Kids, Sleep Apnoea and Big Tonsils

Sleep apnoea affects 3% of all Australian children. Essentially it is due to a genetic predisposition for the tonsils to outgrow the child. This means the airway is relatively smaller.

Yet not all kids with sleep apnoea have huge tonsils. If your child’s mouth or jaw is small, even moderate tonsils can be a problem for airflow. Sometimes the tonsils can look small but they are actually quite large and tucked into the walls of the throat.

If your child needs more room to breathe freely at night and maintain the oxygen supply to the brain, the tonsils are expendable. They are lymph nodes and represent 2 of approximately 120 in the head and neck. Their job is to fight infection but there are plenty of other lymph nodes to fulfil this function.