Authored by Dr. Nitty Mathew, Senior Specialist – ENT, Aster CMI Hospital
What is adenoiditis?
Adenoiditis is a type of condition wherein the adenoids (tissue behind the nose and above the throat) gets inflamed. It is common among children and leads to problems like snoring, mouth breathing, recurrent ear infections, decreased hearing, difficulty in breathing, cracked lips, runny nose and bad breath.
Adenoiditis occurs when there is inflammation of the adenoid tissue resulting from infection, allergies or irritation from stomach acid as a component of laryngopharyngeal reflux(LPR)
What causes adenoiditis?
Adenoiditis is usually caused by an infection of adenoids. Adenoids become apparent by 2 years of age and regress in size after 8 years. If these remain swollen for a prolonged time, then they can become problematic.
Because adenoids usually shrink by adulthood, children are most susceptible to its infection. They can be more prone to developing if the child is
- Bottle fed
- Breast fed in lying down position
- Have an infection near the nose or throat
- Suffering from an allergy
What are the symptoms of adenoiditis? How is adenoiditis diagnosed?
The symptoms of include:
- Stuffy and blocked nose
- Sleep apnea
- Cracked lips, dry mouth
- Glue ear
- Ear pain and infections
- Swollen neck glands
To diagnose adenoiditis, your doctor will conduct a check-up of your child’s nose, ears, mouth and throat. In case the symptoms are worse, your doctor may also suggest he/she undergo an X-ray to see degree of enlargement of adenoids and obstruction of nasal airway.
What are the side effects of adenoiditis?
Complications of untreated adenoiditis include –
- Runny nose
- Recurrent ear infections, decreased hearing
- Dry mouth, Dental caries
- Speaking with a nasal tone
- Adenoid facies
Adenoid facies is defined as the open -mouthed appearance in children, associated with a narrow nose, shortened upper lip, narrow palate, high palatal vault and dental crowding
What is the treatment for adenoiditis?
Usually by 8years of age adenoids regress, but keeping good hygiene can prevent repeated infections. Mild symptoms warrants only supportive treatment, but if your doctor suspects any bacterial infection then the child will have to be treated with antibiotics and then kept on nasal sprays to decrease the size of adenoids.
In case the medications are not bringing intended relief of symptoms, then a surgery called adenoidectomy to remove the enlarged adenoids will have to be done.
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