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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 a picture 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.
By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Sarah Marshall, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
Last Revised July 27, 2010

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: July 27, 2010
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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