What is Adenoid Hypertrophy?
Adenoid hypertrophy (or enlarged adenoids) is the unusual enlargement of the adenoid tonsil. The inflammation is common in children, especially between age group 2-6 years. The enlargement of tissue can be either due to bacterial infection or physiological reason. Adenoids are lymph tissues, similar to tonsils located in the upper air way between the nose and back of the throat. Adenoids are a part of the immune system and help the human body fight against infection.
Adenoids enlarge due to infection but normalize after the infection subsides. However, if they remain enlarged even after the infection has gone, it may create problems. One of the possible treatments is removing them from the body.
Enlarged adenoids can create a lot of problems. Children or person suffering from this disorder breathe through their mouth due to nasal cavity blockage. Breathing through mouth increases during night. The symptoms for the same are:
- Blocked and stuffy nose similar to cold and cough.
- Ear problems such as pain and difficulty in hearing.
- Sleep apnea or irregular breathing during sleep.
- Snoring due to breathing problem.
- Sore throat and difficulty in swallowing.
- Swollen glands in the neck.
- Problems breathing through the nose.
- Glue ear (hearing problems due to fluid buildup in middle ear).
- Cracked lips and dry mouth.
Adenoids help fight against infections. They trap bacteria and virus entering the body through the mouth, causing the tonsils to swell and become inflamed. They return to normal once infections subsides. If they remain enlarged, it may be due to:
- Bacterial infection such as streptococcus.
- Viral infection like adenovirus.
- Can be inborn.
The major risk factors are:
- Recurrent throat infections or tonsils.
- Contact with airborne viruses, germs, and bacteria.
Adenoid enlargement is caused due to infection and allergies. You can prevent development of such condition in your child by giving them a healthy lifestyle that helps fight infections and allergies.