Pharyngeal tonsil Definition
It refers to a lump of lymphoid tissue that comprises of cells involved in killing off pathogenic beings.
Pharyngeal tonsil Synonyms
It is also referred to as:
- The Third tonsil
- Nasopharyngeal tonsil
In Latin, it is also known as Tonsila pharyngea.
Pharyngeal tonsil Location
It can be found in the back end of the nasal cavity, in the roof of the nasopharynx. This is the region where the nose mingles with the throat. In children, it usually forms a soft lump in the posterior wall and the roof of the nasopharynx, in a position immediately above and behind the uvula.
Pharyngeal tonsil Functions
Much like other tonsils, the aim of Pharyngeal tonsils is to increase the capability of the lymphatic system against foreign organisms which enter the body through the nose and mouth and pass into the throat. In infants, inflammation of these tonsils acts as a natural defense against infections.
Pharyngeal tonsil Disorders
An enlargement of these tonsils can significantly block the airways and give rise to various health issues, such as snoring and breathing through the mouth.
Enlargement of these tonsils may also lead to other problems like:
- Chronic colds
Increase in tonsil size may block the Eustachian tubes or add more pressure on them. These tubes join the nasopharynx to the ears. An increase in pressure on these tubes, or their obstruction, may lead to the inflammation of the tympanic membrane of the ear. This can give rise to a painful ear condition known as Otitis media. If left without treatment, this disorder may lead to loss of hearing. Naturally, surgical procedures are recommended for curing this condition. Operative techniques include:
- Laser therapy
- Adenoidectomy, following the administration of a topical or general anesthetic
Pharyngeal tonsil Pictures
Take a peek at these images of this tonsil to know how it appears to view.
Picture 1 – Pharyngeal tonsil
Picture 2 – Pharyngeal tonsil Image