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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.
Variants of ADENOIDS
adenoids or pharyngeal tonsils
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on adenoids, visit Britannica.com.