But, now, the scenario has changed! Doctors now know more about the tonsils, adenoid, and their functions in the human body. That’s why they don’t recommend tonsil and adenoid removal as frequently. Plus, they have improved antibiotics at their disposal to treat enlarged tonsils and adenoid.
However, the repeated throat infections in a child tempts many parents to get his tonsils and adenoid removed.
I won’t blame the parents for it; but, the myths that surround the tonsils and adenoid removal.
So, it’s my foremost duty to bust those myths and unveil the reality to you.
Let’s begin with
What are tonsils and adenoid?
The tonsils are a pair of small, almond-shaped masses on either side of the throat. Adenoid is a grape-like mass above the tonsils and behind the nose. Together, they defend against infections that invade the body through the nose and mouth.
But, while defending, the tonsils and adenoid can get infected too! Bacteria such as Streptococcus or virus like Epstein-Barr virus can infect the tonsils and adenoid in children between the ages of 3-6 years.
Infected tonsils present as:
- Red and swollen tonsils
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Refusal to eat
- White or yellow spots on the tonsils
- Sore throat
- Swollen glands in the neck
Adenoids get enlarged on infection and leads to:
- Mouth breathing instead of the nose
- Nasal tone of the voice
- Noisy breathing and snoring
If the child stops breathing for short periods during the night and always seems to have a nasal voice, both the adenoid and tonsils may be swollen.
#1 Tonsils are responsible for every bout of sore throat
Since children are in the developing stage, their bodies can’t produce sufficient antibodies to ward off the infection. They must be exposed to these ‘bugs’ in order to build a strong immune system.
So, you must expect a certain number of respiratory diseases during early years. Don’t get tempted to remove them due to recurrent bouts of sore throat.
#2 Tonsils and adenoid are useless and should always be removed
Many researchers have supported that tonsils and adenoid are a valuable part of the body’s defence mechanism and should not be removed unless necessary. Tonsil and adenoid removal becomes necessary only when:
- Swollen tonsils make breathing or swallowing very difficult.
- Speech is distorted.
- The child has stubborn tonsillitis that doesn’t respond to the treatment
#3 Once tonsils and adenoid are removed, my child will not have cough and cold
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (tonsil and adenoid removal) doesn’t make your child less susceptible to colds, sore throats and other respiratory ailments. Because these ailments can also arise due to allergy besides infection.
#4 My child’s tonsils are always swollen, so remove them
Tonsils are very small at birth and enlarge gradually to reach their maximum size by 6-7 years of age. After that, they usually shrink to the size of a walnut. An adenoid grows between the ages of three to five and then shrinks disappearing altogether during puberty.
However, there is no standard size for the tonsils and adenoid. It varies from one child to another. So, what you perceive as a swelling may be their normal size. Don’t get tempted to get an enlarged tonsil or adenoid removed unless there are any medical symptoms.
What’s the sticking point here?
Treating enlarged tonsils and adenoids is far easier now. And if your child suffers from repeated attacks of tonsillitis or adenoid enlargement, you have a favourable treatment in alternative system of medicine: HOMOEOPATHY.
Do give it a try before offering them to a surgeon!
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