The adenoids can become infected and enlarged by simply doing their intended job of protecting your child from bacteria and viruses. When your child has ongoing nose, throat, or ear problems due to enlarged adenoids, the experienced board-certified doctors at Beach Cities ENTS in Torrance, California, offer compassionate care, beginning with medical treatment and then using their surgical expertise to remove the adenoids when necessary. To schedule an appointment, call the office or use the online booking feature.
What are adenoids?
The adenoids are a lump of tissue located in the back of the nasal cavity and slightly above the tonsils. Like your tonsils, adenoids are part of your lymphatic system. Their job is to keep you healthy by trapping bacteria and viruses that you inhale.
However, adenoids are only active in young children because they shrink around the age of five. Adenoids virtually disappear by the time your child is a teen.
What causes enlarged adenoids?
Due to their job trapping germs, the adenoids become swollen. While the swelling is often temporary, the adenoids can get infected by all the microorganisms they collect. That’s when they can become significantly swollen and enlarged.
What symptoms develop due to enlarged adenoids?
Depending on how large they become, the adenoids can completely block the nasal passage and interfere with breathing. They may also block the eustachian tube, resulting in ear infections, or lead to sinus infections.
The common symptoms of enlarged adenoids include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sore throat
- Ear pressure
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen glands
- Dry mouth
Enlarged adenoids and tonsils are the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children. Symptoms of sleep apnea include loud snoring and problems that often arise in tired children such as irritability, anger, and oppositional behavior.
How are adenoid problems treated?
Your doctor at Beach Cities ENTS may treat a mild case of swollen adenoids with a nasal spray to reduce the swelling or antibiotics if your child has a bacterial infection.
Surgery to remove adenoids, called an adenoidectomy, typically occurs when your child has constant nasal congestion, frequent ear infections, or a chronic nasal or sinus infection with thick nasal drainage. Adenoids are also removed when they’re the source of sleep apnea.
The team at Beach Cities ENTS performs adenoidectomies as outpatient procedures. Since they remove the adenoids through the mouth, you won’t need to worry about incisions or scars.
When adenoids removal occurs without also taking out your child’s tonsils, you can expect them to have a mildly sore throat for a few days after surgery. Most children can eat and drink normally within a few hours after their adenoidectomy.
If your child often has a stuffy nose, ear infections, or other symptoms of enlarged adenoids, call Beach Cities ENTS or schedule an appointment online.