Children are more prone to problems involving the eyes, nose, and throat because of their immature body structures. 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. 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.
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). Because of excessive cotton bud use and swimming, external ear infections result 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. 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 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 problems among children, they 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. The common allergens are certain types of food like nuts and house dust mites. It would require the use of nasal sprays, antihistamines, and avoidance of allergen. Due to the thin mucosal layer of children’s nasal cavity, they are prone to nasal bleeding caused by trauma, blowing, rubbing or infection.
Chronic cough, snoring, and obstructive apnea are the common throat conditions affecting children. Chronic cough may last up to two weeks because of pharyngitis. Disrupted sleep happens due to nocturnal coughing. 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 showing any of these ENT signs and symptoms, it is best to consult a specialist immediately to a trusted, reliable, and reputable ENT doctor.