Ouch! my tonsils are hurting me!

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.  

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