Tonsillectomies a Cure for Childhood Snoring?

Child is snoring

It is no surprise that children snore almost as much as adults do. There are several reasons for this, from awkward sleeping positions, throat obstructions due to colds and allergies, or obesity which is rampant in the world today. But did you ever consider the size of your child’s tonsils? Large tonsils can be an airway obstruction that contributes to a chronic snoring problem that can last well into adulthood, depending on the reason for the enlargement. It could be congenital or as a result of repeated throat infections such as strep throat. However, 80% of tonsillectomies are performed due to throat obstruction, while the remaining 20% are performed due to repeated infections.

The first step in diagnosing sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is to take note of your sleeping child, listening for loud and constant snoring that occurs every night, thrashing in their sleep, sleepiness in the daytime, or changes in behavior. If these symptoms are found, you should consult an otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) for a diagnosis of SDB or even sleep apnea, and learn about the treatment options available. If the cause of the SDB is enlarged tonsils, a tonsillectomy may be suggested to remove the obstruction of the throat.

Child is snoring

Some of the Otolaryngologists suggested T&A methods or the removal of the tonsils and adenoids to stop childhood snoring.

It should be noted that not all otolaryngologists will recommend a T&A, or the removal of the tonsils and adenoids, especially if the child is near puberty since these tend to shrink with the release of different hormones in the body. In addition, if the child’s snoring does not affect their sleep quality, mood, behavior, or academic ability the otolaryngologist may suggest other less invasive treatments. However, of the 400,000 tonsillectomies performed each year, 75% of them are for treatment of SDB with a high rate of success.

There are some consequences if your child is not properly treated for SDB. For example, sleep deprivation, abnormal urine production, problems with growth, and even exacerbation (increased symptoms) of attention deficit disorder. So it is important to seek treatment early in childhood to avoid any complications of SDB and make your child’s nights more peaceful.

Your comments and advice are always welcomed in order to help others. If you would like more information on snoring and its cures please see ”Snoring Causes and Treatments – the Whole Story”.