Children are at risk of developing eyes, nose, and throat problems (ENT conditions) because of the immature structures of their bodies. As compared to adults, children have shorter eustachian tubes (ear part) until they reach the puberty stage, making them more prone to the development of middle ear infections. When it comes to children’s sinuses, they are fully developed when they reach 8 years old, and their adenoids and tonsils are usually large, only starting to shrink as they reach the adolescent period. Children seldom communicate what they feel or are lacking the ability to express their body complaints, that’s why their ENT problems might be left undetected and untreated, resulting in inadequate or improper management.
The different types of ear infections among children are 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. The care and treatment involves administration of prescribed antibiotic eardrops, suction ear cleaning, and avoidance of water.
Acute otitis media or middle ear infection refers to an ear infection usually brought about by spreading of upper respiratory tract infections, infecting the middle ear. The signs and symptoms of acute otitis media include fever, ear pain, and hearing loss. Purulent ear discharge may result because of the possibility of bursting of pus affecting the eardrum. Acute otitis media can be treated using analgesics for pain relief and antibiotic treatment for infection. If the eardrums are perforated, suction ear cleaning, antibiotic eardrops, and oral medications might be required.
The most common pediatric nasal conditions include allergy, epistaxis (nosebleed), and chronic sinusitis. The signs and symptoms of nasal allergy affecting children are a runny nose or rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchiness, and nasal 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. Trauma, blowing, rubbing or infection are the most common causes of nasal bleeding or epistaxis.
When it comes to the most common throat conditions experienced by children, they include a chronic cough, snoring, and obstructive apnea. Because of pharyngitis, chronic cough occurs lasting up to two weeks. 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.
An expert and experienced Eastside ENT specialist is willing to help you. It is best to only trust a reliable, expert, and experienced ENT doctor for your child’s health.