Tonsillar hypertrophy is when your tonsils become inflamed and grow in size. This is often a symptom of throat infections and can cause a number of problems.
It is usually seen in children (similarly to tonsillitis) but can also occur in adults. If left long enough, the enlarged tonsils can grow to the point where they cause severe problems. It is at this stage where I recommend you see a doctor.
Now this will rarely be necessary, in most cases it won’t cause you any serious problems at all. However, I still think it’s worth learning more about, that way you’ll be more at ease if you ever get it, or more importantly, if your children ever get it.
How Are They Caused?
Tonsillar hypertrophy is most regularly caused as a result of disease or infection of the throat. It is because of this infectious bacteria that the tonsils become inflamed and grow in size. Allergies can also be a problem.
However, it isn’t always clear that this is the root cause (unless the patient has a severe case of tonsil stones or tonsillitis, at which point it’ll be obvious). Enlarged tonsils can also be the result of exposure to air pollution or first/second hand smoking.
Of course it is also possible for people to naturally have large tonsils. Which makes them more susceptible to the effects of hypertrophic tonsils – I know, it sucks.
As I said above, tonsillar hypertrophy can cause a number of problems. Some are much more severe than others.
I’ve listed the main ones below:
- sleep apnea
- trouble swallowing (which, as a result, can cause a loss of appetite and weight loss)
- recurring illness
- trouble breathing
- heart and lung problems
If the tonsils are left alone for a prolonged period of time then the later three symptoms will become more likely. At which point you should go see your doctor.
Tonsillar Hypertrophy Treatment
As with most tonsil infections, there are many remedies for its treatment. In less severe cases, home remedies may be enough to treat the inflammation effectively.
If you have not been experiencing hypertrophic tonsils for a long time then you will want to try out the following remedies:
- salt water gargle
- apple cider vinegar gargle
- chamomile tea
For more severe cases, much more effective and severe procedures will be necessary. If you are in this situation then you have reached the point where you need to visit your doctor.
They will likely recommend, either, some antibiotics to treat the infection or, much more likely, a tonsillectomy. Surgery is the only 100% effective remedy for this symptom so you should take some time to consider it.
The surgery itself is very straightforward and should not cause any complications. As I’m sure you know, it’s the recovery process that causes complications.
If left long enough, Tonsillar hypertrophy can be a severe condition. Just make sure that you corrective action when possible to treat it and visit your doctor if things don’t seem to be getting better.
To learn more about tonsil stones, an infection which can make this condition worse, click this link.