Adenoids in Children

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Dr. MuathMadallah Al Jawazneh

What is the pharyngeal tonsil?

Also known as adenoid, it is a lymphatic tissue located at the posterior area of the nasal cavity (nasopharynx), it is also part of a ring of lymphatic tissues in the pharynx. The components of this ring are the tonsils, a lymphatic tissue on the back of the tongue from both sides, a mass of lymphatic tissue on the posterior area of the oral pharynx and the postnasal adenoids at the nasopharynx.

-All these tissues may enlarge and increase in size due to infections or any other reasons.

What is the effect of the enlargement of this lymphatic tissue?

The enlargement of the tissue located on the tongue or at the posterior area of the oral pharynx doesn’t cause difficulty in swallowing or breathing because of its already small size, and no matter how big this enlargement is, it doesn’t become an obstacle like the case of tonsils and the postnasal adenoids.

Tonsils enlargement might cause difficulty in breathing and swallowing, snoring, etc, and in such cases, we may resort to surgical intervention.

-Regarding postnasal adenoids, their enlargement might cause:

1- Difficulty in breathing from the nose, and breathing from the mouth instead, in addition to snoring.


3-Recurrentotitis media.

4-Accumulation of fluids behind the eardrum, as the enlargement of the postnasal adenoids might block the Eustachian tube that connects the nasopharynx and the middle ear, which might also be a hot spot for infections.

-Adenoids usually shrink in size proportionally with growth, starting from the age of seven years until they almost disappear at the age of twelve, except in some cases where we can find them in older ages.

How to diagnose adenoids enlargement?

-Enlargement of postnasal adenoids could be diagnosedvia:

1-Previously mentioned symptoms.

2-X-ray for the postnasal area.

Treatment approaches

First we resort to drug treatment, and if that fails, we might resort to surgical intervention.

Surgical intervention: it is the removal of postnasal adenoids. This surgery is performed at the same time with tonsillectomy if there was a reason for that, and in case there are fluids behind the eardrum, these fluids are also removed.

-In some cases, the postnasal adenoids might enlarge again after their removal given their anatomical structure, and the lack of a special bag for them that enables us to remove them as a whole like the case of tonsils.

I wish you health and well being.

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