adenoids, common name for the pharyngeal tonsils, spongy masses of lymphoid tissue that occupy the nasopharynx, the space between the back of the nose and the throat. Normally the adenoids, like the palatine tonsils located on either side of the throat, help prevent infection in the surrounding tissues. However, when they become enlarged they interfere with normal breathing and sometimes with hearing. When severely enlarged, adenoids can affect normal dental development, resulting in an alteration of facial expression. Infection of the adenoids is common, the symptoms resembling those of tonsillitis, with which it is frequently associated. Surgical removal of the adenoids is advisable when enlargement and repeated infection interfere with development and health. See respiration.
or pharyngeal tonsils

Mass of lymphoid tissue, similar to the (palatine) tonsils, on the back wall of the nasal pharynx. If the adenoids become infected in childhood, their inflammation can obstruct nasal breathing and sinus drainage (promoting sinusitis) and block the eustachian tubes that connect to the middle ear (setting the stage for otitis). Surgical removal of enlarged or infected adenoids is frequently recommended.

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