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ENT Diseases in Infants and Children


Ear, nose and throat problems are quite common in children. This is due to the fact that many parts of the ENT area in children are not sufficiently developed and therefore can not function properly.

Another important cause of ENT problems in children is allergies. It is important to know the most common ENT problems faced by children and to be able to distinguish whether allergies are involved in the problem.

Problems in the ear, nose and throat area can affect the child’s language, hearing and ability to growth.

Judging from the symptoms of ENT problems, it is important to find the root cause. ENT problems can not only cause unnecessary pain and discomfort, but also potentially life-long illness.

If your child has any of the following problems, it is necessary to diagnose and find out whether allergies or other factors are responsible for illness. In addition, we recommend you to see your ENT doctor without wasting time for the diagnosis of larger problems (less frequent cancer, etc.).

Chronic Or Acute Ear Infections

At some point, every child faces an ear infection. In fact, ear infections in children are just as common as the common cold. Most ear infections are middle ear infections. Upper respiratory infections can progress to the eustachian tube and affect the middle ear, causing pain, fever, and even some loss of hearing. In this case, oral medications are typical treatments that can help solve the problem.

Untreated, chronic ear infections can cause many complications, including loss of hearing. A variety of medical devices are used in the pediatric department to test a child’s hearing and eustachian tube function, such as otoscopy, tympanometer, and audiometer. If ear infections persist and are accompanied by  loss of hearing, ear tube surgery may be recommended to remove the accumulation of middle ear fluid.

However, allergies can also be responsible for some situations. Because allergic rhinitis, which is characterized by serous discharge in the nasal cavity and nasal area, can trigger many diseases in the ear. Especially with the enlargement of the adenoid, the fluid behind the eardrum may gradually accumulate and cause loss of hearing. Patients who have to undergo surgery due to the size of the nasal passages at an early age are usually patients with allergic rhinitis. These patients also have frequent recurrent otitis media.

Loss of Hearing

The first rule is that a child’s hearing must be at a normal level for a healthy communication. Because children learn to speak by hearing. Therefore, hearing must be evaluated in children whose speech is delayed. A comprehensive evaluation is made by experts to determine the source and extent of the child’s hearing problems. Treatment options are then determined, including medical or surgical intervention or the use of assistive technologies such as hearing aids or cochlear implants. In some cases, hearing loss can be corrected with simple interventions. However, if it is late, permanent loss of hearing can be seen. For pediatric language therapy, your ENT specialist evaluates the impact of your child’s hearing loss on speech and language development. It then works with experts to help children learn to add sounds.

Microtia ve Atresia

Children born with microtia (small ear) and / or low ear should undergo comprehensive evaluation. In addition to surgical treatments applied to reconstruct the ear, patients should receive support from audiologists, speech therapists, educators and early intervention specialists.

This type of multidisciplinary team-based approach allows speech and language delays to be resolved and treated with hearing aid devices.

Throat Ache

The two most common throat problems in children can be tonsillitis and pharyngitis. The difference between this  two diseases is that pharyngitis specifically affects the throat while tonsillitis affects the tonsils. In both cases, there may be infections and inflammations in the throat. Anti-inflammatory drugs can treat this problem. However, antibiotic treatments should be added when the infection progresses.

Some children have frequent throat infections. In this case, it is important to first distinguish whether the patient has pharyngitis or tonsillitis. Because the treatments for both are different. As is known, tonsils may need to be surgically removed in frequently recurring tonsillitis. In order to make this decision, it is absolutely necessary to be evaluated together with the history of the patient, examination and tests. It should not be forgotten that there is no disease in medicine; there is a patient. So every patient is unique.

However, sometimes inflamed throats can be caused simply by allergies. Allergies can cause too much mucus to build up. Excess mucus can drain from the back of the throat and sometimes trigger reflux in the throat. In this case, annoyance in the throat, cough and sometimes hoarseness can be seen.

Pediatric Sinusitis

Sinusitis is typically caused by a maxillary sinus infection in children. Typical symptoms are often a runny nose, nasal obstruction and cough. In the treatment of acute sinusitis, most children respond well to antibiotics and decongestants.

However, if symptoms persist, the underlying problem may be allergies. If there is chronic sinusitis, it should be examined in detail.

If your child has been suffering from sinusitis symptoms for at least 12 weeks or has recurrent episodes, diseases with underlying mucosal disorders should be investigated. First of all, medical treatment should be applied. Surgical treatment should be considered as a last resort for sinusitis in children.

Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is often referred to as hay fever. It is a common problem in ear, nose and throat in children. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal or can last throughout the year. It typically causes a runny nose, sleep problems, fatigue, and skin rashes. Chronic problems can also be caused by a number of allergens caused by internal or external causes. Especially the environment in which the child lives is very effective. Parental smoking also increases the frequency of allergic rhinitis.

Pediatric Sleep Disorder, Respiratory And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

The most obvious symptom is loud snoring or intermittent breathing. This condition, which is often caused by growth of adenoid in children, can sometimes be accompanied by enlargement of the tonsils. Especially in patients with allergic rhinitis, the nasal flesh can grow at a younger age and obstruct the airway. If it is not treated, it can cause loss of hearing after for while. While this loss of hearing initially responded to treatment, If it is late, it can become permanent. Patients with sleep apnea cannot have a quality night’s sleep because they cannot get efficiency from sleep. As a result, problems such as behavior and learning problems, bed wetting, slow growth, obesity can be seen. In addition, palate and tooth structure begin to deteriorate in children who constantly sleep with their mouth open. Especially considering that the bone structure is developing:  In these cases, dental caries, high palate, which we call dome palate, and as a result, deformities of the face occur also.

Depending on the cause and severity, sleep apnea can usually be treated by surgical removal of the adenoid and / or tonsils. But sometimes different treatments such as medical treatment can be applied in patients who do not require surgery.

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    Last Updated on 22 February 2021