Do I need my tonsils removed?
‘Do I need my tonsils removed?’ is a question a lot of people may have asked themselves at one stage or another. Most people know of someone or can remember having tonsillitis in their childhood themselves – severe sore throats, feeling terrible, and struggling to swallow.
So why do we get tonsillitis?
Tonsils are small masses of lymphoid tissue at the back of your throat on either side at the root of the tongue. They are part of the immune system – there to fight against infection by producing white blood cells. This sounds great, but they focus the fight in the throat, causing pain and swallowing problems. Some people are much better without them.
Tonsillitis is most common in children from preschool age right through to their mid-teens but it can occur at any age.
Is tonsillitis contagious?
Sore throats are contagious, but some people will only suffer minor symptoms. Tonsillitis occurs when someone who is prone has an otherwise simple sore throat. Tonsillectomy will prevent tonsillitis, but you can still get (usually much lesser) sore throats.
So what are the tell-tale symptoms?
You should expect the following symptoms:
-Fever (a high temperature and feeling flu-like)
You may also experience the following:
-White or yellow spots
Symptoms usually pass over 10 days.
The good news is that a tonsillectomy will prevent you from getting repeated episodes of this, and you will usually be able to go home the same day.
When is it advisable to have a Tonsillectomy?
- If you have suffered from recurrent tonsillitis (severe sore throats, difficulty swallowing, and fever)
- Occasionally small children have problems with large tonsils causing difficulty breathing at night.
- Especially if you have experienced a quinsy – an abscess behind the tonsil as a complication of tonsillitis.
- If there is a suspected tumour present (rare).
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