What is Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
Tonsillar hypertrophy is a term given to an unusually enlarged tonsillar tissue. Severe cases of tonsillar Hypertrophy can result in swallowing and breathing difficulties. When this usually large tonsillar tissue starts to become a persistent problem, then the physician may advise a surgical procedure called tonsillectomy in order to remove the excess tissue that is formed.
How common is Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
Tonsil hypertrophy, or enlarged tonsils, is a condition very common in young children, but it can also be a problem for adults. Please discuss with your doctor for further information.
What are the symptoms of Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
The common symptoms of Tonsillar Hypertrophy are:
- Halitosis (chronic bad breath)
- Mouth breathing
- Sleep apnea
- Inability to gain weight
- Decreased appetite
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic ear infections
- Hearing loss
- Recurring sinus infections
There may be some symptoms not listed above. If you have any concerns about a symptom, please consult your doctor.
When should I see my doctor?
If you have any signs or symptoms listed above or have any questions, please consult with your doctor. Everyone’s body acts differently. It is always best to discuss with your doctor what is best for your situation.
What causes Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
Enlarged tonsils can be an ongoing (chronic) condition or a temporary effect of an infection. The most common cause of tonsil hypertrophy is recurring illnesses and infections in and around the throat area. Because your tonsils produce antibodies to fight infections, when you are ill much of the time your tonsils are repeatedly stimulated. In addition, allergies may play a role in enlarged tonsils and can be a contributing factor to tonsil hypertrophy.
Doctors aren’t sure what causes chronically enlarged tonsils, but secondhand tobacco smoke and air pollution can make them larger.
What increases my risk for Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
There are many risk factors for Tonsillar Hypertrophy, such as:
- A family history of tonsil hypertrophy
- Frequent illness or infection
Diagnosis & treatment
The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. ALWAYS consult with your doctor for more information.
How is Tonsillar Hypertrophy diagnosed?
It’s best to have painful enlarged tonsils checked out by a doctor to rule out a potential infection that needs treatment. Young children with large tonsils should also be seen by their doctor if they have sleeping or feeding difficulties, even if they don’t seem to be in pain. They’ll start by looking at your medical history and asking about any additional symptoms you have. They may also feel around your neck for any signs of swelling.
Depending on your symptoms, they may also do a throat culture. This involves swabbing the back of the throat and testing the tissue for signs of a bacterial infection. You may also need an X-ray to give your doctor a better view of the soft tissues in your neck.
If you’ve been having symptoms such as trouble sleeping or loud snoring, your doctor might also suggest doing a sleep study to check for sleep apnea caused by tonsillar hypertrophy. To do this, you’ll typically need to spend the night in a specially designed laboratory while a doctor monitors your breathing and other vital signs.
How is Tonsillar Hypertrophy treated?
Tonsillar hypertrophy usually only requires treatment if it’s interfering you’re your ability to sleep, eat, or breathe. However, if it’s caused by an underlying infection, you may need antibiotics. If it’s due to allergies, your doctor might recommend using a nasal corticosteroid spray or taking antihistamines to help with your symptoms.
If your enlarged tonsils interfere with your breathing and aren’t due to any underlying condition, you may need to have them surgically removed. This can help improve the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea in both adults and children. Surgery to remove the tonsils is called a tonsillectomy.
During a tonsillectomy, your doctor might also remove your adenoids, which are two glands located in the back of your nose near the roof of your mouth.
A tonsillectomy is a straightforward procedure done under general anesthesia. Most people go home the same day as their surgery and make a full recovery within 7 to 10 days.
Lifestyle changes & home remedies
What are some lifestyle changes or home remedies that can help me manage Tonsillar Hypertrophy?
The following lifestyles and home remedies might help you cope with Tonsillar Hypertrophy:
- Inhaling steam may help reduce any nasal mucus and promote drainage for improved breathing.
- Use salt in warm water to gargle to treat aches and pain in the throat region. It will also prevent the infection from spreading. Use this treatment in conjunction with steam inhalation for best results.
- The antimicrobial properties of raw honey and the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can be used to help reduce the swelling and prevent further infections. Use an equal amount of both to create an edible paste to take four times per day.
If you have any questions, please consult with your doctor to better understand the best solution for you.
Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.
Review Date: May 11, 2018 | Last Modified: September 13, 2019
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A to Z: Hypertrophy, Tonsillar (Enlarged Tonsils). https://kidshealth.org/Nemours/en/parents/az-hyper-tonsillar.html. Accessed May 10, 2018.
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