Swollen tonsils induced by tonsillitis can provoke snoring and sleep apnea and give you sleepless nights.
However, although it is the mainline treatment in such cases, one question always occurs- Is tonsillectomy effective for sleep apnea? Tonsillitis is usually prevalent in children, although sometimes it affects adults as well.
What is tonsillitis?
Tonsils are the two oval-shaped lymph nodes at the back of our throat. Lymph’s are the body’s first defense mechanism against any infection. When they get infected, they become swollen leading to tonsillitis.
Tonsillitis is produced by viruses and strep bacteria and is highly contagious. It is not limited to kids alone, and although rare among the adults, it can occur at any age.
Swollen and infected tonsils block the air passage. This results in hindering the natural airflow while sleeping, which leads to the sound of snoring.
The usual symptoms include sore throat, dry cough, and difficulty swallowing. In severe cases, especially among children, it can also lead to fever. Since they are swollen, they tend to block the air passage while sleeping, resulting in snoring.
Causes of tonsillitis
Tonsils are your first line of resistance against disease.
They create white blood cells to boost your body’s infection-fighting capability.
They combat viruses and bacteria and prevent their ingress through your mouth. Since they encounter infection regularly, they are also vulnerable to it.
Children are more susceptible to tonsillitis. This happens because of the lack of immunity and exposure to the bacteria from the others at school.
Understanding Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious condition in which obstructs breathing during sleep. It affects the nature of your sleep; with potentially serious health consequences.
Some of the typical symptoms of OSA are:
- Noisy breathing while sleeping.
- Gaps in breathing while sleeping.
- Gasping or choking during snoring.
- Disturbed and restless sleep.
- Frequent daytime sleepiness.
- Hyperactive and behavioral problems.
- Struggle to wake up at morning time.
- Irritability and headaches.
- Forgetfulness or memory problems.
- Mood swings and depression.
- Mouth breathing and dry mouth.
- Sore trachea upon awakening.
Snoring is a result of the vibrations created by the relaxed inner tissues of the throat. Any obstruction to this flow also increases the chances of snoring.
Snoring, by itself, is not uncommon.
Even the healthiest people snore when they are in deep slumber after an extremely tiring day. However, for some, it becomes a chronic predicament when it happens too often.
It may also intimate some serious ailment.
Obesity and Genetic Factors
Bulky throat tissue is one main factor that causes snoring. This is common when you are obese or overweight.
At times it is also the genetic factors that cause snoring. This happens when you have large adenoids, enlarged tonsils, long uvula, or long soft palate.
The vibration created by the extra tissue when you breathe in your sleep produces sounds of snoring.
Allergies and Congestion
Anything that hinders breathing can make you snore. This takes place due to the congestion in the air passage.
There can be many reasons for this congestion, like the allergies, colds, sinusitis, and anatomical malformations of the nose.
External factors: Is Tonsillectomy Effective For Sleep Apnea
Snoring takes place when your throat muscles and tissues are relaxed. This can happen when you consume inordinately high quantities of alcohol or certain medications and drugs. Normal aging can also lead to such a situation.
Medical Conditions like Sleep apnea
Sleep apnea is a common medical condition associated with snoring. It is a serious issue in which you appear to stop breathing between snores, leading to choking and gasping.
Do not take Sleep apnea lightly. When you experience such symptoms frequently, it is advisable to consult a doctor for a thorough examination. This is so because it can be an indication of other ailments such as high blood pressure and hypothyroidism.
Sleep apnea increases the chances of disrupted sleep which leads to exhaustion. Besides this, in young children, it may lead to difficulty in focusing and social boycott.
Is Tonsillectomy Effective For Sleep Apnea
As has been discussed above, Tonsillectomy is not the only reason for snoring. Therefore, it is
necessary to get a proper examination done to rule out all possibilities.
It could be due to any of the underlying factors. These are such as allergy, congestion, obesity, or medications that may be affecting your nasal cavity.
This is more important in the case of small children because they are prone to tonsillitis. Moreover, it may just we are a temporary phase not connected with sleep apnea.
Your doctor is the best judge to decide the main cause and suggest suitable interventions to prevent snoring.
Remember, everyone who snores does not have sleep apnea!
Is Tonsillectomy Effective?
Is Tonsillectomy Effective for Sleep Apnea and if so removing the Tonsils (tonsillectomy) is a conscious decision? This decision requires some deliberation.
Has your physician suggested a tonsillectomy or are you contemplating in your own wisdom?
Will this assist your child’s snoring?
Almost 80 % of kids who went through with tonsillectomy surgery on being suggested by their doctors felt a reduction in their snoring and sleep apnea.
At the same time, sometimes the symptoms are temporary in nature and sleep apnea resolves on its own. This happens almost 50% of the time.
Therefore a consultation with your doctor will assist you in deciding if waiting is the more desirable alternative for you. This is a very important factor since tonsillectomy involves certain risks.
What is important to note is the fact that snoring is linked with sleep apnea; it is not the only reason. Not all those who snore are diagnosed with sleep apnea.
Snoring is caused due to the vibrations of the spongy tissues in the lining of the airway. Enlarged tonsillar tissues are just one of the reasons that add to these symptoms.
For adults diagnosed with sleep apnea, the doctors generally choose to do a tonsillectomy as the risk factors are minimal.
If enlarged tonsils are a major contributing factor to your snoring, then tonsillectomy is a reasonably successful choice of remedy.