Common ENT problems in children
Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) problems are extremely common in kids. Part of that is because many parts of the ENT region in children have not developed enough and, therefore, are apt to not function properly. Another issue that often leads to ENT problems in children is allergies. It’s important to know the most common ENT troubles children face and be able to distinguish if allergies are playing a part in the problem.
Ear Infections: Most every child at some point is faced with an ear infection. In fact, ear infections in children are as common as a cold. Most ear infections are otitis media, or middle ear infection. Upper respiratory tract infections can make their way up the Eustachian tube and infect the middle ear to cause pain, fever, and even some hearing loss. In this instance, oral antibiotic medications typically help. In some cases, however, allergies can be to blame. If the child is under the age of two, most likely allergies aren’t to blame for any ear infection. But in older children, allergies can lead to fluid behind the eardrum and painful ear pressure.
Sore throat: Two common throat problems in children are tonsillitis and pharyngitis. The difference between the two is that pharyngitis specifically affects the throat while tonsillitis affects the tonsils. Both conditions can lead to infections and inflammation in the throat, and anti-inflammatory medications can often treat them. However, sore throats are simply caused by allergies. Allergies can cause too much mucus to form, leading to a postnasal drip (a runny nose down the back of the throat).
Sinusitis: Sinusitis is usually caused by an infection of the maxillary sinus in children. Typical symptoms are frequent runny nose, nasal obstruction, and cough, and antibiotics are usually given to treat sinusitis. But if symptoms persist, the underlying problem could be allergies. Chronic sinusitis can also be caused by an allergy that needs to be determined. It is a common ENT problem in children.
Rhinitis: Allergic rhinitis is commonly known as hay fever and is a common ENT problem in children. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal or year-round and usually causes nasal congestion, runny nose, trouble sleeping, fatigue, and skin rashes. The chronic problem can be caused by several allergens, both indoors and outdoors, along with certain foods.
Ignoring the symptoms of ENT problems can lead to not only unnecessary pain and discomfort but also possible lifelong illness. If your child is experiencing any of these problems, make an appointment with a member ENT specialist to get a diagnosis and find out if allergies.
When to contact a specialist?
Pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) disorders remain one of the top reasons children go to the doctor, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Most paediatricians are prepared to handle an ear infection or runny nose, but how do you know when your child needs to see a specialist?
Snoring is not normal
Many parents think snoring is cute and fun, but it is not normal. When a child snores obstinately, it is not a cause for instant concern, but it deserves further evaluation by a paediatrician or ENT specialist.
Certain conditions, such as sleep apnea, can lead to a variety of health problems, including malformed facial bones, behaviour problems, and even bedwetting. Be sure to tell your child’s paediatrician if she snores frequently. The doctor can decide if your child should be referred to a pediatric otolaryngologist.
A recurring cold does not always turn into a sinus infection
Children can have a runny nose and cough every three to four weeks.
It’s completely normal for children, particularly those in daycare, to have a recurring cold. Cold is viral and cannot be treated with antibiotics. The decision to prescribe antibiotics should be made carefully by your primary care physician.
If your child’s cold symptoms last longer than seven days, especially if the symptoms get worse, it’s probably time to call the doctor.
Consider using ear tubes for recurring ear infections
The ear tubes improve air pressure and your child’s hearing. In many cases, ear pipes are a great solution for ear infections.
Under certain circumstances, placing tubes in the ears will help prevent upcoming ear infections and the need for additional rounds of antibiotics.
The decision to use ear tubes is made with the input of the child’s parents, paediatrician, and pediatric otolaryngologist.
If your child has had more than three ear infections in six months, you should ask your child’s paediatrician if ear tubes are appropriate.
Ear, nose, and throat physicians treat additional than ear infections and tonsillitis
Ear infections, a runny nose, and tonsillitis are indeed common reasons that parents bring their children to a pediatric otolaryngologist. However, pediatric otolaryngology specialists also treat everything from head and neck cancer to hearing loss or impairment, facial fractures, swallowing disorders, balance disorders, and more.