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About Your Tonsils

The tonsils are oval collections of tissue located in the back of the throat on the right and left sides. A thin layer of moist skin called the anterior tonsillar pillar covers the front part of the tonsil. Adenoids are a mass of tissue located at the back of the throat above the tonsils. The primary purpose of the tonsils and adenoids is to trap and destroy viruses and bacteria.

The uvula hangs down from the middle of the soft palate between the tonsils. The adenoids are located above the soft palate on the back wall of the throat near the Eustachian tubes. The Eustachian tubes are small air passages that connect the space under the eardrum with the back of the nose. When you clear your ears, for example on an airplane, you are equalizing air pressure through the Eustachian tubes.