When Tonsils Are More of a Liability Than an Asset

Do you have recurring cases of tonsillitis caused by strep throat or other infections? If so, your tonsils may be causing you more trouble than they're worth. It could be time to consider a tonsillectomy as a way to significantly improve your quality of life.

The ear, nose, and throat specialists at ENT of New Orleans, with offices in New Orleans and Marrero, Louisiana, can assess your tonsil-related issues and help you decide if your tonsils have become more of a liability than an asset. If so, a tonsillectomy can be performed.

The purpose of tonsils

Your tonsils and adenoids are located at the back of your throat and the upper part of your nasal cavity, respectively. Similar to lymph nodes, they're part of your immune system. However, you can live without your tonsils, and removing them usually has no adverse effects.

Your tonsils are most active when you’re young, but they stop growing when you’re between the ages of 3 and 7. After this time, tonsils shrink and may even disappear completely. However, if you had multiple cases of sore throat or strep throat as a child, or your tonsils became repeatedly infected and enlarged, you may end up with tonsil problems later in life. 

Reasons to get a tonsillectomy

If you have had more than seven cases of tonsillitis or strep throat in the past 12 months or have had more than five cases a year in consecutive years, you’re a good candidate for a tonsillectomy. You might also want to consider this surgery if you:

The benefits of having your tonsils removed

Having your tonsils removed for any of the above reasons can often improve your life. You may enjoy some or all of the following benefits of a tonsillectomy:

Fewer sick days

When you have your tonsils removed, you’ll be free from tonsil infections. This means you’ll likely have fewer sick days each year, especially if you formerly had multiple bouts of strep throat or tonsillitis annually.

Less medication

Since you won’t have to medicate your tonsil infections anymore, your need for medication — including over-the-counter medications and prescription antibiotics — should also go down. And this is good news, because the less often you take antibiotics, the better they’re likely to work when you do take them.

Better sleep

Snoring and sleep apnea can keep you from sleeping deeply and make you feel tired during the day. If your tonsils are the cause of your snoring or sleep apnea, you’ll almost certainly sleep better once you have them removed. 

If you think you may have tonsil problems and 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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