Kids ENT Health Month is aimed at offering parents and caregivers the latest information about the care, diagnosis, and treatment for pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders. There are a few common ears, nose, and throat disorders that children are diagnosed with every year here are a few of them:
Ear Disorder - Acute Otitis Media
Middle Ear infection also known as Acute Otitis Media is an infection of the air-filled space behind the eardrum. There are 15 to 30 million visits to the doctor each year in the United States for chronic ear infections. Ear infections are the most common reasons why an American child visits the doctor. A few symptoms to identify Acute Otitis Media are:
• Ear Tugging
• Ear Stiffness
• Irritability or feeding difficulties in infants
Most doctors would treat this ear infection with a regimen of antibiotics. When antibiotics are not effective, the doctor would then suggest a bilateral myringotomy. This surgery simply involves placement of small tubes in the eardrum of both ears, then to drain the fluid buildup and keep the pressure constant inside the ear as well as the outside of the ear.
Nose Disorder – Sinusitis
Sinusitis is inflammation of the sinuses, which is usually caused by an infection. Allergies can also lead a person to develop sinusitis. There are two types of sinusitis such as, viral sinusitis and bacterial sinusitis. Viral sinusitis is more associated with the common cold. A few symptoms to identify bacterial sinusitis are:
• Stuffy or runny nose that lasts for 10 to 14 days with a cough
• A fever greater than 102°F (39°C)
• Pain in the upper teeth
• Constant thick green mucus discharging from the nose
Even though these symptoms are similar to a viral sinusitis, bacterial sinusitis needs to be treated with antibiotics. When diagnosed with bacterial sinusitis you may need to take antibiotics for as long as 3 weeks. However, if your sinusitis is due to allergies your doctor may recommend daily antihistamine to be taken as well.
Throat Disorders –Tonsillitis and Sleep Apnea
Tonsillitis is the infection of your tonsils; they usually become inflamed because of chronic infections. Signs that your child may have tonsillitis are:
• Soreness in the throat
• Swollen tonsils
Many doctors treat tonsillitis with a tonsillectomy.This procedure is the removal of the tonsils that has been chronically infected, or enlarged in most cases, which would have lead to obstructive sleep apnea. Sleep Apnea is a sleeping disorder where someone’s breathing is interrupted during sleep. However, Obstructive Sleep Apnea is most common in children. Signs of an Obstructive Sleep Apnea are:
• Heavy breathing
• Very restless while sleeping
An effective way to treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea is having an operation called denotonsillectomy, which is the removal of your tonsils and adenoids.
Kids ENT month is a great way for others to know about ear, nose, and throat disorders that should not be taken lightly. Some of these disorders can lead to serious complications if not treated immediately. Take the action and get your children screened for these disorders and be aware at all times.