We offer diagnostic, treatment, and support services for children with conditions affecting the ears, nose, and throat, head and neck. Get information about ENT prevention, treatment, surgery and more from this blog.
Sore throats are quite common in kids. However, it is difficult to figure out the root cause of sore throat, whether is caused by serious infection or just a normal symptom. There are a few common infections that accompany a sore throat.
Common cold can lead to sore, scratchy throat, which can cause your child to have cough, runny nose and fever. In case of viral infections, antibiotics may not be helpful. They get better on its own within a week or so, without any medication. Make sure your child gets sufficient rest and plenty of fluids.
Mouth, Hand And Foot Disease
Enteroviral infections commonly spread among children during falls and summer, although it may occur throughout the year. Early symptoms include sore throat and pain, followed by small blisters and red bumps, particularly on buttocks, feet and hands. Sores and blisters may form in the throat and mouth, making it hard to swallow. Again, antibiotics don’t help in case of viruses.
The bacterium Streptococcus pyogenes is the leading cause behind strep throat. It is commonly seen among kids during spring and winters. Some of the symptoms include swollen glands, fever, difficulty in swallowing, pus on the tonsils and sore throat. Children may also complain of sandpaper-like rash on the bodies, stomachaches and headaches. It is extremely rare to find such condition in toddlers and infants. An ENT physician will prescribe antibiotic medicine for strep throat.
Why Should You Know The Difference?
Viral infection is the root cause behind sore throats, which generally goes away on its own without any antibiotics. However, it can reduce contagiousness, accelerate recovery time and reduce the risk of developing certain complications from strep throat. One of the most important complications to avoid include acute rheumatic fever, a disease that can affect joints and heart.
Antibiotics play an important role in treating infections, but have their own risks, including allergic reactions, yeast infections and diarrhea. This is why it’s necessary to know when antibiotics may be required or not.
When To Take Serious Action?
If your child does not recover from a sore throat over the course of the day, particularly after drinking water, you should consider calling a pediatric ENT profession. This is of high priority, especially when there are signs of dehydration, drooling, stomachache, headache and fever. You may have to go for a physical check-up to determine whether a strep test is required or not.
In case the pediatrician thinks that the child does not need a throat swab or he/she tests negative for strep throat, then you are all good. Most probably, there’s some viral infection that will go away on its own. In case the condition is persistent for 4-5 days, or new symptoms come into play, he/she should go for a physical checkup once again to determine if any other test is required.
At ENT for Children, we provide comprehensive treatment packages to ensure your child is cured of serious conditions, before it turns into something worse!
Have your child ever complained about feeling lightheaded and losing balance when walking in the early evening? They may even have double headaches, double vision or difficulty in concentrating on different tasks. These are usually the symptoms related to vestibular problems. Small positional sensing organs in your inner ear is the vestibular system. These work together with your joint position and vision sensors to establish a balance. Dizziness can result in injury, and balance-related falls can lead to accidental deaths. Proper attention must be given when your child complains about such issues!
Children suffering from vertigo should undergo proper diagnosis by an expert healthcare professional, such as an ENT specialist. A wide array of treatments are available out there, but not all are appropriate for every kind of diagnosis. Some of the common types of diagnosis include:
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
This is most certainly the common cause of vertigo, and it usually happens when tiny crystals that we have inside our inner ear system dispositions, which gives a false sense of movement when you bend over, look up or turn.
Due to flu, cold or any other infection, there can be inflammation of inner ear structures. Off-balance feeling or dizziness can last long after inflammation has been resolved.
This type of dizziness is usually associated with changes in flow of blood to the brain, sometimes triggered by weather changes, lack of sleep, hormones or stress. In this case, the patient may or may not have headache with a few episodes of vertigo.
This is periodic and recurrent increase in fluid pressure in the ear that can lead to damage in hearing structures and inner ear balance. It is generally associated with ringing in the ear and gradual loss of hearing.
This is a sort of trauma that may happen when you hit your head very hard on something, during sports play or a serious car accident. The central brain structures which is responsible for processing the vestibular information may be damaged in this case, resulting in symptom like dizziness.
How Vestibular Therapy Works?
If your child is facing a condition like vertigo, you should opt for vestibular therapy. It uses a wide array of treatments to alleviate or eliminate vertigo and dizziness including:
Balance Training to make sure the body is capable of reacting safely to movements.
Specific head and eye movements to enhance the ability of the brain to effectively utilize vestibular information.
Realigning maneuvers to restore inner ear crystals to their position.
