If you're reading this, chances are you've had some trouble with your tonsils.
Thousands of people get these small organs every year because of recurring infection and sore throats. And, fortunately, the truth is that unless you are a baby, you dont really need them.
Here, Simon Carney, Professor of Otolaryngology at Flinders University, Adelaide, explains their important - but not essential - function to a inquisitive 10-year-old called Ryan, who emailed his question in for a piece onThe Conversation.
First, Prof Carney explains what our tonsils actually are...
Hard to swallow: If tonsils keep getting infected, they may be more trouble than theyre worth
The technical term for your tonsils is palatine tonsils, which means the tonsils of the palate. These lumpy things sit on either side at the back of our mouths.
The palatine tonsils are one pair of a set of four tonsils that form a circle at the top of our throat.
At the back of our nose, we have the adenoids. They are another type of tonsil ...