Spring is gone and summer is starting to fade away. That means the crisp and much beloved seasons of autumn and winter are just around the corner. While everybody has plenty of holidays and good times ahead, there’s always the omnipresent concern of spreadable illness — the phrase of the day is ‘ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents!’ Although adults are often privy to the methods of reducing the chance of common colds and flus, children are much more susceptible to bad habits when around their peers. If your child is starting to have breathing difficulties or is struggling with hearing loss, they may just have an ear or throat issue! Below is a crash course on ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents, from awareness to prevention.
This seemingly benign side-effect of sleeping can have potentially deeper ramifications if left untreated. Around 10% of children who snore on a regular basis, with another 4% of the pediatric population, has a form of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (also known as OSA). Children with enlarged tonsils were also nearly four times more likely to experience symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing than those who did not have the condition. While a little snore here and there is nothing to worry about, you’ll want to visit a doctor if the snoring becomes chronic!
If your little one is scratching at their ears or experiencing pain along their neck or jawline, they could be facing a significant side-effect of ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents — ear infections! One of the most painful and common issues facing young children are ear infections, which occur for a variety of reasons ranging from narrow ear canals, poor hygeine and injury. By the time they’re three most children have had at least one ear infection, with 30% of children having multiple episodes. Thankfully, surgeries can be done to eliminate the risk of future ear infections — repairing the eardrum is a process that has a success rate of anywhere from 85% to 90%, with additional medications and awareness the ideal supplemental for a healthy and happy child.
A side-effect of ear infections can lead to hearing loss. More than 90% of all children have had at least one ear infection by the time they’re two, with additional estimates seeing one in every 1,000 newborns experiencing hearing loss. They are not the only source, however, and can also be caused by infections during pregnancy, environmental influences and complications after birth. All of these and more have added up to 30% of babies with some form of hearing loss. Continued hearing loss can be mediated by reducing exposure to excessively loud music, teaching healthy ear cleaning habits and visiting the doctor whenever an ear infection or similar issue presents itself.
Ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents are all interconnected. Tonsils can affect snoring patterns as well as contribute to infections if not checked. According to ongoing studies, anywhere from 300,000 to 400,000 tonsillectomies are performed every single year. Just thirty years ago 90% of these surgeries were done for recurrent infection, but as of modern times it’s often done to reduce the onset of obstructive sleep problems. Additional surgeries like airway reconstruction or endoscopic sinus surgery can also be done.
How To Keep Your Children Healthy
If you want to avoid ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents, you need to be aware of the risks and how to mediate them in the day-to-day. Teach your children to practice healthy habits, such as regularly washing their hands and not sharing toothbrushes or clothes with their peers — this will reduce spreading the common cold or flu when the weather gets brisk! Cleaning one’s ears should be done regularly, but be careful not to stick q-tips inside the ear. This can actually cause earwax to become stuck and build, leading to potential ear infections. Last, but not least, regular visits to the doctor can pinpoint small problems before they become bigger. With a little work, everyone can stay healthy this winter!