Adenoids, also called the pharyngeal tonsils, are a mass of soft lymphatic tissue that group at the back of the nose and in the upper throat. Everyone has adenoids at birth and in childhood, however as children develop, adenoids begin to shrink and atrophy at the approximate age of 5 to 7. The function of adenoids is to create antibodies which trap infectious agents. When adenoids are infected they become enlarged which obstructs airflow and can cause recurrent ear infections. Infected adenoids can be treated with medication or, in severe and recurrent cases, require surgery.
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