Signs That Your Child May Need A Tonsilectomy

If your son or daughter's pediatrician has mentioned that your child has abnormally large tonsils, then you may want to speak to the physician about scheduling a tonsillectomy. However, tonsils are not removed as regularly as they used to be. Tonsils are only removed if they are troublesome in some way or if they are compromising your child's health. There are some signs that the tonsils may need to come out soon. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Loud Snoring Problems

If you notice your child snoring at night, then this may be a sign that the tonsils are causing a problem. When your child falls asleep, the neck muscles start to relax and so do the ones at the back of the throat. This allows the tonsils to fall back towards the airway. As your child breathes, the air moves past the tonsils and causes them to vibrate. This creates the snoring noise. 

Unfortunately, the tonsils can block off the airway completely and this can cause your child to awake suddenly. This is the body's way of keeping you alive if you are suddenly unable to breath correctly. While your child will typically fall asleep soon after waking, they may wake up and fall back asleep numerous times a night. The condition is called pediatric sleep apnea and it can be resolved by removing the tonsils.

If your child has the condition, then they may also wet the bed, appear irritable throughout the day, and have poor concentration. A sleep study can be completed to determine if sleep apnea is an issue and then you can work with the pediatrician to schedule the tonsil removal.

Strep Throat

If your child has developed several strep throat infections, then this may be a sign that the tonsils need to be removed. In fact, many pediatricians will not even consider a tonsillectomy unless your child has had half a dozen or more positive strep tests. When this happens, your child is likely to continue developing the infections far into the future. 

Specifically, the tonsils can become permanently colonized with strep bacteria. When your child takes an antibiotic for the infection, the colony becomes controlled and the infection goes away. As time passes, the bacteria multiply once again and the full-blown infection develops once again. 

Over time, the infections become stronger and stronger and the bacteria become resilient to the antibiotic treatments. Abscesses can form on the tonsils and infections can spread. This is best avoided with a tonsillectomy and your child's pediatrician will use your son or daughter's strep infection history to determine how quickly the tonsillectomy should be scheduled.