View Full Version : Does this seem normal to you?

09-22-2006, 10:35 AM
About two months ago, I noticed that Amelia had enormous swollen tonsils. I'm talking walnut sized with a very tiny opening at the back of her throat. She had a very low-grade fever at the time (99-100) if you can even call it that. It didn't seem to effect her in any way. After three weeks I called the doctor because I was concerned that her tonsils were still so swollen. He said that it can take a long time for them to get back to normal. Today Amelia has been incredibly crabby and clingy so I thought I would check the back of her throat because she was recently exposed to strep. Anyway, her tonsils haven't gone down at all. It seems to me that after two months they should be at least a little smaller. Also her uvula (hangy ball thing) seems to be stuck to one of them and is pulled over to the side. (I noticed that before as well.) Has anyone else had an experience like this. Is this normal or should I start bugging the doctor about it again?

09-22-2006, 10:46 AM
bug the doctor and if you don't get a satisfactory answer ask for an ENT consult. Does she snore at night? Sleep well/wake rested?

09-22-2006, 10:49 AM
She doesn't always snore but often does, often wakes up in the middle of the night and often seems tired but I think that's because she usually refuses to take a nap. Why do you ask?

ETA: We actually have and ENT for her already as she has a nasty habbit of sticking things up her nose and needing to have them removed. Last time it was two calculator buttons and two inch long pieces of fuzz all at one time. Maybe I should give him a call and ask him what he thinks.

09-22-2006, 11:09 AM
Since the doctor was asked by phone, I take it he/she wasn't able to actually see the tonsils or the uvula attached to one of them. I would take her in to show this, then I would have an ENT check her out as well (the ped may actually refer you to one). This is really ENT territory.
People with enlarged tonsils usually have problems with colds and fevers (get them often.) Problems with tonsils, uvula, and adenoids, usually cause snoring. The uvula may not be actually stuck to the tonsil, but the swelling of the tonsil could be large enough to push the uvula on the side.
I hope this helps.

DS 12/18/04

09-22-2006, 11:11 AM
Thanks. I think I'll call the ENT today and see what he thinks.

Tondi G
09-22-2006, 12:43 PM
YUP! Call the ENT! I had to have my tonsils and Adenoids removed and tubes put in my ears due to recurrent infections as a child! Better to deal with it right away then to wait... especially since sicky season is rapidly approaching!

Good luck and let us know what the ENT has to say!

Mommy to Mason 7/8/01 and Aidan 5/4/05

09-22-2006, 12:55 PM
I called and got an appointment with the ENT for Tuesday. I'll update when I have more info. Thanks for responding everyone. I thought it was something that should be checked out but the ped kept telling me not to worry about it before so I gave it some time first.

ETA: clarity

09-22-2006, 01:00 PM
DS is getting his tonsils and adnoids removed next Friday for this problem. He snores, it has affected his voice and his appetite has decreased. They have been enlarged for several months and he is similar in age to your DD. Your ENT will be able to give you their recommendation but we met with one our ped. recommended and we're getting it done before sick season and the holidays hit, etc so he will be recovered. Good luck - keep us posted!

09-22-2006, 01:05 PM
Ugg, I really hope she doesn't have to have them removed since it doesn't appear to be affecting her at the moment but I guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it. Good luck to you. I hope things go smoothly and your DS recoveres quickly. Now that I think about it, I guess it should suprise me to much because DH had his removed as a child. Maybe it runs in the family.

09-22-2006, 01:31 PM
As a peds nurse I'm seeing more and more tonsilectomies being done for chronic obstructive tonsils vs the traditional 5 streps in a year. From what I've read research is linking poor behavior/lack of classroom success to lack of sleep due to obstructive tonsils... very interesting. If the ENT does reccomend a tonsilectomy be sure to ask which technique he uses. There are 3-4 different techniques which cause varying levels of pain post op.

09-22-2006, 01:37 PM
Thank you so much for that incredibly helpful information. Since DH is a surgical resident, I'm sure he will want to know all the details about how the surgery will be performed etc. I guess we'll see what happens but I have a sinking suspicion that we are headed for surgery unless it can be treated with steroids or something of that nature.

09-22-2006, 03:35 PM
You just described my tonsils. They have been this large for as long as I can remember. My mom said that I was suppose to have them out when I was around five, but my dad didn't permit it. He couldn't bear the thought of me crying so much. I don't remember much, but I do remember the doctor jokingly said "We're going to cut you." while making the scissor cutting motion in front of my face. Let's just say I wouldn't open my mouth for anyone for a looooong time. Who says that to a kid?!

