Children are at risk of developing eyes, nose, and throat problems (ENT conditions) because of the immature structures of their bodies. For example, children have shorter eustachian tubes (ear part) than adults until they reach the puberty stage, making them at greater risk of developing middle ear infections. The sinuses of children are fully developed at the age of 8 and their adenoids and tonsils are usually large, and they shrink when they reach their teenage years. Because children may not be able to fully express themselves, some ENT conditions are left untreated and undetected, resulting in inadequate management.
The most common ear conditions affecting children include external ear infections, middle ear infections or acute otitis media, and middle ear effusion or fluid (OME or otitis media with effusion). Due to swimming and using cotton buds excessively, external ear infections occur leading to bacterial growth and infection to the outer ear canal. When it comes to the right treatment and intervention, your child needs to avoid swimming and he needs to be checked by an ENT doctor who will be prescribing the right antibiotic eardrop and clean your child’s ear with suction.
Upper respiratory tract infections affect the middle ear that causes acute otitis media or a middle ear infection caused by the spread of upper respiratory tract infections. Fever, ear pain, and hearing loss are the common signs and symptoms of acute otitis media. The pus has the possibility of bursting and affecting the eardrum resulting in purulent ear discharge. The treatment for acute otitis media includes analgesics for pain relief and antibiotics for infection. Antibiotic eardrops, suction ear cleaning, and oral medications are usually required if the ears are perforated.
The most common pediatric nasal conditions include allergy, epistaxis (nosebleed), and chronic sinusitis. The signs and symptoms of nasal allergy include a runny nose or rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchiness, and blockage. House dust mite is a common allergen as well as food. Nasal allergy can be treated using nasal sprays, the administration of antihistamines, and avoidance of allergen. Nose bleeding experienced by children are usually caused by trauma, blowing, rubbing or infection.
The most common throat conditions happening to children include a chronic cough, snoring, and obstructive apnea. Chronic cough may last up to two weeks because of pharyngitis. Nocturnal cough can be disruptive to the sleep of children. Temper tantrums, irritability, and poor concentration are the manifestations of obstructive sleep apnea causing snoring with gasping spells.
Allow an Eastside ENT specialist to help you. It is best to only trust a reliable, expert, and experienced ENT doctor for your child’s health.