Adenoiditis involves inflammation of the adenoids due to an infection. The adenoids are described as masses of lymphatic tissues that fight off infection. They are found in the throat, right behind the nose. Together with the tonsils, the adenoids are the initial line of defense against viruses and bacteria.
The adenoids are part of the lymphatic system which has a number of roles in protecting against infection. The adenoids store the antibodies and white blood cells to destroy potential infections. Once the adenoids are swollen, they could not function properly.
What are the indications?
Adenoiditis can start out as inflammation or enlargement of the adenoids. This swelling can obstruct or limit the airways. It can also make it hard to breathe via the nose. Other issues linked with swollen adenoids include the following:
- Dry or sore throat from breathing via the mouth
- Sounding nasally while speaking
- Breathing via the mouth becomes comfortable than via the nose
- Indications of infection such as a runny nose that triggers the production of green or stained mucus
- Snoring at night time or any time the individual sleeps
In case the adenoids are swollen, the individual might only breathe via the mouth.
What are the causes?
It is important to note that adenoiditis can be triggered by a bacterial infection particularly the bacteria Streptococcus. It can be triggered by various viruses including adenovirus, Epstein-Barr virus and rhinovirus.
Risk factors for adenoiditis
There are certain risk factors that can make an individual susceptible to infections of the adenoid tissues such as the following:
- Infections of the tonsils
- Recurrent infections in the neck, throat or head
- Contact with airborne viruses, bacteria and germs
Take note that children are more prone to adenoiditis since the adenoids gradually shrink through childhood. By the time the late teen years are reached, the adenoids are usually gone.
In case bacteria is responsible for the condition, the doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics are usually successful in managing the inflamed adenoidal tissue. In case a virus is responsible for adenoiditis, the doctor will start a specific treatment plan.
Surgical intervention to remove the adenoids might also be an option which is called adenoidectomy. This is usually the approach recommended if the adenoids do not improve with antibiotics, have recurrent infections, cause breathing and swallowing difficulties and accompanied by an underlying health issue such as tumor of the neck and throat as well as cancer.