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Have You Had Your Tonsils Removed? Read This!

tonsillectomies, or having your adenoids or tonsils removed can put you at risk

Known as a tonsillectomy, the practice have been popular for nearly a century, but the results have not been good.

The lymphatic tissue at top of your throat serve as a first line of defense against pathogens entering your body through your mouth, ears and nose, but millions of kids around the world have had their tonsils removed, hoping that it would save them from frequent infections and pain.

Since the medical community believed that adults didn’t really need tonsils, many doctors recommended tonsillectomies even to patients who didn’t have much problems with them. The philosophy was to cut them out before they caused more trouble.

However, a new study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery claims that having one’s tonsils removed is a gateway to more illness in the future.

A team of researchers led by Dr. Sean Byars from the University of Melbourne examined the medical records of around 1.2 million Danish individuals, whose health had been monitored from birth to the age of 10, and in some cases, up to 30.

When the scientists compared the conditions of people who had their tonsils or adenoids removed before age 9, they found that those who had undergone tonsillectomy were three times more likely to suffer from chronic upper respiratory tract diseases, like asthma, influenza and pneumonia.

People who had undergone adenoidectomies were even twice as likely to develop such diseases, as well as chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD) and conjunctivitis.

But most surprisingly, the data showed that the symptoms that doctors tried to alleviate with the surgeries often came back shortly after.

Being the first study looking into the long-term impact of having tonsils and adenoids removed, the high number of subjects analyzed gave very clear results.

In his report, Dr. Byars and his associates recommend that the practice be avoided if alternative treatment is present, and in other cases, delay the operation for as long as possible, allowing a child’s immune system to develop stronger.

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