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(ăd`ənoidz'), 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 respirationrespiration,
process by which an organism exchanges gases with its environment. The term now refers to the overall process by which oxygen is abstracted from air and is transported to the cells for the oxidation of organic molecules while carbon dioxide (CO2
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(or adenoidal growths), enlarged pharyngeal tonsils, which are located in the upper back portion of the throat behind the nasal passage. Adenoids are most frequently observed in children four to eight years of age. The major symptom of adenoids is difficulty in nasal breathing. As a result, the child’s mouth is almost always open, his teeth grow incorrectly, and he is susceptible to chronic head colds. When the adenoids are extremely enlarged, the voice takes on nasal tones, causing m and η to sound like b and d. By blocking the opening of the eustachian tubes, which connect the middle ear to the throat, adenoids cause repeated ear infections that lead to gradual impairment of hearing. Children with adenoids often suffer from insomnia, which results in decreased attention span and poor memory. Sometimes bed-wetting occurs. The treatment of adenoids is surgical. After their removal, nasal breathing does not return immediately, and breathing exercises are beneficial (on the advice of a physician).


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.