Adenoiditis and Adenoid Hypertrophy

The adenoid is a mass of tissue at the back of the nose above the tonsils. In order to see them, your physician can look through your mouth and view the back of your nose using a mirror, may choose to look with a flexible camera in the nose, or may use an x-ray.

The adenoid is lymphoid tissue similar to a lymph node. Like a lymph node it contains cells that help to fight infection and can swell in response to that infection. The adenoid is a part of a ring-shaped group of lymph node type tissue found around the back of the throat that includes the tonsils and tissue at the back of the tongue (known as Waldeyer's ring). Together, they act to help process infections in the nose and throat.


Unfortunately, sometimes the adenoid tissue gets infected and the infection can last for weeks or months. This is called adenoiditis. Symptoms of adenoiditis may include a runny or stuffy nose, post-nasal drip, headache, or cough. Usually adenoiditis responds to antibiotics taken by mouth. If antibiotics fail to get rid of the infection, the adenoid tissue may have to be removed.

Adenoid Hypertrophy

In most children, the adenoid enlarges normally during early childhood, when infections of the nose and throat are most common. They usually shrink as the child gets older and disappear by puberty. However, in some children, the adenoid continues to become larger and block the passage behind the nose. Symptoms may include snoring, breathing through the mouth, or speech that sounds like talking with a blocked nose. This can also contribute to otitis media (middle ear infections) because of blockage of the eustachian tube (the tube that connects and drains the ear to the back of the nose).

Please also read about adenoidectomy and adenoidectomy post-op instructions.

Common ENT Problems

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Surgeries We Perform

  • Adenoidectomy

    An adenoidectomy is a surgical procedure performed to remove the enlarged (hypertrophied) or chronically infected adenoids. Depending Read More
  • Laryngoscopy

    Laryngoscopy is an examination that lets your doctor look at the back of your throat, your voice Read More
  • Septoplasty

    The septum of the nose is a wall made of cartilage and bone that divides the two Read More
  • Tonsillectomy

    Removal of the tonsils (tonsillectomy) for tonsillitis or tonsillar hypertrophy (enlargement) is one of the most common Read More
  • Tympanostomy Tubes

    Tympanostomy tubes are known by many names including ventilation tubes, myringotomy tubes, ear tubes, and pressure equalization Read More
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Post-Operative Instructions

  • Adenoidectomy

    General Information: Adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoid pad. The adenoids are tissue located behind the Read More
  • Facelifts

    Please follow these instructions carefully. Your final result will depend upon how well you care for the Read More
  • Rhinoplasty

    Week 1 (Beginning the day after surgery): You SHOULD: Keep the splint as dry as possible. Call Read More
  • Tympanoplasty

    Definition/Explanation: Tympanoplasty is a type of ear surgery. This surgery is designed to rebuild the eardrum and Read More
  • Blepharoplasty

    Please follow these instructions carefully. Your final result will depend upon how well you care for the Read More
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More Links

  • Hospital Affiliations
  • Otolaryngology / Head and Neck Surgery
  • Allergy & Sinus
  • Balance
  • Hearing Loss and Ear Disorders
  • Head and Neck Cancer
  • Pediatric Otolaryngology
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Thyroid