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The tonsils are the first barrier to protect the respiratory system from germs. Sometimes, however, they can cause he alth problems and need to be removed. What is worth knowing about the palatine tonsils?

Palatine tonsilsis a frequent topic of conversations between parents of preschoolers. And an equally common cause of surgical procedures in several-year-olds. So it is not surprising that this slogan "grew" with many myths. Concerned mums share the names of ENT specialists and reports on the procedures. Sometimes they also have to answer the question whether the child gets less sick after the procedure. Instead of listening to conflicting opinions, read the answers to frequently asked questions.

What are palatine tonsils and what is their function?

Palatine tonsils are "projections" on both sides of the throat made of lymphoid tissue. They are part of the immune system because they produce antigens - substances used to make immune antibodies.

Why do my tonsils get bigger?

This is the case when a child has upper respiratory tract infections, as they must then produce more antigens. As the baby recovers, the tonsils shrink to their former size. Unless the child is sick often - then the tonsils are still enlarged and "ready" to fight microbes.

What is the third almond?

This is the pharyngeal tonsil, which is located deep in the mouth, in the so-called nasopharynx. You cannot see it with the naked eye.

How do I check if it is magnified?

It cannot be noticed at home. It is necessary to visit an otolaryngologist who will assess the condition of the tonsil. The signal for such a visit should be recurrent otitis and tonsillitis, night snoring, and constantly open mouth. Using a special instrument, a fiberscope (a thin and soft cable with a tiny camera that is inserted into the baby's nose), the doctor will check if the cause of the trouble is actuallythird almond . He will also examine its size and see if it is a habitat of bacteria. The examination is performed under local anesthesia. Another method is palpation, which, however, is less and less performed (due to the possibility of gagging).

Why is an oversized pharyngeal almond so dangerous?

Because due to its size, it blocks the flow of air throughnasopharynx. Unable to breathe through the nose, the child breathes through the mouth, exposing himself to further infections. The overgrown tonsil also compresses the mouths of the Eustachian tubes, which can cause recurrent ear infections and fluid retention in the tympanic cavity, and consequently lead to hearing loss.

What does the doctor recommend if it turns out that the third almond is too big?

Your doctor may prescribe antiallergic and anti-inflammatory drugs or vaccines to increase immunity. This will keep infections less frequent, so the tonsil should return to its normal size. If this method fails and the oversized tonsil becomes a threat, then adenoid surgery or adenoidectomy is required. Only an otolaryngologist can decide on surgery. The procedure takes about half an hour and is most often performed under general anesthesia. Be prepared for the fact that your child may feel sick, sometimes vomiting, in the hours following the procedure. If he complains of pain he should be given painkillers.


Suspect 3rd tonsil problem if your child:

  • often has her mouth slightly open
  • breathes through mouth instead of nose
  • gets ear infections and upper respiratory tract infections frequently
  • snores, also has sleep apnea
  • is sleepy, lethargic and grumpy (this indicates hypoxia associated with impediments to the free flow of air)
  • hard for him to concentrate
  • complains of headaches
  • slurredly saying
  • hears worse

Do you need to prepare for the procedure somehow?

It is important that your baby is he althy for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery. You need to do some tests (blood tests including clotting time, urine test). With their results, you then have to go to the anesthesiologist. He will ask about all previous illnesses, possible treatments and allergies, he will also check what the child was vaccinated for (take the he alth book with you). For the procedure, the baby must be on an empty stomach, so it's best to make an appointment in the morning. Depending on where the operation is performed, the child may return home after a few hours or stay at the clinic for 3-4 days.

Does the child stop getting sick after the procedure?

Restoring your nasal breathing pattern provides immediate and visible relief. Sometimes, only for the first few months, a toddler may develop infections more often because the body is devoid of one of the protective barriers. However, such situations are rare. The pharyngeal tonsil has the greatest protective role in the first year of life. Then gettingpalatine tonsils are more important, and regional lymph nodes in a teenage child.

The most important questions about tonsils in children are answered by the ENT specialist

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