The adenoid glands sit high up in the throat behind the nose and roof of the mouth. This location earns them an important job: they catch germs that enter your nose before they can cause an illness. But, sometimes, they can also be a problem, especially in children.
Dr. Vandana Kumra at ENT New York provides comprehensive care of that ear, nose, throat, head, and neck. As a specialist in evaluating and treating both adult and pediatric patients, Dr. Kumra has extensive experience in adenoid removal — a procedure most often done between ages 1-7.
Taking a closer look at adenoids
Have you ever looked at the back of your throat? Your tonsils — the two round bumps at the back of your throat — are clearly visible. However, you need special equipment to see your adenoids because of their placement. But that’s not the only reason they’re impossible to see.
Adenoids help protect your body from bacteria and viruses. But they also start to shrink sometime between ages 5-7. That means they can be imperceptible or completely gone by the time a person is a teenager, where only a vestigial organ with no purpose remains.
As a result, most adenoid issues impact children. Though, in rare situations, adults can experience problems.
Recognizing the signs of an adenoid problem
When adenoid issues arise, they often involve enlarged, swollen, or chronically infected glands.
These changes can lead to numerous problems, including partially blocking the airway. When this occurs, a child not only experiences breathing problems, including snoring or sleep apnea.
Persistent adenoid enlargement can also block the eustachian tube. This narrow chamber connects the nose and ears, and allows fluid to drain from the middle ear. When blocked, this fluid can build up, triggering chronic ear infections and temporary hearing loss.
Additional signs of adenoid problems include:
- Noisy breathing
- A nasally voice
- Breathing through the mouth
- Cracked lips
- Dry mouth, sometimes with bad breath
- A runny or congested nose without illness or allergies
- Excessive daytime sleepiness
If these symptoms sound familiar, Dr. Kumra can perform an exam and recommend the best treatment for your symptoms.
Treating adenoid problems
Not all adenoids require removal. However, surgery is often the best solution for chronic infections, adenoids blocking airways, and infections that don’t respond to antibiotics or nasal sprays.
Dr. Kumra performs adenoid surgery as an outpatient procedure, so you can go home the same day. The adenoidectomy itself usually takes less than an hour and involves general anesthetic, so you sleep the entire time.
To remove adenoids, Dr. Kumra uses a special instrument to see inside the throat and nasal cavity. That means she doesn’t need to make any external incisions during the procedure, so stitches aren’t necessary.
In most cases, adenoid removal is well-tolerated with few risks and complications. However, it’s common to have pain or discomfort in the ears, nose, and throat for a few days, and it can take a week or two to recover from the procedure.
Do you have adenoid problems? Schedule a evaluation with Vandana Kumra, MD, by calling 646-859-6136 or booking online today.