If your child constantly has a blocked nose, breathes from the mouth or snores, chances are there that he/ she might have enlarged adenoids. Adenoid enlargement is a problem affecting children, those in the 3-10 years age group are the most vulnerable. But what does enlarged adenoids mean? It refers to the enlargement of adenoids i.e. the lymphoid tissue located at the junction of the back of the nose and throat. Like tonsils, they are a part of the body’s immune system and play a major role in fighting infections in children. Adenoids help fight the bacteria and virus entering the body via the nose. They normally grow up till 5-7 years of age and thereafter, they start shrinking and finally disappear around teenage. This is the physiological growth and regression pattern of adenoids, which are needed only until the child becomes a teenager. By that time, the other immune systems get mature enough to fight infections and disease. The adenoids, which are no longer needed, regress and disappear.
Homeopathic Treatment Of Enlarged Adenoids
Homeopathic medicines are a natural and safe alternative to surgery in children with enlarged adenoids. Adenoids, when surgically removed, have the tendency to regrow, it has been noted. Homeopathic medicines, on the other hand, focus on strengthening the child’s immune system. Once the immunity is strong, the child becomes less susceptible to recurrent respiratory infections. Once this key factor leading to enlarged adenoids is treated, the adenoids get the time to shrink and go back to their normal size.
Homeopathy treats adenoids in two phases. In the first phase, homeopathic medicines treat the ongoing infection, which is recurrent and generally acute and has caused the condition in the present moment. In the second phase, these medicines build immunity to prevent chronic respiratory infections. Homeopathic medicines are safe and do not have any adverse side effects. They treat the condition of enlarged adenoids in a very gentle and natural way.
Homeopathic Medicines To Treat Enlarged Adenoids
Homeopathic medicines that work wonders in treating enlarged adenoids include Agraphis Nutans, Baryta Carb, Calcarea Carb, Sambucus, Ammonium Carb, Kali Sulphuricum, Nux Vomica and Tuberculinum
1. Agraphic Nutans – Top-Grade Medicine
Agraphis Nutans is one of the best homeopathic medicines for treating enlarged adenoids. It is a natural medicine prepared from plant Bluebell, also known as ‘wild hyacinth’. This medicine is mainly prescribed based on its two important indications. First is nasal blockage due to enlarged adenoids where it proves very effective. Next is ear complaints mainly deafness, resulting from adenoids growing big in size. Apart from these, Agraphis Nutans is also very effective when enlargement of adenoids and tonsils is present together at the same time.
When and How to use Agraphis Nutans?
Agraphis Nutans can be given in any case of enlarged adenoids once diagnosis is confirmed. It will help in managing nasal blockage which is the foremost complaint a child faces from enlarged adenoids. Side by side it will help in shrinking the size of the adenoids. Also never forget its use for ear complaints, especially deafness resulting from enlarged adenoids. A child having enlarged adenoids can be given this medicine twice or thrice a day as per the intensity of the complaint.
2. Baryta Carb – For Managing Recurrent Tendency To Get Cold And Sore Throat
Baryta Carb is a homeopathic medicine of great help in treating numerous health concerns in kids among which enlarged adenoids is a prominent one. It is mainly prescribed where a child has tendency to have colds and recurrent throat infections. Both adenoids and tonsils may have enlarged together simultaneously. In acute phase of URTI (upper respiratory tract infection), pain in the throat on swallowing, sneezing and thick yellow nasal discharge may also be seen. The mouth gives off an offensive odour. The child may be physically inactive and sluggish.
When and How to use Baryta Carb?
Baryta Carb is considered in cases where the tendency to have recurrent cold and sore throat is present. This medicine can also be used when adenoids and tonsils, both are enlarged. Its use is recommended in the phase when acute URTI has not set in. This medicine will help build up immunity to prevent frequent infections. Its use can be done from low (like 30C) to high potencies (like 200C and 1M) but not in very frequent doses. To begin with, one can take Baryta Carb 30C twice a week only. To increase dose or potency, kindly consult a homeopathic doctor.
