Adenoids (or pharyngeal tonsil, or nasopharyngeal tonsil) are a mass of lymphoid tissue situated posterior to the nasal cavity, in the roof of the nasopharynx, where the nose blends into the throat.
Normally, in children, they make a soft mound in the roof and posterior wall of the nasopharynx, just above and behind the uvula.
Adenoid hypertrophy (or enlarged adenoids) is the unusual growth ("hypertrophy") of the adenoids
Symptoms of Adenoids
The following are some of the symptoms of Adenoids:
The symptoms caused by enlarged adenoids are mostly due to where this lymphoid tissue is located. The adenoids are in the midline of the nasopharynx, and the Eustachian tubes open from either ear to the right and left of them. Eustachian tubes ventilate the middle ear.
Very large adenoids will block air passage in both the nose and the ears.
This obstruction of normal air ventilation can lead to both sinusitis and otitis media.
In children with excessive middle ear infections and chronic middle ear fluid, there is a high bacterial count in the adenoids as compared to children without problematic otitis media, even if the size of the adenoids is small. The adenoids in these cases provides a reservoir of pathogenic bacteria that cause ear infections and subsequent middle ear effusions (fluid).
IT also leads to adenoid facies where the child has to breathe through mouth, drooling of saliva, protruding eyes.
The nasopharynx lies right above the throat. Splashes of excessive "drip" from infected adenoids may land directly on the vocal cords. Although the larynx and vocal cords do not ordinarily become infected from adenoiditis, their mucosa does become irritated. The vocal cords are extremely sensitive to touch, and any fluid drops falling on them cause an irresistible urge to cough. Adenoiditis therefore is one of the causes of cough.
Treatment of Adenoids
Surgical removal of the adenoids is a procedure called adenoidectomy. Carried out through the mouth under a general anaesthetic, adenoidectomy involves the adenoids being curetted, cauterised, lasered, or otherwise ablated.