One of the biggest causes of breathing problems and a potential contributor to recurring ear infections and sinus infections in children is enlarged or infected adenoids. Here are 5 facts you may not have known about adenoids:
1 – Adenoids are glands that produce white blood cells and help trap bacteria and viruses to help fight infection. Usually, the adenoids are small, unassuming patches of skin in the “intersection” of the nasal airway and soft palate of the mouth.
2 – While these little infection-fighting helpers are useful to babies and little kids, as we grow, the body develops other means of fighting infection. Eventually, the adenoids become less important. They shrink away over time and are practically gone by the tween/teenage years.
3 – Adenoids can become enlarged as they trap germs and fight off infection. Sometimes they stay enlarged or get infected themselves. When this happens, it can cause an extremely stuffy feeling nose, snoring, and even ear infections and sinus infections.
4 – Recurring ear infections are common with children who have enlarged adenoids. The swollen adenoid tissue can cause the eustachian tube of the ear to not drain properly as the adenoid presses into the eustachian tube changing its angle or shape.
5 – Adenoids can be removed if infections are occurring too frequently and the adenoids are causing problems with sleeping, breathing, sinus infections, and ear infections. The removal procedure is a quick, outpatient surgery with a relatively quick recovery time – and manageable pain that can be controlled with over-the-counter medication and plenty of popsicles.
If you have concerns about recurring sinus or ear infections in your child, your child snores, or complains of a stuffy nose even when there is no mucus or drainage present, contact the Palm Beach Sinus Doctors at 561-776-7112 for an evaluation.