Children are at risk of developing eyes, nose, and throat problems (ENT conditions) because of the immature structures of their bodies. For instance, their eustachian tube (part of the ear) is shorter among children and it doesn’t open until the child reaches the puberty stage that makes them at greater risk of developing 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 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). External ear infections are caused by excessive cotton bud use and swimming, causing 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.
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 is usually treated with the use of analgesics for pain relief and antibiotic treatment to reduce infection. If there is perforation of eardrums, antibiotic eardrops, suction ear cleaning, and oral medications will be required.
When it comes to the most common types of nasal conditions among children, they include epistaxis (nosebleed), allergy, and chronic sinusitis. The signs and symptoms of nasal allergy affecting children are a runny nose or rhinorrhea, sneezing, itchiness, and nasal blockage. Certain types of food like nuts and house dust mites are the common allergens. 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. Disrupted sleep happens due to nocturnal coughing. 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. If ever your child is showing any of these ENT signs and symptoms, it is best to consult a specialist immediately to a trusted, reliable, and reputable ENT doctor.