Chicago ENT

October 08, 2014 19:00 ET

Dr. Michael Friedman of Chicago ENT Discusses "Secondary Tonsils" at AAO-HNSF Annual Meeting

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwired - Oct 8, 2014) - Tonsils are an important part of the immune system and are the first line of defense against infection. The masses of tissue are packed with lymphocytes, and trap bacteria and viruses that enter through the throat. A common sign that your tonsils are doing their job include a sore throat, swelling and redness. 

Decades ago, it was common for children to have their tonsils removed after a bout of strep throat to prevent the chance of developing tonsillitis. Once an effective antibiotic (penicillin) was found to combat strep throat, the rate of tonsillectomies decreased. However, recently the connection between tonsils and acid reflux has been observed in the medical community. Acid reflux can cause the same effect on tonsils as illness can and often causes unnecessary concern. People who have had their tonsils removed are often surprised to find out they have a second set of tonsils called "lingual tonsils".

Ear, Nose and Throat Doctors, also known as ENTs, specialize in treating tonsils and diagnosing related conditions. Although ENTS are considered specialists in their field, they aren't all up to date on the newest medical discoveries and innovations. When seeking treatment for enlarged tonsils, it is imperative to find ENTs that are experts in their field and in treating tonsils. Many people are having their tonsils removed when their tonsil issue is actually a secondary condition. By treating the primary condition, such as acid reflux, improvement can be seen without unnecessary surgery. Chicago ENT is a state of the art center, considered to be one of the leading ENT offices in the world. Headed by Dr. Michael Friedman, the Chicago ENT center has a great deal of experience studying and treating tonsils, and the effect they have on the human body.

At the recent AAO-HNSF Annual meeting, Dr. Michael Friedman presented a paper entitled "A Standardized Lingual Tonsil Grading System: Inter-Examiner Agreement" which talks about a second set of tonsils that most people are not aware of. Upon mention of "tonsils" most people think of the round masses located on each side of the back of throat as the one and only set of tonsils. However, there is a second set of tonsils located under the tongue which respond to irritation such as acid reflux in the same way as the palatine tonsils (most commonly recognized) do. This is called "lingual tonsil enlargement". Acid reflux can irritate the lingual tonsils, causing them to become red and enlarged. As a result, the throat can become sore, and the enlarged tonsils can lead to a condition called sleep apnea which causes the affected person to stop breathing during their sleep. Instead of a tonsillectomy, treating acid reflux can often reverse sleep apnea without having to go through surgery.

With over 30 years of experience, Dr. Michael Friedman is one of the leading otolaryngologists, thyroid and parathyroid surgeons in the world. His Chicago ENT center (originally opened as The Advanced Center for Specialty Care), has made great strides in the medical community in its efforts to treat thyroid, parathyroid disease, sleep apnea and all ear, nose and throat problems. Through his revolutionary practices, he is an expert among the Ear, Nose & Throat doctors and is highly revered.

To learn more about Chicago ENT and Dr. Michael Friedman, visit: