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Adenoids have an important job for babies and young children. They help fight off germs until your child’s body develops another way to combat infections.

  • Adenoids grow to their maximum size between ages 3 and 5.
  • Adenoids start to shrink by age 7 or 8.
  • By adulthood, they’re completely gone.



  • Adenoids help fight off bacteria and viruses. White blood cells make this possible. They travel through your adenoids, targeting and trapping germs.
  • Adenoids also produce antibodies
  • Adenoids sit above your soft palate, directly behind your nasal passage.
  • Adenoids look like a pink patch of soft tissue. Some people describe the tissue mass as “cauliflower-like.”
  • The average size of a normal (non-enlarged) adenoid is 6.2 millimeters. The average size of an enlarged adenoid is 11.6 millimeters. (Adenoids can become enlarged due to infection, allergies
  • Adenoids are made of lymphoid tissue — the same type of tissue that your lymph nodes are made of. Lymphoid tissue consists of connective tissue and white blood cells, especially lymphocytes.