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    Swollen Tonsils with no pain
    LRS2011 posted:
    My tonsils have always been a little bit larger than the norm (I've been told), however they became huge when I had a cold about 2 weeks ago. I was sick for about 3 days, and the symptoms of my cold dissappeared. My swollen tonsils did not. I have absolutely no pain, however it is difficult to swallow food and talking has been cumbersome. I went to the doctor and she prescribed me a steroid pack to help with the swelling. I finished the pack yesterday, and the swelling went down a little, but not all the way. I am 24 years old, female, and have also been diagnosed with sleep apnea a few months back. I am not overweight, and no one seems to know the reason I have this at such a young age with a healthy weight. The doctor I saw for my tonsils about a week ago told me the size of my tonsils could be a reason for the sleep apnea. I was wondering if having my tonsils removed could cure my sleep apnea or at least help at all. Also, is there anything else I can try in the meantime to reduce the swelling of my tonsils? Is this a symptom for something else I could have?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
    Tonsils are lymph tissue (like your lymph nodes), so it is really normal for them to enlarge with infections, however, tonsils that are too large can interfere with breathing or eating. They can be contributory to sleep apnea, so it would be a good idea to have a consultation with an ENT specialist.

    I don't know (without seeing them) if removing your tonsils would help with your sleep problems, but my guess....and it is only a guess....that it would help.

    It is not likely that your enlarged tonsils represent something bad...or "something else", as you put it. Get it checked out anyway.
    LRS2011 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Thank you so much for the info. It has been difficult to eat, talk and breathe since they have been swollen. Is there anything that you reccommend for over-the-counter type remedies to ease the swelling at all, at least until I can make it in to the ENT? I have tried gargling with salt water, advil, the steroid pack my family doctor prescribed among a few other things.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LRS2011's response:
    You are doing all that you can....with the gargling, ibuprofenm, and the recent use of the steroid pack. Assuming both tonsils are equally enlarged, there should not be a problem, but I am concerned that you are having breathing difficulties breathing...this is sort of important, you know. Drinking sips of cold beverages or even sucking on some ice chips may be helpful.

    Were you tested for MONO (mononucleosis)?
    LRS2011 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    No, I haven't been tested for MONO. When I went to the doctor the other day she didn't even talk about that. I thought there were a lot of other symptoms associated with MONO, and I haven't experienced anything else besides enlarged tonsils.

    Yes, breathing is important. lol Ice helps, at least for a few minutes. I just need to get in to see an ENT soon. Do you know of anyone who you would reccommend in the Houston, TX area?
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to LRS2011's response:
    WebMD does not permit referrals, but I don't know anyone in Houston anyway. You should not have any problems finding a good one.

    Mono symptoms can be variable, so getting a simple blood test may be something to consider when you talk to your medical provider.
    LRS2011 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Okay thank you!
    Galey1969 replied to LRS2011's response:
    I also have what seem to be swollen tonsils without pain. They enlarged last year before a HORRIBLE cold and now, they come and go and are back with a vengance. My ear hurts on the same side and I have had crackling in both ears since my cold last winter. I can feel them when I swallow and I see they are larger on the one side. I keep thinking I have throat cancer or something. I am a fitness instructor and have had to use my voice loudly for 16 years. I dont have insurance so Im not sure what to do. Its just worrisome and annoying.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Galey1969's response:
    Insurance or not, the ONLY way for you to have your problematic tonsils properly properly diagnosed (and treated) is to see a medical provider. Without insurance, you will need to pay for the visit....just like paying to have your car repaired, or any othernecessary (also expensiv)e household repair. Unless you can find a free clinic or one that has a sliding scale based on income, this is really your only option. Although I am sympathetic to your lack of insurance (you are not alone in this country, as you know), or limited resources, you CANNOT be diagnosed or treated properly by doing this alone.

    If you can skip the middle man (primary care) and go directly to the ENT, it would save you some money, however, if for some reason, the ENT feels that your tonsil(s) need removed, you will have a financial dilemma.

    Do you smoke or have you ever smoked? I know you are a fitness instructor and probably do not smoke now, but what about your past? What is your concern about cancer? Do you have any other risks? How old are you?
    Galey1969 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    Sadly, yes, I smoke. I had quit for 9 years then started again after a miscarriage. I know its bad. I smoke about a half a pack a day. I am 42. Other than that, besides horrible perimenopause, im healthy as a horse. I have noticed my glands swell when my menopause and period symptoms are at their worse which is really odd.
    Yes, its sad so many are uninsured. I am planning on going to an ENT in January.
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Galey1969's response:
    Smoking does increase your risk of a more serious throat problem, so seeing the ENT is absolutely necessary. Of course, another thing is necessary, too. You must stop smoking and I know you can do it.

    You are smoking ten cigarettes a day. Make a pledge TODAY to just smoke 9. When you feel the urge to smoke, make yourself wait a minimum of 20-30 minutes before you light up. Make your smoking a pure experience (don't do anything else when you smoke)....smoke outside in just ONE place....and put your butt in a jar. Do not empty this need to keep looking at it.

    Next only smoke 8 per day, so you must budget them carefully. Then keep it up....a cigarette at a time.

    You will be a non-smoker by February.
    Galey1969 replied to Rod Moser, PA, PhD's response:
    ok! Ive always tried to cut down cigarettes but just over a couple days, then I always fail. Ive never heard that method and it sounds very do-able.
    thank you!
    Rod Moser, PA, PhD replied to Galey1969's response:
    It works and it is much easier on the tobacco-addicted brain. The trick is CONTROL.

    By making your body wait a half-hour after the urge to smoke, it eliminates they immediate gratification response. You already do this.....when you need to pee - a very strong biological urge, you just don't pee, you wait until you find a suitable place (usually a toilet!).

    Budgeting your daily total of cigarettes can be viewed a fun. Pretend that each one costs $10 a cigarette (not too far off of their cost now!), so you have to make this last all day.

    By smoking in only one place (outside), you won't get subliminal clues to smoke in rooms that you have smoked in before, or after certain situations (like smoking and drinking coffee; or smoking after a meal). Try to avoid these paired situations. When you do smoke....just smoke. Do nothing else.

    As you get the numbers down and gain control, play another game: buy a different brand, perhaps one that you do not like. You can also smoke 1/2 to 3/4 of a cigarette and then put it in your butt-jar. Remember: Do not empty this jar. Looking at it as you smoke is part of the therapy.

    Positive incentives are important, too. With each successful day, put a dollar or another set amount in a piggy bank. When you finally stop, go on a spending spree. Or, have someone promise you a valuable gift when you finally stop.

    Everyone can stop smoking. You just have to find the right strategy for YOU.

    Good luck and I will wait to read a future posting that you have stopped smoking for good!
    sspencer02 responded:
    Hi LRS2011,

    I'm wondering if/how you were able to bring down the swelling? I'm in a pretty similar/exact same situation you were. Had a cold; cold went away, Now I have very swollen adenoids and tonsils, and a good amount of clear mucus build-up, however I'm not experiencing any pain. I have started experiencing symptoms related to sleep apnea, as well as symptoms related to GERD. I have never had any problems like these in the past. I'm 24 years old, and these symptoms have been persistent for about 2 months. Not overweight; very active. Doctor trying to treat the GERD-like symptoms, and although modifying my diet does decrease those symptoms slightly, it has done nothing for my throat. I would love to hear what kind of results you've had!

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