The usual criteria at age 8 years (which probably is slightly older than the average child that has this operation) are: 5 or more documented/definite episodes of tonsillitis that require antibiotic treatment in one calendar year; or enlarged tonsils which are so enlarged as to interfere with the child's breathing; or an episode of such severe tonsil infection resulting in a tonsil abscess. For adenoids to be removed there should be chronic nasal infection due to infected adenoids, often accompanied a post-nasal drip and/or by ear infections. The major and most common indication for an adenoidectomy these days is if a child snores while asleep due to enlarged adenoids and in particular if there are any episodes of sleep apnoea (where the child actually stops breathing for a few seconds at a time while asleep. This is usually due to very enlarged adenoids interfering with the child's ability to breathe through his or her nose as the adenoids are so large that they cause an actual blockage to breathing through the nose.
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