Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that occurs when an individual’s breathing is obstructed, or interrupted, while they are sleeping. In some cases, enlarged tonsils can cause a form of sleep apnea, known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea. When an individual’s breathing is obstructed during sleep, the brain and other parts of their body don’t getting enough oxygen throughout the night. This process can happen several times a night, with some more extreme cases involving hundreds of airway obstructions in one night.
The tonsils are two areas of tissue that are about the size of a large grape, and they are located on both sides of the back of your mouth right above your esophagus. Occasionally, the tonsils themselves become infected by viruses or bacteria and then become enlarged or swollen and can obstruct an individual’s breathing while sleeping. The infected tonsils may need to be treated with an antibiotic to decrease the swelling and alleviate the sleep apnea. If the condition worsens or doesn’t improve with medication, a tonsillectomy or removal of the tonsils may be recommended.
Undiagnosed sleep apnea can have serious health consequences including high blood pressure, stroke, heart failure, irregular heartbeats, and heart attacks. If you or a loved one suspect you have enlarged tonsils or are experiencing sleep apnea, it is important to see an ENT physician right away.
To book an appointment with a Broward Sinus Doctor or find out more about sleep apnea & Enlarged Tonsils call Odalys Alfonso at (954) 389-1414 or fill the short form below.