New York Eye and Ear Infirmary
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Snoring and Adenoids

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What are adenoids?

The adenoids are masses of tissue found high in the throat behind the nose and the roof the mouth. They are only visible with special instruments. Like tonsils, your adenoids are susceptible to germs because they are positioned at the entrance to the breathing passage. The most common problems affecting the adenoids are recurrent infection and enlargement.

What are the common symptoms of enlarged adenoids?

A person with enlarged adenoids often breaths through the mouth rather than the nose. They may have recurrent ear infections, have noisy breathing, or sound "blocked" when they talk. Snoring is also common among people with enlarged adenoids.

How are enlarged adenoids treated?

Bacterial infections of the adenoids are treated with antibiotics. However, if despite antibiotic therapy, the infection persists or if the person is having difficulty breathing due to enlarged adenoids, then surgery may be necessary. The surgery is known as "adenoidectomy" and it is performed under general anesthesia by an ENT specialist. Studies have shown that adenoidectomy may be beneficial to some children with chronic earaches accompanied by fluid in the middle ear.

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