Home » Topic » Enlarged Adenoids

What is enlarged adenoids?
What is the cause?
What are symptoms?
What is the diagnosis?
What is the treatment?
What are the possible complications?
What is the prevention?
Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28 +0530
Written by : DoctorNDTV Team
Checked by :
  • What is enlarged adenoids?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    Enlarged adenoids refer to swollen lymphatic tissues at the back of the nose. These tissues are similar to tonsils.

    Adenoids are lumpy clusters of spongy tissue that help protect children from getting sick. Like tonsils, adenoids help keep the body healthy by trapping harmful bacteria and viruses that are breathed in or swallowed. Adenoids also contain cells that make antibodies to help the body fight infections.
  • What is the cause?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    Enlargement of the adenoids may occur naturally (beginning during fetal development), or it may be caused by long-term inflammation.
  • What are symptoms?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    Swollen or enlarged adenoids are common. When this happens, the tonsils get swollen, too. Swollen or infected adenoids can make it tough for a child to breathe and cause these problems:

    • Mouth breathing (mostly at night)
    • Dry mouth
    • Cracked lips
    • Mouth open during day (more severe obstruction)
    • Bad breath
    • Persistent runny nose or nasal congestion
    • Frequent ear infections
    • Snoring
    • Restlessness while sleeping
    • Intermittent sleep apnoea
  • What is the diagnosis?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28

    The adenoids cannot be seen by looking in the mouth directly, but can be seen with a special mirror or using a flexible endoscope through the nose. The tests may include x-ray and sleep apnoea studies.

  • What is the treatment?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    If the enlarged or infected adenoids keep bothering the child and medicine doesn't stop them from coming back, the doctor may recommend surgically removing them with a procedure called an adenoidectomy. This may be recommended if the child experiences one or more of the following:
    • difficulty in breathing
    • sleep apnoea
    • recurrent infections
    Having the child's adenoids removed is especially important when repeated infections lead to sinus and ear infections. Badly swollen adenoids can interfere with ear pressure and fluid movement, which can sometimes lead to hearing loss. Therefore, kids whose infected adenoids cause frequent earaches and fluid buildup may need to get an adenoidectomy as well as ear tube surgery. And although adenoids can be taken out without the tonsils, if the child is having tonsil problems, they may need to be removed at the same time. A tonsillectomy with an adenoidectomy is the most common operation for children.
  • What are the possible complications?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    Enlarged adenoids can cause health-threatening conditions such as chronic ear infections, sleep apnoea, pulmonary hypertension, and right-sided heart failure. If the child has difficulty breathing through the nose, you must contact your doctor.
  • What is the prevention?
    Tue,22 Sep 2009 20:20:28
    Treating throat infections early may prevent the adenoids from becoming enlarged from long-term infection and inflammation. Adenoidectomy prevents the complications of long-term airway obstruction.

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