4 Signs Your Child Needs a Pediatric ENT
A pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor can help diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions and issues related to the face and head. However, it can be hard to know when your child might need to visit this professional. Here are four signs that parents should keep an eye out for to help them decide when to schedule an appointment with an ENT specialist.
Frequent ear infections and blockages
Whether it’s due to excessive fluid backing up into the ears or bacterial infection, otitis media is a condition that an ENT specialist can help patients deal with. Symptoms of otitis media can include crying, irritability, sleeplessness, fever and fluid drainage in the ear. The inner and middle ear are still developing in children, meaning that those parts of the body are much more prone to blockages, swelling and trapped fluid. This can be caused by allergies, recurring colds, the flu, sinus infections and enlarged tonsils. A pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor can help treat the issue itself as well as identifying and treating the underlying causes.
Regular sinus infections
Inflammation in the sinus, also known as sinusitis, is a common problem in children. Most parents are all too familiar with runny noses. This bacteria-laden mucus and snot can cause some problems, however. Sinus infections are painful enough on their own, but since the sinuses are connected to the ears and nose, it can lead to some of the other issues mentioned here. Signs your child might suffer from sinusitis include complaining of headaches, pressure around the nose and eyes, and crying combined with a runny nose.
Sleep apnea and chronic throat or tonsil pain
Tonsil surgery is a very common procedure for children and there are a number of reasons this is the case. Enlarged tonsils can cause sleep apnea, blocking your child’s airway when they are sleeping. Noticeable signs of sleep apnea include very loud snoring and waking up in the middle of the night gasping for air and crying. Otherwise, if your child has a sore throat or tonsils over five times in one year, tonsil surgery can be recommended to make it harder for infections and inflammation to take root.
Issues with hearing or speech delay
Otitis media and other inner ear issues can cause problems with your child’s hearing. A pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor can provide both a visual examination of the outer and middle ear, as well as an audiogram. This can help not only outline the condition of your child’s hearing and potential difficulties but also some of the causes of that hearing loss. For short-term hearing loss, they can provide a range of treatments, too.
If your child is complaining about any of the symptoms above or you notice any of the signs yourself, it’s wise to take them to see the pediatric ear, nose and throat doctor. They can help diagnose and treat many of the underlying causes, as well as providing a more complete picture of your child’s health.