We are born with a ring of tissue in the back of the throat made up of the tonsils and the adenoids.
Our tonsils are located on the side of the throat and resemble wall nuts, they can also vary in size.
The adenoids are not visible without special instruments. These are located above the soft palate.
They are the first line of our immune system where foreign material is caught and the body learns to defend against these bugs.By the age of about 3 the tonsils and adenoids should start being absorbed. In cases where this does not happen, they can cause an obstruction, this can manifest from light snoring to full blown sleep apnoea. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are thus removed surgically.
The adenoids can lead to another common problem and that is glue ear – where they obstruct the Eustachian tube, leading to an accumulation of fluid in the middle ear.