The adenoids are a patch of tissue that is located on the roof of the mouth, just behind the nose. The adenoids aren't as visible as the tonsils, but they are a savior without a cape. Along with the tonsils, they form the lymphatic system which keeps infections at bay. Together they work by trapping the germs that enter the body through the mouth and nose.
Adenoids tend to shrink in size from the age of 5 and by the teenage years, they seem to disappear completely.
What are enlarged adenoids?
Due to frequent throat infections, the adenoids sometimes swell trying to keep the body healthy. Often the swelling gets better but there are cases where the adenoids get infected. It is considered very common in children. The swelling can be as large as the size of ping pong balls and can block airflow via the nasal passages.
Below listed are some problems caused by enlarged adenoids:
- Nasal congestion or runny nose
- Difficulty sleeping
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands in the neck
- Sleep apnea
- Trouble swallowing
- Problems in ear like infections
What causes enlarged adenoids?
There can be different reasons as to why your child has enlarged adenoids. Tonsils and adenoids come together as a team forming a defense wall against viruses and bacteria. One of the common causes of enlarged adenoids is frequent throat infections. Moreover, even when the adenoids defeat the infection they might stay enlarged. There are also cases wherein kids have enlarged adenoids at birth.
Enlarged adenoids cause trouble swallowing, breathing and block the eustachian tubes which can further cause ear infections.
- Endoscopy: This procedure involves inserting an endoscope through the nose or throat. The endoscope is a small, flexible tube with a light and camera to examine the interior of the body. With endoscopy, your doctor will get a clear view of the nasal passages and adenoids on a video. This procedure can be a little uncomfortable but isn't painful.
- Computed Tomography (CT): A CT scan allows your doctor to examine the sinuses, cavities, and adenoids. The same is done with the help of multiple X-rays and a computer that creates images.
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): An MRI scanner lets the doctor diagnose your body with the help of highly detailed images of nasal passages, sinuses, and adenoids. The images are created by the strong magnetic field and radio waves.
- Adenoids surgery (Adenoidectomy): This surgery is undertaken when the adenoids become too large due to swelling and start leading to health issues. Adenoidectomy is usually done through the mouth by inserting a small instrument in the mouth to keep it open. Further, the adenoids will be removed by a small incision or cauterizing. A few precautions after the surgery can help in the speedy recovery of the child.
- Antibiotics: These are medicines that kill bacteria and help the body to fight against infections, curing sinus and ear infections. They also try to not to let the bacteria multiply and further harm the body.