The therapy begins with a complete clinical assessment that includes collection of a brief history of the patients symptoms and how they affect daily lifestyle.
At ENT for children, we take extra care when attending problems that your child may be facing. Dr Daniel Samadi is fellowship trained and board-certified otolaryngologist with extensive experience in treating ear, nose and throat problems in children of all ages. Our objective is to offer the most comprehensive and innovative technological care to children and their family.
Nasal congestion, runny noses and itchy eyes can have a dramatic effect on the quality of life for children who have sinus problems and allergies. It can affect their outdoor activities and even performance at school. Persistent nasal inflammation for 3 months or more can lead to Chronic Rhinosinusitis. Some of the key symptoms of CRS include:
Nasal Congestion and Drainage
Reduced Sense Of Smell
CRS may be due to sinus obstruction, viruses or allergies. Surgical intervention may be required, if medical treatments do not work out. When sinuses are swollen and irritated, the passageways within them are blocked, allowing bacteria and fluid to build up. This can lead to an infection. Surgery may be needed to alleviate symptoms in half of the cases.
What Is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon Sinuplasty is a minimally invasive process that involves a tiny balloon inserted in a blocked sinus cavity. The balloon is inflated for 5-10 seconds. This is followed by deflation and removal, opening the passageway and draining the fluid. During the process, the sinuses may be irrigated as well.
There are several advantages with Balloon Sinuplasty. There is nothing such as recovery time with this method, and you can immediately return to regular activities, since tissue is not removed. It can be performed in the doctor’s office with local anesthesia or in operating room under general anesthesia. Additionally, patients experience less and don’t have to be concerned about inconvenience of nasal packing.
Balloon Sinuplasty can be quite effective when directed at maxillary and frontal sinuses. The latter is located above the bridge and eyes of the nose, while maxillary sinuses are located within the bone. Not only does sinuplasty alleviates the problem, but also reduce the required intake of antibiotics and steroids. This happens because the procedure does not modify the structure of sinuses.
Is The Procedure Effective For Your Child?
Well, the answer can depend on a lot of factors, but in most of the cases, it works. The kind of effect it has generally depends on the patient. Studies have shown that after 9 months, 95% of patients showed noticeable improvement. Also, routine activities of a child is not affected, as they can resume school within 2-3 days. Every patient is unique, and you should always consult your ENT physician before taking any step.
Who Is A Good Candidate?
If your child is suffering from sinus problems or CRS, then Balloon Sinuplasty may be a good option. But you should know that children are prone to allergies that can lead to sinus problems. At ENT For Children, we take special care when suggesting treatment to our patients. We have a team of uniquely qualified and specially trained ENT physicians who have experience in performing this procedure and providing long-lasting relief. Waste no time and see an ENT physician today to know whether Balloon Sinuplasty is right for you. Only they can determine the feasibility!
No one would want to see their child miss out on all the fun because of a sore throat, sneezing or sniffing. If things like these happen at a specific time, your kid may be suffering from seasonal allergies. In case they are facing these throughout the year, they might have chronic allergies. At ENT For Children, we carefully tailor our treatments for the child to overcome their allergies.
What Are The Early Symptoms?
Symptoms might be the same for both children and adults, and in case your kid is facing seasonal or chronic allergy, he may be suffering from:
Red Eyes (Conjunctivitis)
He/she may also have asthma, if there’s some sort of wheezing or shortness of breath. Asthma and allergies are often interconnected. If your child is prone to allergies, he may have other allergic problems, such as food allergies or dermatitis.
Several medical problems can accompany allergies, including:
Chronic Ear Infections: Ear infections are generally followed by allergies, however there can be other reasons too. Maybe the fluid trapped beneath the ear drum.
Chronic sore throats and coughs can happen as a result of post nasal drip
Sleeping disorder such as sleep apnea can occur due to nasal congestion. The fatigue not only makes your child sleepy during daytime, but also affects performance at school.
Pediatric sinusitis is a symptom of a child suffering from allergies. Your ENT physician will assist you in determining if it is allergy related.
Effective Treatments For Allergies
The actual cause of allergies can only be pinpointed by an ENT physician. Here are a few things you can do to protect your child.
Make Your Home Allergy-Proof: It may not completely resolve the issue, but the best way to prevent allergies is to avoid the things that cause it. Mold, pollen and dust mites are some common allergens which can be eliminated. Use dust mite-proof covers for your mattresses and pillow along with a HEPA-grade filter.
