Understanding the Most Common ENT Problems Among Children

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. Their sinuses are developed completely at the age of 8 and their adenoids and tonsils are usually large, shrinking when they reach 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 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). 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.

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. Fever, ear pain, and hearing loss are the common signs and symptoms of acute otitis media. 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.

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. House dust mite is a common allergen as well as food. It would require the use of nasal sprays, 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. Children with a nocturnal cough usually, have disrupted sleep. 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. It is best to only trust a reliable, expert, and experienced ENT doctor for your child’s health.

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