Potential Issues with Your Lingual Tonsils
Tonsillectomy of the Palatine Tonsils
The Mayo Clinic defines tonsillitis as an inflammation of the tonsils typically caused by a virus, but it can also be bacterial in nature. It can affect children from preschool-age to their mid-teens. Treatment can range from at-home care like gargling with salt water and getting plenty of rest and hydration to surgery, such as a tonsillectomy. While this surgery can be essential for you or your child's well-being, in some cases, the removal of palatine tonsils is the cause of lingual tonsil issues.
As noted by a study published in Internal Medicine, tonsillitis in your lingual tonsils can also occur! It is an overlooked cause of sore throat because your lingual tonsils are not as noticeable in a physical examination as your palatine tonsils. In this study, two-thirds of people with lingual tonsillitis previously had a tonsillectomy or adenoidectomy (removal of adenoids). Signs of lingual tonsillitis include the following:
- Difficulty swallowing
- A severe sore throat
- Tenderness around the hyoid bone
You'll need a laryngoscopy to determine if you or your child has lingual tonsillitis.
Lingual Tonsillar Hypertrophy
A study published in Clinical Case Reports discusses lingual tonsillar hypertrophy, or swollen lingual tonsils, and its unique mix of symptoms. It is often asymptomatic. But it can sometimes become apparent if you have difficulty swallowing, have a persistent cough, have a sensation of a lump in your throat, notice a change in your voice, have a difficult time getting intubated, or experience obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
A study published in the Journal of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery found a relationship between laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), body mass index (BMI), and lingual tonsil hypertrophy. Findings concluded that an elevated body mass index and a positive result of laryngopharyngeal reflux were associated with lingual tonsillar hypertrophy for people experiencing obstructed sleep apnea.