Your child might have experienced breathing difficulty and respiratory infections with sore throat from time to time. In addition, you might have also noticed his or her tonsils became swollen and inflamed. In addition to tonsils, there is another gland which is vulnerable to infection and inflammation – it is adenoid. Inflamed and enlarged adenoid can lead to recurrent respiratory infections and breathing difficulties.


Adenoids – a mass of tissue located towards the posterior end of the nose and on the roof of the mouth helps in trapping germs that pass through the nose and mouth by producing antibodies. As adenoids cannot be easily seen, a doctor employs a special instrument to see them closely. Adenoids are seen predominantly during 2 to 5 years age, and then gradually shrink in size after age 5 to 6 years and eventually disappear by teen age.


Like tonsils, adenoids also helpful in imparting immunity as they trap pathogenic germs and filter them out of the body. By doing so, sometimes, they may get overpowered by the germs and become infected owing to which they become swollen and inflamed. This condition is known as adenoiditis. This type of infection is common in children, but may also be seen in adults on rare occasions though.

Symptoms of Adenoids Enlargement

  • Recurrent Cold and respiratory tract infections
  • Sore Throat
  • Nasal congestion
  • Blockage of the breathing passage
  • Dry mouth due to mouth breathing
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Nasal voice while speaking
  • Snoring (sleep apnea)
  • Ear problems and earache
  • Disturbed sleep


Antibiotics is the mode of treatment in mild cases and if the infection is not recurrent. But, if the child suffers from recurrent infections with cold like symptoms that also involves infections of the ear, pain in the ear, nose blockage with sinus infections – and if antibiotics are not working against the infection, then surgery may be recommended. when the child has breathing difficulties and disturbed sleep with the above issues, then a procedure called adenoidectomy may be done to treat adenoiditis.

Your ENT specialist may also recommend removal of tonsils at the time of adenoidectomy. The procedure to remove tonsils is known as tonsillectomy. Both adenoidectomy and tonsillectomy can go hand in hand. Your ENT surgeon and you can have a discussion regarding the necessity of the surgery and go ahead if it is necessary.