Years ago, it was almost standard procedure for a child to have his or her tonsils removed, especially if the child suffered from sore throats and colds. The number of tonsillectomies began to decline in the sixties. The sore throats and colds, for the most part, disappeared as the child grew older, and tonsil removal was no longer deemed necessary.
Now, however, tonsillectomies are back in favor as a treatment for sleep apnea in children. As well as being a cause of sore throats and colds, enlarged tonsils block the air passages causing nighttime breathing problems. Other problems caused by enlarged tonsils are problems swallowing, fever and swollen glands.
What Are Tonsils?
Tonsils are small growths of tissue found on both sides at the back of the throat. They are meant to trap bacteria and produce antibodies to fight off infections.
Unfortunately, when tonsils become infected, they swell and cause even further problems, including sore throat and tonsillitis . If...
Definition Alternative Names Children and tonsillectomies Information Today, many parents wonder if it is wise for children to have the tonsils taken out. Tonsillectomy may be recommended if your child has any of the following: Difficulty swallowing Obstructed breathing during sleep Throat infections or throat abscesses that keep returning In most cases, inflammation of the tonsils can be successfully treated with antibiotics. There are always risks associated with surgery. You and your childs doctor may consider a tonsillectomy if: Your child has frequent infections (7 or more times in 1 year, or 5 or more times over 2 years) Your child misses a lot of school Your child snores, has trouble breathing, and has sleep apnea Your child has an abscess or growth on their tonsils
Most people know that sleep apnea is a leading cause of death from heart attacks and strokes. However recent research has revealed that sleep apnea is a leading cause of death from many causes, even in people judged to be healthy.
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore revealed that men aged 40 to 70 with severe sleep apnea were twice as likely to die as men in the same age group who did not suffer from the disorder. Many accidents are caused by people who fall asleep at the wheel, a common result of sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea. It's believed that over 12 million Americans have obstructive sleep apnea.
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, ask for a referral to a sleep lab for tests. If the tests prove positive, the preferred method of treatment is a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)machine . However, as well as the CPAP or other means of treatment prescribed by your doctor, there are several factors that make sleep apnea worse.
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