Adenoids, also known as pharyngeal or nasopharyngeal tonsils, are a mass of lymphatic tissue in the upper airway between the nose and back of the throat. They are similar to tonsil tissue.
When the adenoids become enlarged, symptoms include a stuffy nose, ear problems, snoring, sore throat, difficulty swallowing and swollen glands in the neck. Common adenoid conditions include infections, obstructive sleep apnea and ear infections. They may remain swollen even when you are not sick.
To diagnose problems with your adenoids, your doctor may perform a fiberoptic endoscopy. Often the diagnosis is made based on the symptoms alone. If the cause of the enlarged adenoid is an infection, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, the adenoids may need to be removed through a surgery called an adenoidectomy. It is performed under general anesthesia by an ENT surgeon and most patients go home the same day. Patients can usually resume regular activities in three to five days.