches and ear infections.

Last Updated: August 8, 2008

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