Adenoid hypertrophy (or enlarged adenoids) is the unusual growth ("hypertrophy") of the adenoid tonsil first described by the Danish physician Wilhelm Meyer (1824-1895) in Copenhagen in 1868. He described that a long term adenoid hypertrophy will cause an obstruction of the nasal airways. These will lead to a dentofacial growth anomaly that was defined as "adenoid facies" (see long face syndrome).
Enlarged adenoids can become nearly the size of a ping pong ball and completely block airflow through the nasal passages. Even if enlarged adenoids are not substantial enough to physically block the back of the nose, they can obstruct airflow enough so that breathing through the nose requires an uncomfortable amount of work, and inhalation occurs instead through an open mouth. Adenoids can also obstruct the nasal airway enough to affect the voice without actually stopping nasal airflow altogether.
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