Adenoidectomy: An Overview for Treating Snoring & Adenoiditis Symptoms

Last updated: September 6th, 2023

Adenoidectomy to Stop Snoring

Adenoids are masses of lymphoid tissue that are located right behind the nasal passageways, behind the nose, and act as a filter by keeping harmful germs from entering the body. Unfortunately, sometimes the adenoids can negatively impact the body instead of defending it by becoming infected, also known as adenoiditis. Symptoms of this infection can include recurring bacterial infections in the nose or throat, difficulty swallowing, breathing, and sleeping, and snoring. They are also in the top of the throat near the roof of your mouth, and can be examined by an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor using special instruments.

Adenoids play an important role in the early years of development – up to around age 6. However, as you get older, your body starts to fight infections in other ways and the adenoids will start to shrink due to non-use, most likely disappearing in your teenage years. Tonsils are similar in that they are made from the same type of lymphatic tissue, however, the two are completely different masses.

Adenoiditis Symptoms

You may be suffering from adenoiditis if you present 2 or more of the following symptoms: sleep apnea (brief pauses in breathing while sleeping), earaches or balance problems, swollen glands in the neck area, difficulty swallowing, congestion and stuffy nose, sore or scratchy throat, difficulty sleeping, and snoring.


Consulting your doctor to determine if an adenoidectomy is necessary is important. The surgical procedure in which the adenoids are removed by a surgeon is called an Adenoidectomy. Adenoidectomies and Tonsillectomies were typically performed together during most of the twentieth century, but they can also be done separately or individually. It is most commonly performed on children under the age of 6, and is usually done at an outpatient surgery center using general anesthesia. The adenoids are removed from the mouth, and patients are usually able to go back home 5 hours after the procedure.

Studies suggest that snoring does indeed improve after an adenoidectomy is performed, and the rest of the symptoms should improve as well. It is important to note that adenoidectomies can sometimes be unsuccessful due to a number of unforeseen circumstances, such as growth or further inflammation of the adenoids. Thus, some may have to undergo the surgery again. Moreover, some of the side effects of the procedure, even if it is a success, can include pain, bleeding, and discomfort.

Alternative Solutions

If adenoid problems persist, doctors may suggest alternative solutions such as administering antibiotics, steroids, or decongestants. In some cases, doctors may even supply custom-made or prefabricated nasal splints or dilators to help open up the nasal passageway and reduce snoring. Additionally, some may consult with healthcare professionals who specialize in snoring and can provide medical treatments, or provide home remedies to help alleviate adenoid problems such as avoiding irritants like dust and pollen, maintaining a healthy diet, and avoiding allergens.


Overall, adenoids play an important role in the first years of development, as they protect the body from infection. When they become infected, however, they can cause numerous problems such as snoring, sleep apnea, and discomfort. An Adenoidectomy is a solution to this problem in some cases, but it involves surgery and has the potential for side effects. Alternative solutions such as antibiotics, steroids, decongestants, nasal splints, and general care may be better solutions in certain cases. Ultimately it is important to consult with a doctor when adenoid issues arise and decide on the best option.

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