Obstructive sleep apnoea
We don’t know why some children have bigger tonsils than others; we do know that they can cause real difficulties. They can cause obstructive sleep apnoea, in which breathing is interrupted, causing poor quality sleep or frequent wakening at night. Instead of complaining of tiredness, children who has poor quality sleep are more likely to have behavioural problems, tantrums or difficulty focusing. Big tonsils can also lead to poor eating, simply because it is uncomfortable and causing difficulty swallowing.
Newborn babies generally have small tonsils; if they are going to become enlarged, they generally start to grow around two or three years old, with most children brought into clinic around four or five years old. A young child may not be able to tell you what is wrong, but tell-tale signs include breathing through their mouth, noisy breathing at night and taking a long time during meal times.
Although big tonsils can cause significant problems, treating them and getting your child back on track is very straight forward. We remove their tonsils in a half-hour day-case procedure. Although they will need a fortnight at home, due to the risk of infection, your child’s life will be transformed: they will be able to sleep and eat better, which will enable them to gain weight and be less tired during the day. Often we see improvement in behaviour and learning attitude as well. In short, they will be back on track.