Adenoids are patches of tissue that sit at the very back of the nasal passage/top of the throat. As your child ages, these structures lose significance as the body learns how to fight infection better. They begin to shrink in childhood and continue to decrease in size into teen/adult years. Some parents may confuse adenoids with tonsils, which are visible at the back of the throat. However, they aren’t directly visible in a routine nose or throat exam and may require attention while they are still active components in the body. At Marlowe & Marrs, we perform routine adenoid examinations at our pediatric ENT center.
Your child’s adenoids will be checked as part of his or her routine examination at Marlowe & Marrs Pediatric ENT. The adenoids are patches of tissue that sit at the very back of the nasal passage/top of the throat. Some parents may confuse these patches with the tonsils, which are visible at the back of the throat. However, the adenoids aren’t directly visible in a routine nose or throat exam. Like tonsils, the adenoids do important work for babies and young children, as they are one of the first lines of defense when harmful bacteria and viruses are inhaled or swallowed.
As your child ages, the adenoids lose significance as the body learns how to fight infection. Adenoids begin to shrink in childhood, and continue to decrease in size into the teen/adult years. Adenoids do not typically grow back although that is not always the case.
Symptoms of Enlarged Adenoids
Adenoids are on the front line of the body’s defenses and it’s possible that they may swell temporarily as they fight off infection. Multiple infections, allergies, and other factors may cause chronic enlargement. Typical symptoms of enlarged adenoids include:
- Difficulty breathing through the nose.
- Bad breath and dry lips from breathing through the mouth.
- Sounding as if the nose is pinched or stuffed.
- Frequent sinus symptoms.
- Restless sleep or disruptive sleep apnea.
- Ongoing middle ear infections or fluid build-up in school-age children.
Diagnosing Adenoid Issues
Most of the time, enlarged adenoids serve as an indication of the body trying to fight off an illness. If we suspect enlarged adenoids, we may perform a basic physical examination of the nose, throat, ears, and neck along the jaw in order to gain a proper diagnosis. Since adenoids are difficult to see with the naked eye, we may also use an x-ray or an endoscope, a long flexible tube with a light on one end, to get a proper view. Treatment at Marlowe & Marrs Pediatric ENT will take into consideration all of the symptoms before prescribing medication.
Treating Enlarged Adenoids
When you visit our center, Drs. Marlowe & Marrs may recommend a nasal spray to help reduce adenoid swelling. Additionally, an antibiotic may be prescribed if the infection is bacterial. Another treatment for more severe cases is an adenoidectomy. This procedure involves the removal of the adenoids via surgery through the open mouth, with your child under general anesthesia for around 30 minutes. It is an outpatient procedure and may be done at the same time as a tonsillectomy. Drs. Marlowe & Marrs may want to perform an adenoidectomy if your child:
- Has multiple episodes of an adenoid infection and subsequent middle ear infections or fluid build-up in the ear.
- Shows no improvement of bacterial infection while taking an antibiotic.
- Suffers from airway blockage.
- Develops obstructive sleep apnea.
- Has recurrent episodes of sinusitis.
Adenoidectomy recovery for your child may involve several days of mild to moderate pain and discomfort, a runny nose and bad breath. Keep your child well-hydrated with bland, non-carbonated drinks like apple juice and broth, and make sure he or she follows diet as instructed.
Treating Children’s Adenoids In Sarasota, Florida
Enlarged adenoids can cause your child to feel a great deal of discomfort and pain. If you notice your child exhibiting any of the symptoms described above, we strongly urge you to contact our center as soon as possible. To learn more about what Drs. Marlowe & Marrs can do for you, make an appointment by calling (941) 379-3277 or selecting and filling out the appropriate form below.