Tonsils and adenoids are similar to the lymph nodes or “glands” found in the neck, groin, and armpits. Tonsils are the two round lumps in the back of the throat and Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth (soft palate) and are not visible through the mouth or nose without special instruments.
Tonsillitis refers to inflammation of the pharyngeal tonsils (glands at the back of the throat, visible through the mouth). The inflammation may involve other areas of the back of the throat, including the adenoids and the lingual tonsils (tonsil tissue at the back of the tongue). There are several variations of tonsillitis: acute, recurrent, and chronic tonsillitis, and peritonsillar abscess.
Viral or bacterial infections and immunologic factors lead to tonsillitis and its complications. Nearly all children in the United States experience at least one episode of tonsillitis. Due to improvements in medical and surgical treatments, complications associated with tonsillitis, including mortality, are rare.
Adenoiditis is the inflammation of the adenoid tissue, usually caused by an infection. Adenoiditis is treated using medication (antibiotics and/or steroids) or surgical intervention. Adenoiditis may present with cold like symptoms. However, adenoiditis symptoms often persist for ten or more days, and often include pus-like discharge from the nose.