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Sep 22, 2003 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- TONSIL REMOVAL MAY BENEFIT SOME FAT CHILDREN

A study shows the removal of tonsils and adenoids can improve the quality of life of obese children who suffer from a sleep disorder. An estimated 14 percent of American children are obese, up from 6 percent 25 years ago. Up to 40 percent of them suffer from obstructive sleep apnea. The disorder is characterized by recurrent interruptions of breathing during sleep due to temporary obstruction of the airway by bulky or malformed pharyngeal tissues, including soft palate, uvula and sometimes tonsils. Only 1 percent of all children experience such sleep disturbance. In the past 20 years, the principle reason for adenotonsillectomy -- the removal of tonsils and adenoids -- in children has changed from recurrent infection of the tonsils to sleep disorders. In the study, researchers found the children who had their tonsils and adenoids removed improved, suffering less sleep disturbance, physical discomfort, emotional distress and daytime problems.


Cochlear implants can make a big difference for seniors who have suffered hearing loss that cannot be helped with hearing aids, a study shows. Research indicates many of the millions of Americans with untreated hearing loss suffer from sadness, depression, anxiety, social isolation and insecurity. Other studies show they also have fewer relationships and decreased social activity. Up to 42 percent of people past their 65th birthday have a hearing problem. Hearing aids can improve the overall quality of life in some of these patients. For those who receive no benefit from hearing aids, cochlear implants can be of benefit, researchers said. The study found despite the severity of their hearing loss, patients with cochlear implants experienced as much improvement as those with milder forms of hearing loss received from hearing aids.


Researchers say first and second graders who have trouble reading may be suffering from recurrent middle ear infections. The National Center for Education Statistics reports reading levels for fourth graders showed no significant improvement over grades recorded in 1992. The new study, conducted in Israel, shows the incidence of acute otitis media and middle ear effusion, commonly known as middle ear infections, may directly affect a child's ability to read. Ear infections occur in almost every child at some time during the first six years of life. Many infants and young children suffer from multiple infections. In some, one or both ears remain infected for weeks, even months. Associated hearing loss may persist even for six to 12 months, affecting the child's learning ability, the researchers said. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.


A study shows radiofrequency is effective and safe for treating chronic tonsillitis, producing little pain and few side effects. The procedure has been used primarily for reducing enlarged tonsils. More than 400,000 tonsillectomies are performed each year in the United States. Conventional tonsillectomy using cold knife, electrocautery or coblation carries potential risks and complications, the researchers noted. The conventional techniques have changed little over the past 50 years, resulting in prolonged postoperative pain and long recovery, scientists said. More and more, doctors are employing RF treatment to remove tonsils. In this procedure, tissues are shrunk with a mild, painless radiofrequency energy, similar to microwave heat. Advantages include: less postoperative pain due to the absence of an open wound, decreased risk of post-procedure bleeding and dehydration and less time needed for recovery, doctors said.

(Editors: For more information about TONSILS, contact Kenneth Satterfield at (703) 519-1563 or For SENIORS, Kenneth Satterfield (703) 519-1563 or For READING, Kenneth Satterfield (703) 519-1563 or For TONSILLITIS, Kenneth Satterfield (703) 519-1563 or

Copyright 2003 by United Press International.

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