Adenoids are the glands that are present on the posterior of the nose. They perform the function of blocking bacteria and prevent infections. Children are born with adenoids that are small in size and they continue to grow till the age of 11 to 12 years. After that, the adenoids stop growing and may shrink to a normal size.
Sometimes, the adenoids do not stop its growth process. This causes the adenoid glands to become enlarged, causing great discomfort to the children. In addition, chronic and bacterial infections of the adenoids in children may also lead to its enlargement.
Symptoms of adenoid infection in children
Some of the symptoms of enlarged adenoids or adenoid infection in children are as follows:
• Congestion of the nose or a runny nose
• Prevalence of apnea and other sleep disorders
• Breathing through the mouth as nasal breathing may be difficult
• Chronic sinus infections
• Increased as well as unusual pattern to snoring
• Nasal bleeding
• Pain in the abdomen
• Breathing problems due to the blockage of the nasal airway by enlarged adenoids
• Problems or pain in breathing and swallowing may result in loss of appetite, thereby causing loss in weight
• The breath has a bad odor
• Loss of hearing and persistent infections of the ear, including the presence of fluid in the middle ear.
• Lack or deprivation of sleep resulting in increased daytime sleeping
• Fatigue, abnormal feelings of weariness and tiredness
• The speech may have a nasal twang to it there may be a loss of voice
• Sore throat
• The lymph nodes present in the front of neck are swollen
• Increased irritation of the vocal chords resulting in persistent cough. The cough may have blood in it.
• Mood swings
• Frequent interruptions in sleep. This may happen because children may stop breathing for small periods of time in sleep which results in low levels of oxygen in the blood.
• High blood pressure
• Slow rate of heartbeat
The adenoids in children tend to get enlarged, swollen or infected by the large amount of bacteria that the adenoids in children catch and fight.
Treatment of enlarged or infected adenoids in children
Parents must take the child to a podiatrist in case the above mentioned symptoms are observed. Depending on the severity of the adenoid infection, a doctor may prescribe the following:
• In simple infections, antibiotics may be able to cure the swelling of the adenoids in children. However, the treatment with antibiotics has to run its full course and any stop in between can lead to recurrence of bacterial infection
• The inflammation may be reduced by a course of steroids for a brief period.
• Homeopathic medications are useful in treating swollen adenoids in children
• Some home remedies like a daily dose of one tablespoon honey added with drops of lemon juice and black pepper, mixed juice of carrots and spinach and orange juice diluted with water are also effective in treating infections of adenoids in children
• Severe cases of adenoid infections in children that cause sleep disturbances, chronic ear infections, severe breathing problems and recurrent infections of adenoids may prompt a doctor to advice surgical removal of the adenoids in children.