The main symptoms of adenoiditis are nasal stuffiness and nasal discharge. In this respect, adenoiditis is not really distinguishable from the common cold. In children who develop a common cold, the adenoids become inflamed as part of the illness.
If nasal stuffiness and discharge persist for longer than about 10 days-especially if the discharge has a greenish, pus-like appearance-the illness may no longer be a common cold. Instead, it probably has progressed to adenoiditis and/or sinusitis.
How Is Adenoiditis Treated?
Treatment for adenoiditis shares both similarities and differences with treatment for
- Because obtaining a culture from the adenoids is not as simple as obtaining a culture from the
tonsils, doctors usually base their treatment on the nature of the clinical symptoms.
- Unless a respiratory infection is particularly severe, it is reasonable to first assume that it is caused by a virus and use of antibiotics is not indicated.
- Once your child has had symptoms for 10 days or so without signs of improvement, treatment with an antibiotic, usually for 10 days to 2 weeks, would be appropriate.
When Is Adenoid Surgery Justified?
Surgical removal of the adenoids is appropriate when the adenoids are so enlarged that your child consistently has difficulty breathing through the nose, and the condition is not substantially improved by antibiotic treatment.
Removal of the adenoids is also appropriate in children who have had persistent otitis media (infection or fluid in the middle-ear), even after having surgery to place tubes in the ears.