Anyway, I don't get more colds or infections than anyone else. My doctor says at this point in my life, it's not necessary for me to go to have them removed. I have always had bad allergies, and everyone tells me my voice sounds a bit congested. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with the tonsils. My whole family snores too, so I'm screwed anyway. :)



http://www.gynosaur.com/assets/ribbons/ribbon_gold_12m.gif 15 months

09-22-2006, 05:27 PM
I also had very large tonsils as a child, (my Dr said they were the biggest she'd ever seen!) I did snore, don't know if I had more than average amount of colds. I do remember that it was sometimes hard to swallow large things (yes, my tonsils were that big!). Not sure why they weren't removed, though I know I would have been terrified to have sx. As an adult, they are normal sized, and I rarely snore any more, and don't get sick too often. I never had allergy problems or anything else I can remember resulting from my tonsils. I had no trouble sleeping and was successful in school, so I wonder if trouble sleeping/in school would be more related to sleep apnea? I wouldn't be surprised if tonsil issues/sleep apnea could sometimes go hand-in-hand. Hope Tuesday's appt is informative!


09-22-2006, 09:12 PM
Margaret-thank you so much for this information! My son Ryan,who just turned 6, has huge tonsils as well. We happened to notice when he had a sore throat but assumed it was r/t that. About a month later I noticed that they were still very large yet he was not sick. Our ped. looked at them this past spring, but wasn't too concerned since he's a pretty healthy kid. He said that some kids just have larger tonsils and they out-grow them eventually. Since then, DH and I have become more concerned because he snores loudly and has moments when he seems to stop breathing for a second and then gasps. He never wakes up when it happens but he does stir and change postions a lot. It may not be classic sleep apnea as it doesn't(as far as I know)last for ten seconds, but we just worry that it interrupts his sleep cycles leaving him unrested. He just started first grade full days and he is SO tired. I know it's normal because it's a big adjustment but I just wonder if there's more to this. I ran into his teacher from last year and she commented on how tired he looks when she sees him.(without me asking so it must be pretty noticeable for her to comment) This just reinforced that we should at least have him looked at by an ENT so they can evaluate. Wow, didn't mean to hijack and ramble! Margaret, do think you could post a link or email me info. on where I could look at that research? I'm very interested. Thanks! :)


SAHM to...
Ryan 8/14/00
Matthew 2/14/03

09-22-2006, 09:28 PM
No worries about hijacking. I guess we'll be getting our kids checked out together. I keep telling my husband that she is acting overtired and sometimes I know it's because she's not taking a nap, but sometimes there is no good explanation for it and this would explain a lot. I hope you are able to get some good answers.

09-22-2006, 10:16 PM
Thanks Jessica! We have our ENT appointment on Tuesday as well. We'll have to check back in here to see what they say. I'm wondering if they would want to wait it out with Amelia since she's so young. I'm definitely not going in there looking for surgery but if they think it will help we'll do it. Here are a few links with some info...





SAHM to...
Ryan 8/14/00
Matthew 2/14/03

09-23-2006, 08:36 AM
Go for an ENT evaluation and see if you can get a sleep study as well. We had the same concerns for DD. Based on the size of her tonsils and our complaints, he recommended to remove her tonsils and adenoids. Since we were hesitant about surgery, we also had a sleep study at the children's hospital to diagnose any apnea or other disturbances. The results were negative. So right now she's on daily singulair for asthma/allergies, and seems to be okay. If things get worse, the sleep center recommended a follow-up study in a year or so.



DD 02/02
DS 11/04

09-26-2006, 04:19 PM
I took Amelia to the ENT today and he did a strep test just to be sure that she wasn't sick. Low and behold she has a strep infection. She doesn't have a fever and shows no signs of being sick so I guess it's possible that we caught it before it got to bad. Amelia was exposed to strep when we were with my parents for my grandma's funeral so she may have gotten it then. We won't be able to deal with the large tonsils until we see what happens after she has been on antibiotics. We did fill out a questionaire regarding, sore throats, sleep habits etc. We have another appointment in two weeks at which point Amelia will be tested to see if she is a strep carrier (not sure what that means exactly) and we will discuss whether further action needs to be taken. So I guess we will just have to wait and see. I'll update more when I know more.