Home » Blog » Sinusitis – Adenoids: Double Trouble for Kids
Sphenoid sinusitis and adenoids

Sinusitis, a common childhood ailment, can be even more bothersome when paired with enlarged adenoids. Let’s explore this connection and how it affects children.

Adenoids 101

Nestled in the back of the nasal passage, adenoids are lymphatic tissue that help fight germs. In young children, they’re quite active. However, as kids grow older, adenoids naturally shrink.

The Trouble with Enlarged Adenoids

Sometimes, adenoids become enlarged due to allergies or frequent infections. This can block the opening to the sinuses, the hollow spaces behind the cheeks and forehead. Blocked sinuses make drainage difficult, creating a perfect environment for germs to thrive and cause sinusitis.


Children with sinusitis and enlarged adenoids might experience:

  • Runny or stuffy nose (often green or yellow discharge, rarely blood-stained)
  • Facial pain and pressure
  • Postnasal drip (causing cough and sore throat)
  • Bad breath
  • Earaches (due to fluid buildup behind the eardrum)
  • Mouth breathing (dry mouth, snoring)
  • Difficulty sleeping

The Chicken or the Egg?

It can be tricky to determine if enlarged adenoids are causing sinusitis or vice versa. Both conditions share similar symptoms.

Diagnosis and Treatment

An Otorhinolaryngologist (Ear, Nose, Throat Doctor) will examine the child’s ears, nose, and throat. Additional imaging tests might be used for confirmation. Treatment typically involves:

  • Medications: Antibiotics for bacterial infections, decongestants to clear nasal passages, intranasal steroids and allergy medications if allergies are a trigger.
  • Home Care: Saline nasal sprays, warm compresses on the face, and maintaining good hydration can help ease symptoms.
  • Surgery: In some cases, removing the adenoids (adenoidectomy) may be recommended, especially if symptoms are frequent or severe.

When to See a Doctor

If your child experiences cold-like symptoms for more than 10 days, especially with facial pain or fever, consult an ENT surgeon. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent complications and improve your child’s comfort.

By understanding the connection between sinusitis and adenoids, you can help your child feel better and get back to enjoying their active life.

This article was edited by Dr Akanksha Saxena, Consultant ENT, Head & Neck Surgeon, ENT360. She is a practising ENT Specialist in Gurgaon with over 10 years of experience. Read more of her blogs here.

Related Posts