What is an adenoid?

Adenoid is a tissue which is found between the nose and throat. It produces antibodies that help us fighting against bacteria and viruses.

If your child has an enlarged or frequently infected adenoid, your doctor may recommend it’s surgical removal. 

Children whose adenoids are removed do not get more frequent infections, since there are other tissues in the throat which has the same function.

What are signs of enlarged adenoids?


Enlarged adenoids may present with several symptoms. Your child may have one or more of the following:

  • Difficult breathing through the nose
  • Mouth breathing
  • Speaking as if the nose is blocked
  • Making breathing sounds during sleep
  • Snoring
  • Holding breath during sleep (sleep apnea)
  • Loss of appetite and retardation of development

The treatment of enlarged adenoids: When is surgery required?

Your doctor may recommend antibiotics if the adenoids are infected. Mild enlargement may not require any treatment, since adenoids shrink as the child grows. Surgery is required if one or more of the following conditions are present:

  • Serious difficulty of breathing
  • Sleep apnea
  • Frequent adenoid infections
  • Speech impairment
  • Frequent ear infections or middle ear fluid