Owing to their weak immunity and curious nature, children are more prone to infections in the ear, nose and throat (ENT). Problems may arise from infections caused by viruses and bacteria or insertion of foreign objects like cotton buds, seeds and beads in the ear and nose openings. Bacterial and viral infections are more common in children who have not been immunized. While some ENT problems, like blockage of the airways, can be easily resolved by blowing the object out through the mouth, other problems may require medical attention. If faced with a serious problem, you should seek the help of an ENT specialist. This is a trained doctor that performs medical and surgical procedures on the ear, nose and throat as well as the face and neck. Pediatric ENT specialists take extra time in training because they manage an exceptional group of patients.
Symptoms of ENT problems in children
- Nose bleeding
- Sore throat
- Pain in the ear
- Discharge of pus from the ear
- Accumulation of fluid in the ear
- Hearing impairment
- Unusual growths
ENT procedures your surgeon may perform
When you visit the ENT with your child, you will need to provide a medical history of the problem, giving details of the development and progression of symptoms. After a physical examination, the surgeon will make a diagnosis. Depending on the diagnosis, the most common surgical procedures your surgeon may perform include the following:
Suction is done to remove smooth objects like foreign beads that may be lodged in the nasal cavity or in the air. The surgeon will place a tube next to the object and then have it sucked out using high pressure. The procedure is painless.
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
Infections of the tonsils and adenoids recur often in children and may cause pain and fever as well as swallowing problems. The procedure involves cutting off the tonsils or adenoids and then sealing the nearby blood vessels to reduce bleeding. It is done under general anesthesia so that your child is not awake during the process.
This process is done to drain off extra fluid in the ear by making a small incision in the ear drum. It may collect as a result of infection. The procedure reduces pain and offers pressure relief. Afterwards, the surgeon may insert a tube to prevent fluid accumulation.
Preparing your child for ENT procedures
Before taking your child to the ENT specialist for a procedure, if you plan on using your medical insurance cover, you should check if your insurer will be able to cover it. This will help you prepare for the costs and keep calm during the process. You should also remember to carry previous medical records such as X-rays. But most important of all, assure your child that they will be fine. You can let them bring in their favorite toy just to keep them at ease.
For more information about these procedures and getting treatment for your child, contact a local ENT surgeon.