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Adenoids are a mass of lymphoid tissues at the back of the nasal cavity. It is part of the immune system. The adenoids are present at birth and childhood, and they start shrinking after adolescence and usually disappear by adulthood. In children, the adenoids get inflamed by bacteria or viruses, which is called adenoiditis. Enlarged adenoids can interfere with breathing and the flow of mucus. It can also block the flow of air through the throat and cause obstructive sleep apnea. Adenitis can also block the Eustachian tubes and cause ear infections. Adenoidectomy, the surgical removal of adenoids, is necessary if the enlarged adenoids are causing severe health problems.
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