All that wheezes isn’t asthma! Ever heard that before? A common finding in our clinic is “wheezing” or difficulty breathing not due to asthma, but as a result of large tonsils/adenoids. A typical history is as follows:
- Snoring at night
- He wheezes–(it’s not really wheezing, but loud noises coming from the lungs is often labeled as such)
- I can never breathe through my nose
- Examination reveals no wheezing in the chest, but coarse rhonchi transmitted to the chest from the upper airway
- Look at these tonsils that are almost completely obstructing the back of the throat–
ENT doctors are the surgeons that perform T & A’s as they are popularly called. (tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy) The enthusiasm for removing tonsils in young children as a “routine” procedure as decreased because of intraoperative complications, but if it’s needed, the risks outweigh the benefits.