3. Calcarea Carb – To Manage Disposition To Take Cold Easily
Calcarea Carb is the top most medicine for kids who are highly susceptible to cold and fall sick after every such exposure. They get repetitive cold with clear watery nasal discharge or yellow foul discharge. Besides, nasal blockage is very prominent which is the most troublesome at night. The chronic tendency to infections results in enlarged adenoids or tonsils. Such children also tend to perspire excessively on the scalp.
When and How to use Calcarea Carb?
Calcarea Carb is used in kids who are inclined to get recurrent colds from even slight exposure to cold weather. Like Baryta Carb, this medicine is also used when no active infection is present to strengthen a child’s immunity making him/ her less prone to catching cold frequently. Its use varies from low (30C) to high potencies (200C, 1M) varying from case to case. Initially, Calcarea Carb 30C can be given twice a week or 200C be given once a week. For changing its dose or moving to higher potencies, advice from homeopathic expert is a must.
4. Sambucus – To Relieve Nasal Blockage
Sambucus is a natural remedy sourced from plant Sambucus Nigra commonly known as ‘elder’. Its use is highly considered to manage blocked nose at night with thick mucus in nostrils. The mucus is also very sticky. Mouth breathing due to a blocked nose is pronounced.
When and How to use Sambucus?
This medicine is best to relieve nasal blockage in kids. This medicine acts for a short period of time and bears repetition well. Sambucus 30C can be used two or three times a day as per severity of the problem.
5. Ammonium Carb – For Intense Nasal Blockage
Ammonium Carb is a very suitable medicine to manage nasal blockage. The blockage is intense causing the child to breathe through mouth. The child may jerk several times during sleep due to obstructed breathing.
When and How to use Ammonium Carb?
Ammonium Carb can be given when there is nasal blockage along with mouth breathing. Ammonium Carb 30C given three times a day gives great relief in nasal blockage.
6. Kali Sulphuricum – When Symptoms Still Trouble Even After Surgery Of Adenoids
Kali Sulphuricum is a specific medicine for managing symptoms that persist even after surgery of enlarged adenoids. This medicine can be used to manage symptoms including nasal blockage, mouth breathing and snoring. It can also be given when yellow nasal discharge accompanies these symptoms.
When and How to use Kali Sulphuricum?
If symptoms like nasal blockage, mouth breathing and snoring are still disturbing your child inspite of adenoids surgery, this medicine is an ideal prescription. It is majorly used in biochemic form in 6X potency that comes in tablet form. Kali Sulphuricum 6X can be used three to four times a day at a three-hour gap. Number of tablets to be given at a time varies from 2 to 4 as per age of child.
7. Nux Vomica – For Managing Snoring
This medicine works wonders in managing snoring. It is helpful for kids who snore and have nose congestion/ stuffiness at night. During the day, there may be watery discharge from nose but at night no discharge occurs.
When and How to use Nux Vomica?
Use of Nux Vomica is highly suggested in cases where snoring is well marked. Though it works well in various potencies, it is mostly used in 30C power. Nux Vomica 30C can be taken one to three times a day based on severity of the complaint.
8. Tuberculinum – Homeopathic Medicines To Treat Recurrent Infections Causing Enlarged Adenoids
Tuberculinum is a very effective homeopathic medicine to help build a child’s immunity so that he does not catch infections repeatedly. Children needing it are very sensitive to weather changes and highly susceptible to infections. They frequently suffer from sore throat, colds and upper respiratory tract infections. These medicines are given in chronic cases and when no active infection is present. They strengthen the body’s immune system.
When and How to use Tuberculinum?
Tuberculinum is mainly used as a medicine to boost a child’s immunity that will make a child less susceptible to catch frequent infections. It is mainly used in 200C or higher potencies. The dose varies from just one dose in 15 days or in a month depending on the age of the child and severity of problem. It is advised not to self-medicate with this medicine as it is a strong remedy. Always use this medicine only after consulting a homeopathic physician.
