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Your child might have experienced breathing difficulty and respiratory infections with a sore throat from time to time. In addition, you might have also noticed his or her tonsils became swollen and inflamed. In addition to the tonsils, there is another gland that is vulnerable to infection and inflammation – it is adenoid. Inflamed and enlarged adenoid (adenoiditis) can lead to recurrent respiratory tract infections and breathing difficulties – especially in children.


Adenoids – a mass of tissue located towards the posterior end of the nose and on the roof of the mouth helps in trapping germs that pass through the nose and mouth by producing antibodies. As adenoids cannot be easily seen, a doctor employs a special instrument to see them closely. Adenoids are seen predominantly during 2 to 5 years age, and then gradually shrink in size after age 5 to 6 years and eventually disappear by teenage.


Like tonsils, adenoids also helpful in imparting immunity as they trap pathogenic germs and filter them out of the body. By doing so, sometimes, they may get overpowered by the germs and become infected owing to which they become swollen and inflamed. This condition is known as adenoiditis. This type of infection is common in children, but may also be seen in adults on rare occasions though.

Symptoms of Adenoids Enlargement

  • Recurrent cold and respiratory tract infections
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Blockage of the breathing passage
  • Dry mouth due to mouth breathing
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Nasal voice while speaking
  • Snoring (sleep apnea)
  • Ear problems and earache
  • Disturbed sleep

Adenoids treatment without surgery

ENT specialists provide treatment for adenoiditis based on the severity of the condition. The doctor may not recommend surgery when there is no infection of adenoids though they may be enlarged. Your ENT doctor may prefer to wait and watch to see whether adenoids shrink on their own. The ENT surgeon may recommend nasal steroid to shrink enlarged adenoids. In addition, antibiotics are the mode of treatment in mild cases and if the infection is not recurrent.

Adenoids Removal Surgery

If the child suffers from recurrent infections with cold-like symptoms that also involves infections of the ear, pain in the ear, nose blockage with sinus infections – and if antibiotics are not working against the infection, then surgery may be recommended to treat adenoiditis. when the child has breathing difficulties and disturbed sleep with the above issues, then a procedure called adenoidectomy may be done to treat adenoiditis.

 Bottom line

Your ENT specialist may also recommend the removal of tonsils at the time of adenoidectomy. The procedure to remove tonsils is known as tonsillectomy. Both adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy can go hand in hand. Your ENT surgeon and you can have a discussion regarding the necessity of the surgery and go ahead if it is necessary to treat adenoiditis.


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