Ear, nose, and throat (ENT) problems are common among children, meaning you are most likely to visit a pediatrician every once in a while, if you have a little one. Part of the reason children are prone to these conditions is that parts of the ENT region have not fully developed. For example, children have shorter, more horizontal eustachian tubes that allow bacteria and viruses to find their way into the middle ear easily. These tubes are also narrower, making them more likely to block. Fortunately, at Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat, pediatric ENT Surprise specialists work with your whole family to offer the best care for your child’s condition. Below are some of the most common ENT conditions in kids.
Middle ear infections
Ear infections are common in kids; they happen when bacteria or viruses get into the space behind the ear drum (middle ear). When a child has an ear infection, the middle ear fills with infected fluid, which pushes on the eardrum, causing a lot of pain. Ear pain is the signature symptom of a middle ear infection. Other symptoms include fever and trouble drinking, eating, or sleeping activities like sucking, chewing, and lying down trigger painful pressure changes in the middle ear.
Usually, younger children can’t complain about ear pain; they may tug at the ear or be fussy and cry more. But older kids can better express how they feel.
Sinusitis typically occurs due to an infection of the maxillary sinus in children. A child with sinusitis will have frequent nasal discharge, a cough, and nasal blockage. Usually, healthcare providers prescribe antibiotics to treat sinusitis, but if symptoms persist, there could be an underlying problem, including allergies. If your child has chronic sinusitis, the pediatrician can determine and treat the underlying cause.
Upper airway obstruction
Upper airway obstruction is a blockage in the throat, trachea, or voice box. Causes of this problem include tonsil, adenoid enlargement, infections, abscesses, croup, and foreign bodies. The symptoms of upper airway obstruction vary depending on the cause, but some symptoms are common to all types of airway blockage. Classic symptoms of airway obstruction include fidgeting, difficulty breathing, choking, skin color changes, and unconsciousness. A child may also produce unusual breathing noises, indicating breathing difficulties.
Allergic rhinitis, commonly known as hay fever, is a common ENT problem in children and typically causes nasal discharge and congestion, fatigue, skin rashes, and sleep problems. There are different types of rhinitis, but most are caused by inflammation and are associated with symptoms in the ears, nose, and throat. Allergic rhinitis occurs when allergens such as pollen, dust mites, animal dander, and fumes trigger the release of histamine in the body. The body’s reaction to these harmless substances may cause swelling, itching, and fluid accumulation in nasal passages, sinuses, and eyelids.
Overlooking symptoms of ENT condition leads to unnecessary pain and may also cause lifelong illnesses. If your child is experiencing any of these problems, schedule an appointment with a specialist at Oasis Ear, Nose, and Throat for diagnosis and treatment to make your child more comfortable.