Note Use of these medicines is recommended only in mild to moderate cases. They can be used for about a month or two in recommended potency and dose. For further continuation of these medicines or for increasing dose or potency, kindly consult a homeopathic physician. In severe cases (for example, sleep apnea, mouth breathing even during daytime, recurrent ear infections or retarded overall growth of child), kindly take help from conventional mode of treatment as homeopathy has its limitations in treating severe cases of enlarged adenoids.
Cause Behind Adenoids Enlargement
Adenoids are present in every child that act as the first line of defense in the body along with tonsils. However, this does not mean that adenoids will get enlarged in every child. Recurrent upper respiratory tract infections (URTI) and nasal allergies put a child at risk and cause adenoids to enlarge. As soon as the germs enter via the nose, adenoids trap them and fight them. In this process, the adenoids get temporarily swollen. With time, this swelling reduces and they come back to their original size. However, if the infections are recurrent, the adenoids, due to constant swelling, are unable to return to normal size and get permanently enlarged even in the absence of any acute URTI.
Signs And Symptoms Of Enlarged Adenoids
1. Nasal blockage causing mouth breathing, noisy breathing and snoring
2. Dry mouth, dry cracked lips, offensive breath due to breathing from mouth
3. Disturbed, restless sleep; drowsiness and sleepiness during the day; difficulty in concentration
4. Nasal voice, enlarged glands in the neck, frequent colds, sore throat and difficult swallowing. Appetite may also be poor. A child having enlarged adenoids has a blocked nose and breathes through the mouth. Chewing and breathing at the same time are difficult, therefore these children avoid eating at all.
5. Adenoid facies: The term facies refers to a set of specific facial features in a person suffering from a particular disease. The typical set of facial features noted in a child having enlarged adenoids is known as adenoid facies. The features of adenoid facies include a long face, open mouth, high arched palate, prominent incisors, short upper lip and a pinched nose.
Complications Of Enlarged Adenoids
1. Sleep apnea (momentary pauses in breathing arise during sleep) in severe cases. Sleep apnea leads to poor sleep, fatigue and difficulty concentrating in studies at school.
2. Ear-related complaints such as difficulty in hearing, deafness and ear infections. The eustachian tube connects the throat to the middle ear. When the adenoids get enormously enlarged, they may block these eustachian tubes, leading to deafness or middle ear infection.
3. In fact, persistently enlarged adenoids retard the overall development of the child. The retarded growth in such cases is attributed to two main factors – poor appetite leading to nutritional deficiencies, and improper sleep. The growth hormone required in children is primarily secreted during sleep. A child who lacks sound sleep will have lower levels of this growth hormone and hence, suffer poor growth and development.
Frequently Asked Questions
My child has a persistently blocked nose, are enlarged adenoids to blame?
Blocked nose is a key feature of enlarged adenoids and is attended with symptoms like mouth breathing and snoring. However, nasal allergies and nasal polyps may also cause a blocked nose. So a diagnosis and X-ray of soft tissue of the neck are needed before enlarged adenoids can be established as the cause.
Can enlarged adenoids and enlarged tonsils appear at the same time?
Yes. Tonsils are located in the back of the throat, one on either side, and are a part of the child’s defense mechanism along with adenoids. Both adenoids and tonsils are masses of lymphoid tissue. There are high chances for both adenoids and tonsils to get enlarged at the same time.
Our ENT specialist has advised adenoid surgery for my son. Is it wise to try homeopathic medicines at this stage?
Yes, it is. Why put the child through the trauma of surgery? Even though conventional medicine treats enlarged adenoids as a case for surgical intervention, proper homeopathic medicines can treat the condition in a safe and natural way. Homeopathic medicines do not take very long to show positive results in some measure. How much they can help and for how long they need to be taken depends on the severity of the condition.
Can adenoids grow back after surgery?
Yes, there is a fair chance they will. This is because even though the adenoids have been incised, the root cause behind their enlargement remains. Homeopathy first attacks and fixes the root cause, for example recurrent respiratory infections, and then helps the adenoids shrink back to normal size.