A year-old girl presented with fatigue, weight loss, and dysphagia that began several months earlier. She had restless sleep leading to daytime somnolence and poor school performance, and her family reported loud snoring. Her medical history was unremarkable, except for recurrent upper respiratory tract infections. Physical examination revealed noisy respirations with an open mouth, halitosis, and tonsillar swelling see accompanying figure.
Tonsillar hypertrophy is the medical term for persistently enlarged tonsils. The tonsils are two small glands located on either side of the back of the throat. Enlarged tonsils can be a sign of infection or irritation from things like smoke or polluted air.
Gellner: Everybody's heard of tonsils, but not everybody knows what tonsils do or why they sometimes need to be taken out. I'm Dr. Cindy Gellner and we'll discuss that today on The Scope. Announcer: Keep your kids healthy and happy.
While the tonsils may occasionally become swollen when you have an infection, for most people the swelling goes down in a few weeks. For some people, however, the swelling becomes a chronic condition and can lead to other health complications if not treated. In some individuals, the swelling in their tonsils becomes a chronic condition that does not go away. Others may have recurrent tonsillitis , a condition in which they have frequent infections that cause their tonsils to become swollen on a regular basis. While swollen tonsils alone can cause complications, each different infection will also have other complications that are not related to the tonsils.