Although many people make it through life with little trouble from their tonsils, millions fight the battle with tonsillitis (the inflammation of the tonsils) on a regular basis. The tonsils are a collection of lymphoid tissue lining both sides of the back of the throat. They act as the first line of defense for the immune system for inhaled or ingested antigens. In a healthy person, they may be hard to see, as they blend in well. When inflamed and infected, they are visible and cause severe discomfort. Common symptoms for tonsillitis are sore throat, painful swallowing, coughing, headache, and chills. A high fever usually accompanies these symptoms.
Need Tonsil Removal Surgery in Waterford & Mystic, CT? Tonsil removal has also been effective in treating chronic snoring and sleep apnea due to enlarged tonsils. Snoring is a result of an obstruction of the free flow of air through the back of the mouth and nose. This obstruction produces vibrations on the soft tissues, which results in a sound (snoring). Snoring can be contributed to a number of factors, including obesity, congestion, anatomy of the mouth (enlarged tonsils), and alcohol consumption. Sleep apnea is a serious condition in which a person has recurrent episodes of stopping and starting breathing while asleep. Episodes of ten seconds or more, five times an hour, are considered serious. When loud snoring is combined with sleep apnea, the term is coined obstructive sleep apnea. There are various treatments for this disorder, including a CPAP machine (a machine that keeps the airways open with a constant flow of air), diet regulation, and a tonsillectomy for qualifying patients. By removing enlarged tonsils, the airway is less obstructed, resulting in increased airflow.
Often, tonsillitis is diagnosed by a physical examination and swab of the throat to assess bacterial growth. If the infection is found to be bacterial, it is traditionally treated with pain medication, anti-inflammatories, and antibiotics. To relieve sore throat discomfort, many doctors recommend gargling warm salt water and using throat lozenges. Strep throat is a common illness associated with the tonsils. It can be treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs.
Aside from antibiotics, one of the most common procedures for those with chronic tonsillitis is to undergo a tonsillectomy (tonsil removal surgery). As a general rule, if the frequency of tonsillitis reaches seven infections in a year, five infections per year for two years, or three infections per year for three years, tonsil removal surgery is an acceptable option. A tonsillectomy is a relatively simple procedure, in which the tonsils are surgically removed from the back of the throat. This procedure requires the patient to go under local or general anesthesia (depending on the technique), and results in fewer throat infections.