Every baby is born with adenoids that are large, but as they age they will begin to shrink. Because the adenoids of children take time to become smaller, this makes them more susceptible to bacterial or viral infection.

What is adenoiditis?

Adenoiditis is a condition where the adenoids become inflamed. Adenoids are a collection of lymph tissue which is responsible for defending the body against infection. Adenoids can be found within the throat at the back of the nose. They work in conjunction with the tonsils to provide the body’s first line of defense against bacteria or viruses.

Adenoids are part of the lymphatic system, which will defend the body by storing white blood cells and other antibodies which will destroy any foreign substance which may threaten the body’s health. However, once the adenoids become inflamed, they may not function correctly. Adenoiditis is caused by an infection of bacteria (typically streptococcus) or a virus like Epstein-Barr.

What are the symptoms of adenoiditis?

Adenoiditis will usually start as swelling within the tissue. The swelling can restrict the airways of the child, making it hard for them to breathe through their nose. Additional symptoms which are experienced with this condition include:

  • An abnormally dry throat
  • Breathing through the mouth
  • Snoring when sleeping
  • Runny nose which produces green mucous
  • Throat becomes sore

How is the diagnosis established?

Dr. Samadi will examine your child, and if he determines they have adenoiditis he will refer you to an Otolaryngologist, which is a doctor that specializes in the throat, ear and mouth. They will conduct further tests on your child to determine the precise location of the infection. Some examples of these tests include examinations of the throat using a swab to get bacterial samples, blood tests to locate any organisms that are present in the blood, and X-rays of the adenoids themselves to measure their size and the severity of the infection. The ENT doctor will also speak with the parents to determine whether their child’s condition has been inherited.

How is adenoiditis treated?

The doctors at ENT for Children will usually prescribe antibiotics so that the adenoiditis is cured. Antibiotics have been found to be highly effective in adenoiditis treatment of tissue that has become inflamed. In severe cases, surgery can also be used to completely remove the child’s adenoids. This is only done in cases where the child’s condition does not improve with antibiotics, they have infections which reoccur, or the adenoiditis exists in conjunction with another major health problem, such as a tumor or cancer.

However, this is usually not necessary, as antibiotics are efficient in clearing up most cases of adenoiditis. The breathing and swallowing of the child will also gradually improve. Parents can prevent their children from being exposed to this condition by providing them healthy foods and ensuring that they are drinking sufficient fluids. Also, getting proper sleep is very important. Contact us to learn more about steps you can take to prevent your child from developing this condition.