The adenoids or nasopharyngeal or pharyngeal tonsil is the top-most tonsil, located above the soft palate and behind the nasal cavity. Composed of lymphatic tissue, the mass is part of the immune and lymphatic systems and develops around the 16th week of fetal development.
The adenoids works with the other tonsils to trap germs entering the body through the mouth and nose. As part of the lymphatic system, they helps drain body fluids and fight off infection. The adenoids continue to enlarge after birth but usually begin to shrink around age five. By the time children reach the teenage years, their bodies have developed other ways to fight infection and the adenoids all but disappear.
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