Adenoids and tonsils are part of the immune system and the body’s first line of defense. Adenoids are high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth and are not visible through the mouth or nose without special instruments. The most common problems affecting adenoids are recurrent infections of the nose and throat, and significant enlargement that cause nasal obstruction and/or breathing, swallowing, and sleep problems. Other signs of adenoid enlargement are breathing through the mouth; talking through the nose; chronic runny nose; recurrent ear infections; and snoring.
Chronic infections of the adenoids can affect other areas such as the eustachian tube–the passage between the back of the nose and the inside of the ear. This can lead to frequent ear infections and buildup of fluid in the middle ear that may cause temporary hearing loss.
What will happen at my visit to Mid-Kansas Ear, Nose & Throat?
The MKENT physician will ask about medical history and problems of the ear, nose, and throat. He will examine the head and neck, possibly using a small mirror or a flexible lighted instrument to see these areas. If necessary, x-rays, blood tests or sleep studies may be ordered to further evaluate the adenoid disease.
Bacterial infections of the tonsils, especially those caused by streptococcus, are first treated with antibiotics. Removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids may be recommended if symptoms are recurrent. Studies find that removal of the adenoids may help some children with chronic earaches and fluid buildup. In adults, the possibility of cancer or a tumor is another reason for removing the tonsils and adenoids.