Tuesday, September 28, 2010

What are enlarged adenoids?

Adenoids are a collection of lymphoid tissue that runs through the nasal passages and to the back of the throat. This filters bacteria, viruses to prevent it from entering the body, while doing this it can grow big (hypertrophy). This can grow big enough resulting in blockage of the nose, obstruction of the eustachian tube and can block the clearance of mucous. The adenoids usually involute by 5 years of age but some persists beyond this age and cause problems.

Signs and Symptoms
  • mouth breathing
  • persistent cold symptoms that does not seem to get better
  • voice can be altered with a nasal, muffled quality to it
  • coughing worse a night from purulent drainage
  • chronic ear infections
  • loud snoring with periods of cessation of breaths (apnea)
  • chronic sinusitis
  • bad breath
  • impairment of taste and smell
  • can not sleep through the night, tosses and turns
  • seem to wake-up very tired
  • chronic sinus infections


The adenoids can only visualized indirectly by using mirrors. When a patient opens their mouth you see the tonsils but not the adenoids. Some doctors order an x-ray of the neck to see the size of the adenoids whether this encroaches the airway.


This can only be cured by surgical removal of the adenoids with or without the tonsils. This is done by a qualified Ear, Nose and Throat specialist. The patient undergoes general anesthesia and wakes up in the recovery room. They do not need to make any skin incision because they can go through the mouth. Healing takes a few weeks to occur but recovery is great. Patients are advised to eat soft, mush diet and cold foods are also recommended (ice pops, ice cream...)

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