The term Adenoid actually refers to the mass of tissue of lymphoid which are located behind the nose and at the top of the nasopharynx. It is at this position the mouth meets the nose. In children they are normally a soft lump at the back wall of the nasopharynx which is located just behind the uvula. Adenoid is a gland that is a part of immune system. The main function of this gland is trapping the infections like bacteria and virus like all the other tissues of lymph and produce antibodies. The position of Adenoid also ensures that it discharges its function effectively. Since it is situated in the passage behind the nose they defend the body from the inhaled germs. However at times the adenoid gland itself gets infected and this causes severe health concerns among individuals.
When the adenoid gland increases in size due to infection it causes various problems. The enlarged adenoid sometimes takes the size of ping pong balls and thus completely blocks the flow of air through nasal cavity. This causes immense discomfort. The patient feels uncomfortable and has to put in increased effort in breathing.
There may be several reasons for enlarged adenoid. Sometimes a child is born with an enlarged adenoid. Enlarged adenoid can also be developed within first few years of child development. They mainly become enlarged due to the constant infection in the upper part of the respiratory system. Tonsils are also one type of infection caused due to the enlarged adenoid.
The first symptom of this infection is breathing through the mouth. As the adenoid increases in size it completely blocks the airflow through nose thus allowing the child to breathe only through their mouth. Mouth breathing becomes more evident at night during sleep. However in some cases mouth breathing is also encountered during day time. Mouth breathing results in cracked lips and dry mouth. Severe infection of adenoid and dry mouth often results in bad breath. Apart from that there is often change of voice due to the enlarged adenoid.
Other symptoms of infection in adenoid are infection in ear, sleep apnoea and snoring. In extreme cases enlarged adenoids also results in the pressure in the heart. Problem in sleep in children may result in the improper growth of the child
In the initial stages antibiotic is used for treating adenoid infection. However, they do not prove to be much helpful if the infection is very serious and chronic. In severe cases many doctors prescribe that the enlarged adenoid be operated. The operation which involves the removal of adenoid is known as adenoidectomy. It is done to deal with the complications of obstructed breathing and mouth breathing. This surgery can also be done in children. A successful operation will enable a child to breath comfortably and freely. Their disturbances in sleep will also reduce to a considerable extent thus ensuring proper growth in a child.