A pediatric ENT doctor is responsible for a wide range of ear, nose and throat condition treatment among children. Additionally, they treat a complex range of issues around the face and head area in general. Children are a group of people most susceptible to ear infections, colds and upper respiratory tract issues. These conditions are common instances a trip to the ENT doctor is required.  

Chronic or recurrent ear infections

In the first four years of a child’s life, they’re most susceptible to ear infections mainly because of their still-developing Eustachian tube. These are the middle ears’ connecting tubes that lead into the back of the throat. In children, these tubes are shorter and lay more horizontal than vertical. Due to this, bacteria and other microorganisms find their way there more often than adults. Moreover, because the child’s Eustachian tubes are narrower, the likelihood of getting blocked by fluids increases.

Ear infections, known as Otitis Media, ranks number one on the list of childhood ENT problems. Children’s ears are more prone to fluid accumulation because of their direct connectivity to the sinuses. Inner ear infections and inflammations can be chronic or acute depending on other underlying factors. Therefore, a Pediatric ENT doctor is the most qualified specialist to attend to these issues in a child. By assessing the signs and symptoms, they can recommend treatment to resolve the condition.

Recurrent nasal problems in children

Just like ear infections, the nasal passage is another sensitive area for most children. When a child has a recurrent case of a runny nose, it could indicate a hidden problem. In most situations, an undiagnosed sinus problem is an underlying issue. Because the ear, nose and throat are connected by tubes, bodily fluids tend to share common pathways. Therefore, when there’s an infection in one part, the chances of it affecting all others are higher.

That explains why common colds tend to come with sore throats, pressure around the eyes and sometimes, facial pain, although some of these symptoms could very well be sinusitis. As a parent or guardian, recurrent nasal problems in your child can be pretty frustrating. However, with a Pediatric ENT doctor, the underlying cause can be quickly detected and treated for your child to return to active play.

Hearing loss, speech and language problems

Usually, the preferred specialist to attend to children with speech, hearing and language problems is the Pediatric ENT doctor. They’re responsible for conducting appropriate tests to determine potential causes of hearing loss or speech delay in minors. It helps to seek early medical care for most childhood conditions; the earlier it’s detected, the higher the probability of halting the condition’s imminent progress.

By conducting a visual examination of the body parts responsible for these delays, the ENT specialist will draw relevant conclusions. In some cases, a speech problem can be stuttering. Did you know that your child’s stuttering could be a result of fluid build-up in the ear? Indeed, that may be difficult for you to determine until the Pediatric ENT doctor comes in.

Chronic tonsillitis

This condition involves the enlargement and inflammation of the tonsils and, sometimes, the surrounding tissue. A sore throat also accompanies it. Even though tonsillitis is pretty common among children, there’s a cause for concern when it occurs more than five times a year. Therefore, the ENT specialist may recommend a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) as a permanent solution.

Enlarged and inflamed tonsils can lead to sleep apnea, a sleeping disorder characterized by intermittent pauses in breathing. This happens because the enlarged tonsils can block the airways during short or long periods of sleep. If left untreated, sleep apnea can result in prolonged periods of sleep deprivation. There are reported cases that resulted in elevated blood pressure when the child grows into adulthood because it wasn’t attended to in time. 

Pediatric tongue-tie

This is a tongue defect that inhibits its mobility in the mouth. When you raise your tongue, you’ll notice a connecting string-like tissue underneath it. This is what enables you to move your tongue around. However, when this connecting tissue is short or tight, it causes problems.

A pediatric tongue-tie is present at birth and the earlier it’s detected, your child will have a better chance at an improved quality of life. Treatment is usually by surgery and that’s where the Pediatric ENT doctor comes in.

Indeed, there’s a wide range of conditions that the Pediatric ENT doctor manages or treats. Therefore, seek their services as soon as you notice a related condition in your child. Better yet, specialists such as Mountain Ear, Nose & Throat Associates can assist you. Call the following numbers to book an appointment now: Sylva: 828-586-7474, Franklin: 828-524-5599, Murphy: 828-835-1014, New Asheville: 828-458-8100.