Are tonsils and adenoids important

Enlarged tonsils in children

It is not always possible to say exactly when enlarged tonsils are a health problem. For example, it is unclear when snoring becomes so problematic that tonsil surgery makes sense. Therefore, different doctors may give different recommendations. However, there is agreement that it has lasting negative consequences for a child and should be treated.

If a child snores only now and then, rather quietly or usually only during a cold, treatment is not necessary.

There are the following treatment options:

  • Wait and see how the symptoms develop: This is useful for minor symptoms that may improve on their own. Parents should then observe whether snoring increases and pauses in breathing occur. It is also important to have the child examined by an ear, nose and throat specialist at regular intervals.
  • Cortisone nasal spray: It can be used to shrink the tonsils and thus improve nasal breathing. It has no effect on enlarged tonsils.
  • Operation of the pharynx: to remove most of it (adenotomy).
  • Operation of the palatine tonsils: They are usually partially removed (tonsillotomy), only rarely completely (tonsillectomy).

If both the pharynx and palatine tonsils are enlarged, they can also be operated on in one operation (adenotonsillectomy or adenotonsillotomy). If a child has persistent ear effusion, it is also often recommended that a ventilation tube be inserted so that the middle ear is better ventilated.

Our decision-making aid can be used to clarify whether an operation is an option for enlarged tonsils. It summarizes the main advantages and disadvantages of the various treatment options.