This condition is an infection of the adenoids, lumps of spongy lymphoid tissue at the very back of the nose that are positioned behind and above the uvula. Chronic or recurrent infections can cause the adenoids to swell and enlarge, blocking the airway.


Adenoiditis may be caused by a viral or bacterial infection, and usually begins after a cold or a throat infection.


Symptoms of adenoiditis may include a stuffy or runny nose, sore throat and bad breath. In patients who have repeated or long-lasting infections the adenoids may become enlarged and cause difficulty breathing, snoring and sleep apnea. If the swollen adenoids block the eustachian tubes, which connect to the middle ear, the patient may have frequent middle ear infections. If chronic adenoiditis is left untreated, it may affect facial development, causing a narrow nose, high arched palate, and dental problems.


Treatment options may include antibiotics and steroids. If those are not effective, surgical removal of the adenoids may be recommended. In many cases, the tonsils and adenoids are removed at the same time. Ear tubes may also be inserted to help the middle ear drain properly.