When to Bring Your Child to an ENT
Ear, nose and throat concerns are among the top reasons children are brought to the doctor. This is because children are especially sensitive to issues like ear infections and allergies, and because certain birth defects such as cleft palates must be treated at a young age to prevent complications later on.
Here are some common ENT conditions we treat in children:
- Ear infections. Most children experience at least one ear infection by age three, and 30 percent of children have had three or more episodes by this time. The reason for this is because the Eustachian tubes in children’s ears are small and do not function as well as those of adolescents or adults, so fluids are unable to drain and can become trapped in the middle ear. See an ENT when your child pulls on their ears, seems irritable, wakes up frequently at night, experiences fever and/or loses their sense of balance.
- Nose bleeds. Chronic nose bleeding, also called epistaxis, is often the result of dryness but can also be due to trauma (nose picking), or inflammatory disease. Common treatments include the use of saline spray, humidifiers and/or moisturizing agents. We do not recommend the use of Vaseline in the nose as it is petroleum-based and can go into the lungs. Use a water soluble product, such as Ayr Saline gel which is available over the counter. See an ENT if nosebleeds continue despite treatments.
- Tonsillitis. Tonsil infections are most common in children between four and seven years of age. Almost all cases of tonsillitis (85 percent) are caused by viruses, but they can be due to strep bacteria which needs treatment with antibiotics. See an ENT when your child experiences frequent or chronic tonsillitis, when only one tonsil is affected or when the tonsils become so enlarged they cause difficulties with swallowing or breathing.
- Sinus infections. Sinus infections, also called sinusitis, are often caused by the common cold virus, flu, or allergies. See an ENT when your child suffers from symptoms that last more than two months or continue to return after treatment.
The best way to treat ENT disorders in children is to bring them to an ENT clinic, where multiple specialists work in close collaboration to care for your child’s well-being. We strive to work with your child’s pediatrician to provide optimal care for your son or daughter. Contact Sacramento ENT to schedule an appointment.