When Tonsils Need To Go
Tonsils are a part of the body’s immune system. They are oval shaped tissues that are located at the back of your throat. They are a first line of defense against viruses and bacteria that enter the body through your nose and your mouth. When tonsils become inflamed, the condition is known as tonsillitis.
When Should They be Removed?
Tonsils may be removed for a few different reasons. One indication is recurring tonsillitis or recurrent strep throat. Many episodes are needed in order to meet indications for tonsil removal in this regard. Our current guidelines suggest 7-infections in one year, 5-infections each year for 2-years, or 3-infections each year for 3-years. However, many patients undergo tonsil removal for a different reason than recurrent tonsillitis, primarily pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. The pathology of sleep apnea starts with upper airway blockage. Tonsils become too big for the back of the throat which inhibits proper breathing – mostly at night. This causes symptoms of mouth breathing, restless sleep, snoring, and parasomnias. In most children, first line treatment for pediatric sleep apnea is adenotonsillectomy. Call Michigan ENT and Allergy Specialists if you would like to learn more (616) 994-2770.