Pharyngeal tonsil - Definition
Pharyngeal tonsil is a mass of lymphoid tissue consisting of cells that are involved in the destruction of of pathogenic beings.
The structure is also known by the following names:
Pharyngeal tonsil - Location
This lymphatic structure is situated in the roof of the nasopharynx in the posterior end of the nasal cavity. It is the area of confluence of the nose and the throat. In children, this tonsil generally develops in the roof of the nasopharynx, in a region just higher and posterior to the uvula.
Pharyngeal tonsil - Functions
The Pharyngeal tonsil, in a way similar to many tonsils, aims to increase the power of the lymphatic system to fight all foreign organisms that enter the system through the mouth and nose and attempt to pass into the throat.
These tonsils swell in infants to provide a natural first line of defense against infections.
Pharyngeal tonsil - Disorders
These tonsils can get affected in various ways. An enlargement of the Pharyngeal tonsils can obstruct the air passages in a major way and force sufferers to breathe and snore through the mouth apart from causing various other problems.
Increased size of these tonsils may also result in other health issues, such as:
Enlargement of the tonsils may also obstruct the Eustachian tubes or exert further pressure over them. This can lead to a swelling of the tympanic membrane of the ear and cause a painful condition of the ear known as Otitis media. If left untreated, the condition may result in the loss of hearing ability. Due to this reason, various surgical techniques are recommended to treat the disorder. These include:
Pharyngeal tonsil - Pictures
The following images show the location and appearance of this tonsil.
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