How to Know if You Should Have Your Tonsils Removed

How to Know if You Should Have Your Tonsils Removed

Recurring cases of tonsillitis can be a sign that your tonsils are doing more harm than good. Constant strep throat infections, swollen throat tissue, and difficulty swallowing and talking can become debilitating over time.

The ear, nose, and throat specialists at ENT of New Orleans, with offices in Chalmette, Harvey, New Orleans, and Marrero, Louisiana, can examine your tonsils, review your history of throat issues, and help you decide if a tonsillectomy is right for you.

Why tonsils exist

The tonsils and adenoids are part of your immune system, like your lymph nodes, but they can be removed without adverse effect, especially after you reach adulthood. Tonsils tend to be the most active in children, but after the age of seven they stop growing and start to slowly shrink. 

However, in people who had strep throat a lot in childhood, tonsils may stay enlarged and be prone to chronic infection. Having your tonsils out could relieve you of frequent flare-ups and the accompanying swelling and pain.

When to consider a tonsillectomy

The first thing your doctor wants to know is how persistent your bouts of tonsillitis are. As a rule of thumb, having had seven or more cases of strep throat or tonsillitis in the past 12 months, or having more than five cases a year over the past five years, is a good indicator you’d be better off without your tonsils. You might also be a good candidate for a tonsillectomy if:

The benefits of a tonsillectomy

The benefits of a tonsillectomy can become apparent in the weeks and months following your surgery. You’ll find that you’re able to make plans and enjoy life again without the constant threat of a throat infection looming over your head.

Stop calling in sick

Going from having many incidents of strep throat every year to only a few or none at all decreases the number of days you have to miss work. Not only will you feel better, but your coworkers won’t have to cover for you so much.

Take fewer drugs

Having strep every few months means lots of OTC painkillers and antibiotics. These work less and less well the more you take them, so being able to cease the continual dosing will help protect you if you need medication in the future.

Sleep better

If you’ve been snoring or having sleep apnea episodes due to your tonsils, having them taken out might just resolve these issues as well. Getting a good night’s sleep can be incredibly refreshing!

If you want to see if a tonsillectomy could help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with ENT of New Orleans today.

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