Most parents think that their child’s nose block is due to DNS (deviated nasal septum). While that might be one of the reasons for nose block, the most common cause of nose block is Adenoid Hypertrophy.
What is adenoid hypertrophy?
Adenoid tissue is a normal tissue in the body, present at the back of the nose. It is present at the junction, that connects the back of the nose, to the throat and the ear. Adenoid tissue is similar to tonsils, and is responsible for maintaining immunity in children.
As the child grows the blood cells take over the function of immunity and the adenoid tissues slowly start regressing in size. In some children, it fails to regress even after 8 years of age and blocks the back of the nose.
Adenoid hypertrophy is just enlargement of normal adenoid tissue and is NOT cancer.
What are the symptoms of adenoid hypertrophy?
The primary symptom is nose block, as a result of physical blockade of the back of the nose by adenoid hypertrophy. As the child cannot breathe through the nose, he/she will start breathing through his/her mouth. You will notice that your child’s mouth is always a little open, i.e they are habitual mouth breathes.
Do adenoids cause my child snore at night?
Breathing through the mouth, especially at night can make the child snore.
What are the complications of adenoid hypertrophy?
Adenoid hypertrophy will cause a change in the mid facial development of your child. You may notice your child having crowding of teeth and forward lying teeth, which may need braces to correct.
Adenoid tissue can block the opening of the tube connecting the ear and the nose (eustachian tube), which causes fluid to accumulate in the ear and in turn result in decreased hearing.
Decreased hearing can really affect your child’s day to day activities, especially his/her attention in school and the school performance.
Can adenoid hypertrophy be treated?
Yes, adenoid hypertrophy can be diagnosed early, when the child has only symptoms of nose block and mouth breathing. The symptoms of decreased hearing and other complications can be prevented all together.
Confirmation of the presence of adenoid hypertrophy and the percentage of adenoid tissue is determined by doing a diagnostic nasal endoscopy. It is a 5-minute procedure done after applying local anaesthetic sprays and decongestants. It does not hurt. An endoscope (thin small torch) is used to visualise the back of the nose and determine the extent of adenoid tissue.
Depending on the percentage of adenoid hypertrophy, smaller sized adenoid can be treated with nasal sprays and anti-allergy syrups.
What is adenoid surgery?
Very large adenoids have to be removed endoscopically, that is a small surgery done under general anaesthesia. It can be done as a day care procedure or may require admission for 1 day. The child can resume going to school the next day of surgery. No incisions are made on the face or the nose. In the new technique of adenoidectomy, a microdebrider is used, which causes very less bleeding.
Dr. Deeksha Rao Venkataram (MBBS MS (ENT)) is our otorhinolaryngologist and hair transplant surgeon.
She did her undergraduation and postgraduation in ENT from Kasturba Medical College, Manipal. During this time she was trained in and attended several workshops in all aspects of otology, rhinology and head and neck. She had a special interest in allergy treatment and trained extensively in the same.