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My son is 6 years old and since 2 years or more he has been suffering from enlarged adenoids. Also, we notice that his nose is often blocked so he must breathe through mouth. Please advice.

Respiratory tract infections are a common health problem of school-going children. The adenoids and tonsils help protect kids from getting sick. We all have adenoids at birth and in childhood; they sit high on each side of the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. Like tonsils, adenoids help keep the body healthy by trapping harmful bacteria and viruses that we breathe in or swallow. Adenoids usually shrink after about age 5, and by the teenage years they often practically disappear.

Because adenoids trap germs that enter a kid’s body, adenoid tissue sometimes temporarily swells as it tries to fight off an infection. The swelling might go away by its own, but sometimes medical treatment is necessary. In children, adenoids can get larger because of recurrent infections. Very large adenoids can interfere with breathing. While sleeping, enlarged adenoids may intermittently block the flow of air through the throat, causing a person to snore and stop breathing for a few seconds (known as apnea). Sometimes doctors recommend removing the adenoids if medicine does not help. Here are some things to remember:

• Reduce intake of cold water, cold food such as ice creams and cold drinks

•Reduce exposure to cold breeze

• Reduce daytime sleep

•Reduce milk and dairy products

•Avoid any oil application on scalp

•Give warm foods and beverages

• Give teas with basil leaves / black pepper / dried ginger added with honey

• Use water boiled with turmeric for gargling.

Meet an Ayurveda doctor, your son may require an intensive course of Ayurveda medications.

Dr VL Shyam is a Dubai-based Ayurveda practitioner