17 doctors weighed in:
At what age should a teen's tonsils shrink away?
17 doctors weighed in

Dr. David Astrachan
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
11 doctors agree
In brief: Not clear
Tonsils do not necessarily "automatically" go away as children get older. The adenoids which are similar to the tonsils usually do regress during the teenage years.
If the tonsils are large and obstructing and causing significant symptoms waiting until they "go down" is not reasonable.

In brief: Not clear
Tonsils do not necessarily "automatically" go away as children get older. The adenoids which are similar to the tonsils usually do regress during the teenage years.
If the tonsils are large and obstructing and causing significant symptoms waiting until they "go down" is not reasonable.
Dr. David Astrachan
Dr. David Astrachan
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Dr. Gregory Boger
ENT - Head & Neck Surgery
6 doctors agree
In brief: Depends
They can get smaller during 20s to adulthood.
They may never get smaller. Various factors play into tonsillar size, including acute infection, chronic infection, allergy and heredity (family history). If there are more than 3 infections a year over several years its worth considering removal especially if complications arise. If the tonsils are different size then removal is also considered.

In brief: Depends
They can get smaller during 20s to adulthood.
They may never get smaller. Various factors play into tonsillar size, including acute infection, chronic infection, allergy and heredity (family history). If there are more than 3 infections a year over several years its worth considering removal especially if complications arise. If the tonsils are different size then removal is also considered.
Dr. Gregory Boger
Dr. Gregory Boger
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Dr. John McClay
Surgery - Head & Neck
In brief: Teenage years
At birth, your tonsils and adenoids (t&a) are small and your immune system is immature.
Your t&a are immunological structures and make antibodies to pathogens, like bacteria and viruses; so as you grow, they grow and enlarge, doing their job. Our immune system is relatively mature at 5 to 7 years of age, when the t&a peak in size. They then usually shrink to become small again by preteen/teenager.

In brief: Teenage years
At birth, your tonsils and adenoids (t&a) are small and your immune system is immature.
Your t&a are immunological structures and make antibodies to pathogens, like bacteria and viruses; so as you grow, they grow and enlarge, doing their job. Our immune system is relatively mature at 5 to 7 years of age, when the t&a peak in size. They then usually shrink to become small again by preteen/teenager.
Dr. John McClay
Dr. John McClay
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Franklyn Gergits
Hello, the tonsils will never completely "shrink away". Unless they are surgically removed, the tonsils may shrink to a very small size however they will remain.
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