Do I Need to Get My Tonsils Removed?

Posted on: September 6, 2018

One of the most challenging questions one faces when experiencing tonsillitis is whether or not they need their tonsils removed. While in many instances tonsillitis improves on its own or with the use of antibiotics, tonsillitis that causes other complications or becomes chronic may result in the need for the tonsils to be removed.

When to have tonsils removed

By understanding the more serious signs of tonsillitis, it is possible to know whether or not they need to be removed. The following are the four most serious signs that tonsils need to be removed.

Chronic tonsillitis

While a short stint of tonsillitis is not a call for serious concern, a mild case of tonsillitis that turns into a chronic issue should be dealt with promptly by a medical professional. So what constitutes chronic tonsillitis? In general, mild forms of tonsillitis that occur more than five times a year may result in the tonsils needing to be removed. However, the exact number depends on the age of the individual and how serious the tonsillitis is in each instance. If unsure, do not hesitate to ask a doctor.

Tonsillitis that leads to sleep apnea

In some instances, tonsillitis can lead to sleep apnea, which can be fairly tricky to diagnose. In adults, sleep apnea leads to exhaustion throughout the day, and when accompanied by nausea, it can warrant the need for the tonsils to be removed.

In children, however, sleep apnea can look completely different. Instead of becoming fatigued, children with sleep apnea often become hyperactive instead. Therefore, be sure to pay close attention to your child in the event that they have tonsillitis and become extremely restless despite not receiving proper rest.

Difficulty breathing

Tonsillitis – which is an inflammation of oval-shaped pads inside of the throat – can cause difficulty breathing if the inflammation becomes too severe. More mild forms of tonsillitis do not result in difficulty breathing; if someone has to work hard to breathe normally, they should visit a doctor as soon as possible as it is crucial to reduce the inflammation quickly. If a local doctor is unavailable, consider visiting an urgent care clinic for immediate treatment. In most cases, tonsillitis that leads to a difficulty breathing suggests that tonsils will need to be removed.

Unresponsive to antibiotics

Typically the first treatment option for more severe tonsillitis is antibiotics, which typically work to reduce the inflammation in just a few short days. However, in rare cases, individuals who suffer from tonsillitis do not respond well to antibiotics, especially if they have taken antibiotics for inflamed tonsils in the past.

When antibiotics no longer work to treat tonsillitis, it typically results in the need to have the tonsils removed. In order to understand whether or not it is necessary to have the tonsils removed, be sure to communicate fully with your doctor, and always remember that having your tonsils removed is an easy procedure that carries little to no risk.

Are you considering having your tonsils removed in the Alpharetta area? Get more information about tonsils at

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