Adenotonsillitis – Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Adenotonsillitis – Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Adenotonsillitis – Symptoms, Risks, Diagnosis, and Treatment

Adenotonsillitis is an inflammation of the adenoids caused by infection. Adenotonsillitis is caused by a virus and bacteria that are airborne and easily transferred to other people. Adenoids are the initial line of protection against germs, viruses, and the tonsils.

If you face inflammation and discomfort in the throat, visit the best ENT hospital in KPHB for a quick checkup to ensure a healthy ENT.

Adenoids are situated right behind the nose in the throat, often known as the pharynx. Adenoiditis is when the adenoid tissue gets inflamed because of disease, allergies, or stomach acid irritation.

The tonsils and adenoids belong to the immune system and help in illness prevention. They screen bacteria and viruses that pass through the nose and mouth, but unfortunately, they swell up and cause problems if they get infected. Adenoiditis is more usually associated with a more extensive illness process, such as chronic adenotonsillitis, tonsillitis, pharyngitis, rhinosinusitis, and so on.

The Stages of Adenotonsillitis

Adenotonsillitis is frequently confused with bacterial sinusitis. Annually, children will suffer six to eight viral upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs). The underlying cause governs the best treatment for tonsillitis, and it is crucial to have a quick and correct diagnosis. Adenotonsillitis ICD 10 is J35.03.

Adenoiditis is classified into the following types:

1. Acute Adenotonsillitis

Acute Adenoiditis is evident with Fever, runny nose, nasal airway blockage resulting in primarily oral breathing, snoring, sleep apnea, Rhinorrhea with serous secretion in viral forms, and mucous-purulent secretion in bacterial conditions.

2. Chronic Adenotonsillitis

Many of the same symptoms as acute Adenoiditis appear in chronic Adenoiditis, but it lasts for 90 days (about three months) and is caused by polymicrobial infections and biofilm formation.

Compared to adenoids, tonsils stay in the throat for a long time and shrink little. As a result, inflammation of your tonsils can occur at any age. Tonsillectomy, modern medicine for Tonsilitis, is now only done when the infection is severe and cannot respond to conventional therapy, resulting in significant consequences.

The Cause of Adenotonsillitis

Viruses most commonly cause tonsillitis, but bacterial infections can also cause them. Bacterial infections, such as Streptococcus infection, can cause Adenotonsillitis. A variety of viruses, including Epstein-Barr virus, Adenovirus, and Rhinovirus, can also cause Adenotonsillitis.

Symptoms of Adenotonsillitis

Symptoms of Adenotonsillitis

Adenotonsillitis symptoms can start with adenoid swelling or hypertrophy. Breathing through your nose becomes hard with this condition. Your airways may become blocked or restricted because of the swelling.

The common symptoms are:

  • Most of the time, breathing through the mouth rather than the nose
  • Speaking with a nasal tone, as though speaking through your nose
  • Chronic runny nose
  • Recurrent ear infections
  • Earache
  • Neck pain or stiff neck
  • Noisy breathing during the day
  • Snoring at night
  • Restless periods of sleep
  • Difficult or painful swallowing

In some cases, a disorder named Peritonsillar abscess is caused, in which one of the tonsils are swollen and an abscess forms in the tonsil.

Who is at Risk for Adenotonsillitis?

A variety of risk factors can cause infections of the adenoidal tissues. Among them are:

  • Reoccurring infections of the tonsils
  • Infections of the throat, neck, or head
  • Contact with airborne viruses, germs, and bacteria

Adenoiditis is more common in children. The adenoids shrink as children grow older and are usually gone by the time you reach late adolescence. School-aged children are regularly exposed to viruses or germs that might cause tonsillitis due to their constant interaction with their peers.

How to Diagnose Adenotonsillitis?

Diagnose Adenotonsillitis

Your doctor may advise you to an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat specialist). An ENT (ear, nose, and throat) doctor is sometimes known as an otolaryngologist. An ENT doctor specializes in infections, diseases, and ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Your ENT will conduct a physical examination to pinpoint the location of the infection. They check for signs like:

  • Pus or Exudates over tonsils.
  • Tonsil’s enlargement

Your doctor can grade tonsillar swelling based on the size of the tonsils and the extent of obstruction if taking the oral route.

Other Tests for diagnosis of Adenotonsillitis:

1. Throat Swab

Swabs collect germs and other organisms from the throat. A sterile swab is rubbed over your throat to obtain a sample of secretions in this straightforward test. Streptococcal bacteria will be tested in the clinic or a laboratory.

2. Blood Tests

Blood Tests

To monitor and evaluate the presence of organisms. Your doctor may order a CBC (Complete Blood Count) test of your blood. This test, which can usually be conducted in a clinic, yields a count of the several types of blood cells.

3. X-Ray

Image of head and neck to assess the size of your adenoids and the level of infection. A nasopharyngeal x-ray or a diagnostic pediatric nasal endoscopy are used for diagnosis.

Complications of Adenotonsillitis

Adenotonsillitis can result in a variety of problems. Chronic or severe inflammation in adenoidal tissues that spreads to other parts of the head and neck may arise from these consequences.

Ear Infections

As your Adenotonsillitis worsens, the inflammation may obstruct the opening of the tubes going to your middle ear. This can result in infection as well as hearing impairment.

Glue Ear (Middle Ear Infection)

When mucus builds up and plugs the middle ear, this can happen. A blockage of the Eustachian tubes is usually the first symptom. It will affect your hearing.

Sinus Problems (Sinusitis)

Your sinus cavities may fill with fluid and get infected. The sinuses are air-filled hollow spaces within the facial bones surrounding your eyes and nose.

Other complications are obstructive sleep apnea, tonsillar cellulitis, and peritonsillar abscess.

How to Treat Adenotonsillitis?

Adenotonsillitis treatment depends on the severity of the condition, and there are multiple ways to treat Adenotonsillitis.


If a virus causes your Adenotonsillitis, your doctor will prescribe a virus-specific treatment regimen. If bacteria caused your Adenotonsillitis, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are frequently effective in treating inflamed adenoidal tissue.

Even if the symptoms disappear entirely, you must complete the entire course of antibiotics. If you do not take all your medication as prescribed, your illness could worsen or spread to other parts of your body. Not finishing the entire course of antibiotics can put your child at risk for rheumatic fever and severe kidney inflammation.


Surgery to remove your adenoids may also be an option. This surgery is called Adenoidectomy. It is a daycare procedure, which means admission to discharge can be made in a single day.

The surgery is used to remove adenoids that:

  • Do not get better with antibiotics.
  • Coexist with an underlying health problem, such as cancer or a throat and neck tumor.
  • Cause breathing problems.

Having recurrent Adenotonsillitis.

Adenotonsillectomy can be done in a variety of methods. While you sleep, the surgery will be conducted under general anesthesia. The time span of the surgery is usually 20 to 30 minutes.

Complications of Adenotonsillectomy:

  • Bleeding during surgery
  • Throat pain
  • Bleeding within 24 hours after surgery
  • Earache
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Dehydration
  • Speech change for 2-3 days.


In most cases, medical treatment for Adenoiditis is effective. Adenoidectomy, which removes hypertrophy or inflamed adenoid tissue, is a permanent therapy for people with recurring diseases. It is important to get treatment early on if you have chronic Adenotonsillitis or adenoid hypertrophy, as both conditions can lead to major problems and a lower quality of life. Multiple specialists may be required to treat Adenotonsillitis and associated complications. Get your doubts and queries cleared from one of the best ENT hospitals in Kukatpally Hyderabad.

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