As much as you hate to see your child suffer, sometimes they will get sick or experience a condition that requires intervention. Many children can benefit from seeing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist. Below we review when you should bring your child to see a pediatric ENT.
If Your Child Snores
If your child snores, this may indicate that they have a condition called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is characterized by loud snoring and pauses in breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by a blockage in the airway; in many cases, enlarged tonsils or adenoids are the cause of OSA in children.
Left untreated, OSA can result in mood and behavioral problems as well as trouble in school. OSA can be treated with an oral appliance, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine or surgery.
If Your Child Gets Frequent Ear Infections
Ear infections are the most common reason parents bring their children to the doctor. Children are especially prone to ear infections because their Eustachian tubes – the narrow passageways connecting the middle ear to the throat – are much shorter and more horizontal than adults’. This means inflammation due to a cold or allergies can cause them to become blocked, trapping fluid in the middle ear that becomes a breeding ground for bacteria.
Some doctors recommend a wait-and-see approach for a minor infection. Antibiotics may also be prescribed. For chronic or recurring ear infection, ear tubes may be recommended.
If Your Child Has Allergies
If your child experiences itchy, watery eyes, runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, scratchy throat, itchiness or hives after visiting Smith Memorial Playground, they likely have allergies.
An allergy specialist in an ENT clinic can administer an allergy test to determine what exactly your child is allergic to, coach you on practicing avoidance and recommend an appropriate treatment. Allergy shots are an effective long-term treatment that help reduce symptoms over time by allowing the body to build up a tolerance.
For more information about the services offered at Pinnacle ENT Associates or to schedule an appointment for your child, call today!