|Location of the adenoid|
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Since the adenoids are located at the back of the nasal airway, they provide defense against inhaled substances.
This function decreases with age as the adenoids shrink. Because adenoids do ordinarily shrink by late childhood, the problems caused by enlarged adenoids rarely occur in adults.
Even if enlarged adenoids are not substantial enough to physically block the back of the nose, they can obstruct airflow enough so that breathing through the nose requires an uncomfortable amount of work, and inhalation occurs instead through an open mouth.
Adenoids can also obstruct the nasal airway enough to affect the voice without actually stopping nasal airflow altogether.
Removal of the adenoids
Surgical removal of the adenoids is a procedure called adenoidectomy.
Adenoids may be removed if they become infected, causing symptoms such as excessive mucus production.
They also differ from the other tonsil types by lacking crypts. The adenoids are often removed along with the tonsils. This can cause a very sore throat for about a week and rather unpleasant breath. Most people's adenoids are not even in use after a person's third year, but if they cause problems they must be taken out or they may otherwise shrink.
- Roche Lexicon - illustrated navigator, at Elsevier 25420.000-1
- Histology at usuhs.mil
- Histology at udel.edu
- /drtbalu otolaryngology online