Your child's tonsils help protect them against germs, bacteria, and viruses. When these pathogens enter through your children's nose or mouth, the tonsils trap them and activate your child's immune system, helping the body to fight off the germs naturally.
Located in the back of your child's throat and soft palate, tonsils play a vital role in keeping your child healthy. For some children, however, recurrent tonsillitis makes life very difficult. When chronic infections, difficulty swallowing, and sleep issues start to become a problem, your pediatric ENT may recommend a tonsillectomy.
Recurring throat infections can impact your child's life. Swollen lymph nodes, pain, and fever can cause suffering, sleepless nights, and missed school days. If your child has had six or more throat infections per year for the past three years, your pediatric ENT doctor may recommend surgery to remove their tonsils.
Tonsillitis can affect children as young as preschool age until the mid-teen years. Younger children may not be able to explain how they're feeling. When experiencing trouble swallowing, they may drool, refuse to eat, or cry when trying to swallow food or liquids. When recurring tonsillitis causes chronic swallowing symptoms, a tonsillectomy can provide much-needed relief.
Sleep apnea is a potentially serious condition where a child stops breathing for several seconds during naps or at night. Over time, your child can start experiencing symptoms like difficulty staying awake during the day, irritability, or difficulty coping because they've missed out on restorative sleep. If your child is showing signs of sleep apnea due to swollen tonsils, contact your pediatric ENT for an examination.
At Southwest Idaho Ear, Nose and Throat, our pediatric ENT physicians have decades of experience treating children. If your child is experiencing signs of tonsillitis, call us to schedule an appointment today.