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Chronic problems with palatine tonsils and adenoids

What are palatine tonsils?

Palatine tonsils, or simply tonsils, are lymphatic formations located in the back of the throat. Tonsils play a crucial role in the immune system’s function. They act as a barrier, protecting our body from microorganisms that enter our respiratory tract from the external environment.

When an infection affects the tonsils, they become inflamed. Often, inflamed tonsils can become chronically enlarged.

What are adenoids?

Adenoids are lymphatic tissue, unlike tonsils, you cannot see them without special equipment, and they are located in the nasopharynx.

Adenoids store white blood cells and antibodies that we need to fight infections.

Adenoids usually disappear in children during their adolescent years, unless they are chronically inflamed. In this case, the tissue does not disappear but does not function as a barrier against respiratory infections.

Inflammation of tonsils and adenoids

Inflammation of these organs occurs in everyone, as they exist to be the first line of defence against respiratory infections. Therefore, inflammation of these tissues is not uncommon. However, sometimes the inflammation of these tissues becomes chronic. This is the case when the body cannot cope with infections for an extended period. Inflamed tonsils and adenoids, in this case, can no longer perform their protective functions; instead, they tend to cause problems.

What problems are associated with chronic inflammation of adenoids?

Inflammation of adenoids is called adenoiditis, and it results in an enlargement of the adenoids. Swollen adenoids block the airways, making it difficult to breathe. A person may start to speak nasally, breathing through the nose not only during the day but also at night. Additionally, snoring, throat dryness, persistent nasal congestion, and nasal discharge may occur.

If the problem persists for a long time, mouth breathing can negatively affect dental health, and constant or periodic swelling of the adenoids can compress the Eustachian tube, leading to chronic ear infections. Accumulation of fluid in the Eustachian tube can adversely affect hearing perception, as sounds are distorted. If this occurs in a young child, it can also affect their speech since they do not hear sounds correctly, resulting in inconsistent speech. No speech therapist can help in such cases because the child perceives the speech with distortion.

What problems are associated with chronic inflammation of the tonsils?

In the case of tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils), there is throat pain, difficulty in breathing, pain when swallowing, and a loss of appetite. Sometimes the voice can be lost, and an unpleasant odor from the mouth may occur. In the acute phase of the disease, high body temperature, headaches, and chills may also appear.

Otitis media can develop as a result of the infection spreading through the Eustachian tube, and lymph nodes may become inflamed.

Depending on the infection that affects the tonsils, other organs and systems may be affected after some time, as a result of an autoimmune reaction.

Enlarged tonsils can block the flow of oxygen, and this can lead to problems such as snoring, insomnia, nightmares, and sleep disturbances. In the case of significant enlargement of the tonsils, a drop in blood oxygen levels can occur, leading to episodes of sudden daytime sleepiness.

What causes the inflammation of palatine tonsils and adenoids?

This can be caused by both bacterial and viral infections. If you recognize any of the described problems, be sure to consult a doctor. Acute and chronic diseases can occur in both children and adults, but they are more common in children.

How are tonsillitis and adenoids treated?

For a long time, the solution was simple – removing the tonsils and/or adenoids. This partially resolved the problems directly associated with inflammation of these tissues, but new problems arose. After all, the immune system was deprived of its first line of defence.

Nowadays, there is more awareness of how important tonsils and adenoids are for our health, and every effort is made to preserve them. Sometimes, the constant cycle of infections, triggered by even the slightest breeze, can become so exhausting that people themselves convince doctors to remove these bothersome organs. The doctors’ persistence in trying to avoid this irreversible procedure is often met with incomprehension, especially from parents of frequently ill children.

Alternative Treatment Methods

What can you do if you or your child are not currently candidates for surgery but are experiencing problems with the palatine tonsils and/or adenoids?

First and foremost, it’s necessary to understand why the immune system can’t cope with respiratory infections. To do this, you need an examination. It could be a low level of vitamin D, vitamin B12, or vitamin A. It could be a deficiency of proteins in the diet or a digestive system that isn’t absorbing nutrients properly.

Inflammatory processes in the body can divert the immune system’s attention, and its resources may simply not be sufficient to combat respiratory issues in such cases. In this situation, it is necessary to address this inflammation.

Rinsing the tonsils and nasal sinuses are well-known and effective preventive procedure. However, not everyone can tolerate such procedures.

The use of a humidifier and the dispersion of specific aromatic oils can help certain categories of people. The choice of oils should be made depending on the causative agent that is responsible for the inflammatory process.

Regenerative Cryotherapy

Regenerative cryotherapy was developed by Dr. Kochenov, a doctor of medical sciences and an ENT specialist from Nizhny Novgorod, who is one of the leaders in using liquid nitrogen to restore the function of tonsils and adenoids. The positive effects of cold on the immune system have long been recognized. However, we are not simply talking about cooling the palatine tonsils and adenoids. During regenerative cryotherapy, liquid nitrogen is sprayed onto the surface of the palatine tonsils and adenoids using a special device. There is no direct contact with the organs, and the procedure is non-contact to prevent overcooling. The flow rate is also controlled to avoid overcooling. The spraying is done very briefly, lasting only a few seconds, to avoid damaging healthy lymphoid tissue. This is what sets it apart from cryosurgery, which involves much longer exposure.

After the procedure, a series of reactions are triggered:

  • Improved microcirculation of blood in the tissues.
  • Enhanced regenerative (restorative) capacity of the tonsil and adenoid tissues.
  • Activation of local and systemic immune responses.

The destructive action of liquid nitrogen occurs only on the cells affected by the infection, leaving healthy cells unaffected and functional. The treated pathological tonsil tissue is naturally shed from the mucous membrane of the throat. The procedure can have a positive impact on reducing the size of the tonsils, reducing their looseness, and decreasing the number of plugs. As a result, symptoms such as throat irritation often disappear, the frequency of tonsillitis decreases, and problems with adenoids are also reduced, ultimately leading to an improvement in overall well-being.

The procedure is safe and virtually painless. Micro-particles of liquid nitrogen act as a natural anesthetic. Liquid nitrogen is not toxic to humans; it makes up 78% of the air we breathe. To prevent the inhalation of nitrogen vapour into the lungs, the patient should hold their breath for a few seconds before exhalation immediately after the spraying.

This procedure does not require frequent repetition, typically performed every 3-4 months. Such therapy can significantly reduce the frequency and severity of chronic infections. So, even if the palatine tonsils have been removed, the procedure can still be beneficial. After all, the palatine tonsils are just part of the lymphoid ring of the throat. Moreover, after the removal of palatine tonsils, other tonsils of the throat’s lymphoid ring, such as the lingual tonsil, can become inflamed and may also require treatment.


Cryotherapy Destructive or Regenerative