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. 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. 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 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 usually affect the middle ear causing acute otitis media or middle ear infection, caused by tracking up of upper respiratory tract infections. Fever, ear pain, and hearing loss are the common signs and symptoms of acute otitis media. Because of pus bursting and spreading in the eardrum, purulent ear discharge may result. 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 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.
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. Obstructive sleep apnea may cause snoring with gasping spells causing behavioral changes such as temper tantrums, irritability, and poor concentration.
Allow an Eastside ENT specialist to help you. If ever your child is manifesting any of these ENT signs and symptoms, it is better to consult a specialist right away such as a trusted, reliable, and reputable ENT doctor.