The adenoids are located at the back of the nose, and play a role in fighting infections. Adenoids usually start to shrink after the age of six, and are not an essential part of the immune system. However, sometimes they can become enlarged and be more of a hindrance than help. Common symptoms of enlarged adenoids include:

  • Snoring, sometimes to the extent that it can make breathing difficult and temporarily stop breathing (obstructive sleep apnoea, or OSA)
  • Blocked nose and mouth-breathing, which can make eating and drinking difficult.
  • Nasal-sounding voice
  • Persistant or recurring nasal discharge
  • Ear problems, such as glue ear
  • Enlarged glands in the neck.

Often, a child will grow out of these problems, although if they are more severe it can be helpful to removed the adenoids (adenoidectomy).

Adenoid surgery is performed whilst the child is asleep under a general anaesthetic. Usually the child can go home a few hours after the procedure. More information on adenoids and adenoid surgery can be found at the following links: