St. Luke's Hospital
Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
Find a Physician Payment Options Locations & Directions
Follow us on: facebook twitter Mobile Email Page Email Page Print Page Print Page Increase Font Size Decrease Font Size Font Size
America's 50 Best Hospitals
Meet the Doctor
Spirit of Women
Community Health Needs Assessment
Home > Health Information

Multimedia Encyclopedia

    Print-Friendly
    Bookmarks

    Enlarged adenoids

    Adenoids - enlarged

    The adenoids are lymph tissue that sit in your upper airway between your nose and the back of your throat. They are similar to the tonsils.

    Enlarged adenoids means this tissue is swollen.

    Causes

    Enlarged adenoids may be normal. It may start when the baby grows in the womb. The adenoids help your body prevent or fight infections by removing bacteria and germs.

    Infections can cause the adenoids to become swollen. The adenoids may stay enlarged even when you are not sick.

    Symptoms

    Children with enlarged adenoids often breathe through their mouth because their nose is blocked. Mouth breathing occurs mostly at night, but may be seen during the day.

    Mouth breathingmay lead to the following symptoms:

    • Bad breath
    • Cracked lips
    • Dry mouth
    • Persistent runny nose or nasal congestion

    Enlarged adenoids may also cause sleep problems. A child may:

    • Be restless while sleeping
    • Snore a lot
    • Have episodes of not breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)

    Children with enlarged adenoids may also have more frequent ear infections.

    Exams and Tests

    The adenoids cannot be seen by looking in the mouth directly. Your doctor can see them by usinga special mirror inyour mouth or aflexible tube (called an endoscope) placedthrough the nose.

    Tests may include:

    • X-ray of the throat or neck
    • Sleep study

    Treatment

    Many people with enlarged adenoids have few or no symptoms. You may not need treatment.Adenoidsshrink as a child grows older.

    If you have an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.

    Surgery to remove the adenoids (adenoidectomy) may be done if the symptoms are severe or persistent.

    When to Contact a Medical Professional

    Call your health care provider if your child has difficulty breathing through the nose or other symptoms of enlarged adenoids.

    References

    Wetmore RF. Tonsils and adenoids. In: Kliegman RM,Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 375.

    BACK TO TOP

    • After your child's tonsi...

      Animation

    • Throat anatomy

      illustration

    • Adenoids

      illustration

    • After your child's tonsi...

      Animation

    • Throat anatomy

      illustration

    • Adenoids

      illustration

    A Closer Look

      Talking to your MD

        Self Care

          Review Date: 11/12/2012

          Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

          The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
          adam.com

          A.D.A.M. content is best viewed in IE9 or above, Fire Fox and chrome browser.


          Back  |  Top
          About Us
          Contact Us
          History
          Mission
          Locations & Directions
          Quality Reports
          Annual Reports
          Honors & Awards
          Community Health Needs
          Assessment

          Newsroom
          Services
          Brain & Spine
          Cancer
          Heart
          Maternity
          Orthopedics
          Pulmonary
          Sleep Medicine
          Urgent Care
          Women's Services
          All Services
          Patients & Visitors
          Locations & Directions
          Find a Physician
          Tour St. Luke's
          Patient & Visitor Information
          Contact Us
          Payment Options
          Financial Assistance
          Send a Card
          Mammogram Appointments
          Health Tools
          My Personal Health
          mystlukes
          Spirit of Women
          Health Information & Tools
          Clinical Trials
          Health Risk Assessments
          Employer Programs -
          Passport to Wellness

          Classes & Events
          Classes & Events
          Spirit of Women
          Donate & Volunteer
          Giving Opportunities
          Volunteer
          Physicians & Employees
          For Physicians
          Remote Access
          Medical Residency Information
          Pharmacy Residency Information
          Physician CPOE Training
          Careers
          Careers
          St. Luke's Hospital - 232 South Woods Mill Road - Chesterfield, MO 63017 Main Number: 314-434-1500 Emergency Dept: 314-205-6990 Patient Billing: 888-924-9200
          Copyright © St. Luke's Hospital Website Terms and Conditions  |  Privacy Policy  |  Patient Notice of Privacy Policies PDF Sitemap St. Luke's Mobile