January 19, 2010

Symptoms, and Prevention of Swollen Adenoids

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

We all have lymphatic tissue similar to the tonsils (known as adenoids) that are more pronounced when we are children. They are located in the airway between the back of the throat and nose. Adenoids tend to get enlarged more so in young children than adults. Adenoids shrink naturally once a child is five years old and tend to disappear altogether by the time your child is a teen.

What are Swollen Adenoids?

The role of the adenoids is to trap germs that are trying to enter and infect the body; this could lead to swollen adenoids as it battles the infection. The doctor may feel you child’s neck along the jaw line for swelling, while also taking a look at the ear, nose and throat for infection if they suspect swollen adenoids. Adenoids are not as clearly visible as tonsils are, for which you may need to undergo an X-ray to confirm suspicions.

Symptoms: There are a few signs and symptoms to watch out for due to swelling of the adenoids, depending on the severity of the condition. They are as follows:

  • Bad breath
  • Breathing through your mouth, more so at night
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Cracked lips
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dry mouth
  • Nose bleed
  • Middle ear infections or collection of fluid in the middle ear while in school
  • Restless sleep
  • Sleep disorders such as apnea
  • Snoring
  • Speaking as though your nostrils are pinched
  • Unusual fatigue due to lack of sleep
  • Weight loss or diminished appetite due to difficulty or pain while breathing

Treatment: Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics as treatment for your enlarged adenoids. In case the symptoms are severe and causing you great discomfort, you may have to undergo an adenoidectomy, which is a surgery that helps get rid of the adenoids and gives you relief. It will also prevent further complications for those who have chronic ear and sinus infections or fluid collection in the ear.

Home Remedies for Adenoid Enlargement

Here are a few home remedies that should help you get temporary relief till you go to see your doctor. Be careful while trying these out, and do not attempt them if you are unsure of the method. A doctor’s advice is the best in the case of swollen adenoids.

  • Garlic: Garlic is useful in treating adenoids. Take 3 to 4 cloves of garlic, pound them and form a paste. Heat the paste, squeeze the juice out of it, and add honey to the juice. Drink this mixture slowly; it should help get rid of the infection, while soothing your throat and relieving inflammation. Garlic juice is also known to be used to clear the collection of fluid in the ear. Pour 2 to 3 drops of garlic juice in the child’s ear to help.
  • Goldenseal Tea: Gargle with goldenseal tea it; is known to help reduce glandular swelling.
  • Herbal Tea: Make your own herbal mix by boiling burdock root, red clover, and sassafras in warm water. Drink this tea thrice a day for relief.
  • Lime Juice: Another great home remedy is lime or lemon juice. You can drink lime juice mixed in warm water with two teaspoons of extracted ginger juice and honey to soothe your throat; this mixture helps get rid of the infection and reduce enlarged adenoids. You can also mix lemon juice with honey and a pinch of black pepper as this also helps reduce swollen adenoids.
  • Olive Oil: Heat olive oil in a teaspoon over a low flame. Let it cool; pour a few drops of the warm oil it into your child’s ear. This should aid in minimizing the swelling. Be careful that the oil is not too hot.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps build immunity while fighting infections as well. Make sure that you eat foods that are high in vitamin C content or give your child a vitamin C supplement. Consult your doctor for the correct dosage. Also, make sure that your child has sufficient zinc and calcium intake.

If none of the home remedies work, take your child to the pediatrician immediately.

Prevention: Here are a few simple tips that should help you prevent the occurrence of swollen adenoids:

  • Gargle with warm salt water; this should help promote better blood circulation in the throat. For best results, swap between hot and cold water gargles.
  • Make sure that your diet includes fresh fruits and raw vegetables. Fresh fruit juices are valuable in improving your immunity as they are a rich source of vitamins and minerals.
  • Avoid smokers. Children who are in contact with people who smoke are at higher risk of contracting an infection.
  • Avoid eating too much junk and processed food as they are high in carbohydrate content and low in proteins that could also lead to this condition.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001649.htm
  2. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/tonsilsandadenoids.html
  3. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003011.htm