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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:46 pm
Adenoids are glands located high in the throat behind the nose. They aren't visible without special instruments. Along with the tonsils, their job is to intercept germs in very young children, which allows the body to create antibodies to resist similar infections throughout the rest of childhood and throughout life. They normally begin to shrink at puberty and are completely gone by adulthood. Occasional swelling should not be a problem unless it becomes chronic or interferes with normal breathing. Chronic adenoids often make it appear that the child has a constant cold. It may also cause the child to develop the bad habit of mouth breathing. Adenoids may need to be removed if they become overly enlarged or infected and threaten to spread the infection to the ear. Your ear, nose, and throat specialist should be consulted if you suspect adenoid problems. If adenoids don't respond to antibiotics and surgery is necessary, it can be performed safely and easily.

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