A recent study evaluated the effect of adenotonsillectomy(removing the tonsils and adenoids) on the improvement of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder(ADHD) symptoms in children with adenotonsillar hypertrophy(enlarged tonsils and adenoids).
The study evaluated 59 children aged 6-12 years with adenotonsillar hypertrophy and ADHD who underwent tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy. Of 59 children, 51 had SIGNIFICANT improvement in ADHD symptoms 3 months after the surgery. The results were statistically significant for both boys and girls.
Children with enlarged tonsils and adenoids frequently snore. Snoring is a sign of sleep-disordered breathing, and possibly, obstructive sleep apnea. Although these children sleep through the night, their sleep is not restorative. The airway obstruction caused by adenotonsillar hypertrophy leads to disrupted sleep, with less time spent in the important, deeper stages of sleep. The lack of quality sleep leads to irritability, reduced concentration, and hyperactivity during the day.
This study indicated that adenotonsillectomy, which eliminated snoring(and sleep-disordered breathing) can significantly improve symptoms of ADHD in children.