You’ve probably encountered someone or heard the story of having one’s tonsils removed, but don’t know much about why. Like having wisdom teeth removed, it seems like one of those things we all do. But, the truth is that most people go their entire lives without needing to have their tonsils removed, but if you’ve had complications with yours, you know how frustrating it can be. Here are some indicators that it might be time to schedule an appointment with your ENT specialist about your tonsils.
This condition is caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and is indicated by swollen and inflamed tonsils at the back of the mouth or throat. This feeling usually accompanies strep throat or mononucleosis, which infect the tonsils and can cause a lot of discomfort. Surgical removal of the tonsils is an effective treatment for chronic tonsillitis that results from bacterial infection and doesn’t respond to antibiotics. Tonsillitis can cause many complications, like obstructing breathing or swallowing, and is more common in young children. Always be sure to check with your ENT specialist if your throat is sore, swollen, and painful, as these are common indicators of tonsillitis.
Most people will have an experience with tonsillitis at some point in their life, but a major indicator that the tonsils are better off being removed is how frequently they are infected. The tonsils are the primary combatants of bacteria and viruses that enter through the mouth, and are needed most during childhood and puberty. If they are continually infected and cause discomfort and illness, then sometimes the benefits of having them removed outweigh the benefits of keeping them. Practicing good, effective hygiene is one of the best ways to prevent infection in the tonsils.
Even if you can’t determine whether it’s tonsillitis, strep throat, something else, the tonsils will respond to infection with common symptoms that indicate something is wrong. If you frequently experience the following symptoms, speak with your ENT specialist about your tonsillectomy options:
- Red, swollen tonsils or throat
- White or yellow coating on the tonsils
- Sore throat
- Difficult and painful swallowing
- Enlarged lymph nodes on the sides of the neck
To learn more about tonsils, sore throat, and infections, contact Alabama ENT to schedule a consultation and discuss your treatment options.