What are adenoids?

 Adenoids are a collection of lymphoid tissue (like   found in the nasopharynx, at the back of  the nose.  They are often enlarged in children but tend to regress in size at around 8-9 years.

When they are large or infected they can cause the following symptoms:

  • Snoring

  • Obstructive sleep apnoea

  • Nasal blockage and mouth breathing

  • Purulent nasal discharge with frequent and prolonged colds

  • They are also thought to have a role in glue ear. When  an adenoidectomy is combined with grommet insertion, there is a slightly reduced risk of recurrence of glue ear once the grommets come out than if grommets are inserted alone. 

How can we tell if they are enlarged

The adenoids are not visible when looking into the front of the nose. Examination with a flexible fibre-optic endoscope is the most accurate means of confirming their size. Tiny Paediatric endoscopes (2.4mm in diameter about half the size of an adult one)) can be used in the outpatient setting and are mostly well tolerated by children (fiberoptic endoscopy). 

Is surgery to remove the adenoids effective?

Surgery to remove the adenoids will help relieve nasal obstruction, but is not always effective in treating  nasal discharge.