Health and Fitness Tips

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Ear, nose and throat problems are pretty common among young children. There are a variety of reasons for this commonality. Children?s ears, nose and throat are not yet fully developed. They are a smaller version of what they will be, making things like ear drainage more difficult. Some children may have ear, nose and throat problems from genetics or from poor nutrition during gestation. Also, a child?s diet may affect their ENT. Although some problems are common in young children, frequent ENT problems should be evaluated by a medical professional. Frequent ENT problems can lead to things like hearing loss or other types of permanent damage.

Five out of six children (83%) will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday. Usually, a single ear infection is not a cause for concern. The child?s pediatrician will prescribe the child some medications and pain relief options. After a few days, the ear infection will clear up and the child will feel all better. However, some children continue to experience the symptoms of ear infections and consistently deal with chronic ear infections and other problems of the nose and throat.

Chronic ear infections can lead to some hearing loss. The hearing loss may recover over time, once the ear infection is treated. However, some hearing loss may be permanent, depending on the amount of damage done to the ear canals. Chronic ear infections should always be evaluated by a medical professional, someone who is specialized in the ear, nose and throats of young children.

Some children may experience a lot of sore throats, as well. Sore throats are another common illness for young children. However, just like with chronic ear infections, chronic sore throats or sicknesses should be looked at by a specialized professional. Sometimes throat problems may not even show typical symptoms, but you can look for things like hypernasal speech. If you notice hypernasal speech symptoms with your young child, it is possible they are experience some form of a throat infection.

Throat problems are one of the most common ENT problems that children deal with. If chronic sore throats or hypernasal speech occurs, sometimes the ear nose and throat doctor Tampa FL will recommend a tonsillectomy. A tonsillectomy is a procedure that is done to remove the tonsils. The tonsils are not needed, and often cause more problems than needed. However, thirty years ago, approximately 90% of tonsillectomies in children were done for recurrent infection, now it is about 20% for infection and 80% for obstructive sleep problems (OSA). Obstructive sleep problems may include breathing problems like sleep apnea.

Young children may also experience problems with their noses, or their sinuses. Sinus infections tend to occur in high allergy seasons. Children with a lot of allergies will notice an increase in sinus infections. Sinus infections can lead to things like breathing difficulties and trouble sleeping. Sinus problems can also cause hypernasal speech. Sinus problems can also cause loud snoring or sleep apnea in young children. This is usually due to the fact that the sinuses are blocked or infected, blocking the route for proper breathing. Approximately 10% of children snore regularly and about 2 to 4% of the pediatric population has Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA).

There are many health problems that can occur in young children. Younger children?s ears, nose and throats are not yet fully developed, leading to chronic problems. Things like a single ear infection or a single sore throat are usually not a cause for concern. These types of medical conditions are very common in young children. However, if your child experiences chronic ear infections, sore throats or difficulty sleeping, it is a good idea to visit with a ENT specialist. The ENT specialist will run a series of tests and will monitor your child?s conditions. Sometimes surgery may be recommended, other times medication may be prescribed to help deal with the symptoms.