Enlarged adenoids may also cause sleep problems. A child may:
Be restless while sleeping
Snore a lot
Have episodes of not breathing during sleep (sleep apnea)
Children with enlarged adenoids may also have more frequent ear infections.
Exams and Tests
The adenoids cannot be seen by looking in the mouth directly. The health care provider can see them by using a special mirror in the mouth or by inserting a flexible tube (called an endoscope) placed through the nose.
Many people with enlarged adenoids have few or no symptoms and do not need treatment. Adenoids shrink as a child grows older.
The provider may prescribe antibiotics or nasal steroid sprays if an infection develops.
Surgery to remove the adenoids (adenoidectomy) may be done if the symptoms are severe or persistent.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider if your child has trouble breathing through the nose or other symptoms of enlarged adenoids.
Wetmore RF. Tonsils and adenoids. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St Geme JW III, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 383.
Sumana Jothi MD, specialist in laryngology, Clinical Instructor UCSF Otolaryngology, NCHCS VA, SFVA, San Francisco, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team