Frequently Asked Questions > Pediatric Ear-, Nose-, & Throat-Related Questions > What are adenoids?

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Adeniods, like tonsils, trap bacteria and viruses and mount an attack against them, an immune response. When they swell, it can block off airflow through the nose and may lead to sinus infections. Large adenoids in children block nasal airflow which results in chronic mouth breathing and recurrent or chronic sinusitis. Adenoids typically shrink as a person gets older. They may be minimal in size even at age six or older It is extremely rare for a teenager or adult to have adenoids large enough to cause any symptoms and therefore, would rarely require removal.

Last updated on February 13, 2010 by Web Manager