Due to immature structural parts of the eyes, nose, and throat problems, children are prone to ENT problems. 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. Their sinuses are developed completely at the age of 8 and their adenoids and tonsils are usually large, shrinking when they reach 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.
When it comes to the different types of pediatric ear infections, they include middle ear infections or acute otitis media, external ear infections, and middle ear fluid or effusion (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. In order to address the external ear infections, the appropriate care and treatment includes administration of prescribed antibiotic eardrops, suction ear cleaning, and avoidance of swimming and water exposure.
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. The signs and symptoms of acute otitis media include fever, ear pain, and hearing loss. 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. 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. Nasal allergy is manifested by a runny nose or rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchiness, and blockage. Certain types of food like nuts and house dust mites are the common allergens. Antihistamines, nasal sprays, and allergen avoidance are the interventions given to nasal allergy. Due to the thin mucosal layer of children’s nasal cavity, they are prone to nasal bleeding caused by trauma, blowing, rubbing or infection.
The most common throat conditions happening to children include a chronic cough, snoring, and obstructive apnea. Because of pharyngitis, chronic cough occurs lasting up to two weeks. Children with a nocturnal cough usually, have disrupted sleep. Snoring with gasping spells may result leading to obstructive sleep apnea causing behavioral changes.
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.