Medication: Over the counter medications can be helpful in some cases, but it’s better to consult with a pediatric ENT. Keep a comprehensive track of the medications provided to the child, so that the doctor has detailed information about the medical history of the child.
Immunotherapy: This is not just for the adults, even children can have it. Sublingual immunotherapy is a kind of treatment that does not require “allergy shots”. In this treatment, a liquid is placed beneath the tongue. During the process, the body is exposed to a diluted version of allergen. It allows the body to build up natural defense.
Surgery: Treatments may not work for severe and persistent conditions. In that case, surgery is the only option. The doctor may use an endoscope for the process and he may require to open up the sinus pathways for draining.
There’s also a chance of tonsillectomy, if the tonsils are inflamed or enlarged. Your ENT physician may also recommend removing additional adenoid tissues.
When it comes to balance, not so many people are aware that ears have a role to play. Ears help to maintain balance through the vestibulocochlear nerve. The ears are not the only organs that help us to balance. Muscles, joints, eyes and ears work together to keep us upright and steady. If any of these systems seize to function properly, simplest things like playing, walking, riding, running, even swimming can be difficult and frustrating.
Balance disorder in children is considered uncommon. However, there are a few cases where symptoms of balance disorder are misdiagnosed as something else or missed, affecting the overall quality of a child’s life. A child with a balance disorder is unable to learn, play, and feel as healthy and happy as possible.
How Balance Works
In order to understand the problems related to balance, it is important to know how balance works normally. There are 3 separate systems that the body relies on to send nerve impulses to the brain:
The pressure sensors. These are found in the feet, leg joints, torso and neck. They send information to the brain when we do things like walk on different surfaces, move or turn our heads.
Semicircular canals found in the rear of cochlea. The cochlea is found in front of the inner ear and it connects to the semicircular canals through the vestibule. The cochlea is involved in hearing while the canals affect balance. When the body makes any sudden movements, the liquid found in the semicircular canals sends a message through the vestibulocochlear nerve to the brain and in turn, the brain send messages to specific muscles involved to maintain balance.
The optic nerve. This is found in the eyes. When you see images, the optic nerve sends electric signals to the brain. The brain is then able to interpret different images like distance and depth which is vital to maintaining balance.
Symptoms Of A Balance Disorder
When children suffer from balance disorder, they have difficulty maintaining orientation. There are severe cases of balance disorder where a child is not able to move in darkness or maintain stability on different surface levels. Some children experience room spinning and cannot walk without staggering. In other cases, balance disorder can cause vision problems. In this case, when a child moves his or her head, images appear blurry or seem like they are bouncing which makes it hard to read and write.
Types Of Balance Disorders
Labyrinthitis– This is caused by an inflammation or infection of the middle ear causing loss of balance and dizziness.
Ménière’s disease– This is a middle ear fluid balance disorder that causes the sensation of fullness in the ear, tinnitus, fluctuating hearing loss and episodes of vertigo.
Perilymph fistula– This is caused when there is a leakage of the inner ear fluid to the middle ear.
Vestibular neuronitis– Brought about by a viral infection in the vestibular nerve.
Treating Balance Disorders
When it comes to diagnosing and treating balance disorders, a series of tests have to be carried out first because other medical conditions such as vision problems, blood pressure changes and ear infections may be a contributing factor. You need to seek the opinion of a pediatric otolaryngologist who will carry out a series of tests on your child to find the possible causes of the balance disorder. Once the root cause of the balance disorder has been located, the doctor will treat the condition to ensure your child goes back to normal living.
When children suffer from recurrent ear infections, it can be problematic both to them and their parents. Ear infections, especially middle ear infections also known as otitis media affect majority of the children, often at a very young age. As a parent, if you want to avoid the repeated trips to the pediatrician, the ear tugging and the late night tears, you need to learn more about this type of infection and how to keep your child healthy. We will answer some of the frequently asked questions about middle ear infections in children.
When Does A Middle Ear Infection Typically Occur?
Children mostly suffer from middle or inner ear infections when they are congregated in large numbers such as daycare centers. A child will start by developing upper respiratory tract infection, causing inflammation and fluid buildup behind the ear drum. The fluid then becomes infected with bacteria causing your child to develop irritability, fever and ear pain. At this stage you will notice your child tugging his or her ears.
How Can I Tell That My Child Has An Inner Ear Infection?
The symptoms of middle ear infections may include:
Inconsolable crying, fussiness, irritability
Temporary hearing loss
Fever over 100 degrees F
Tugging on the ears
If you suspect that your child has an inner ear infection, you need to see a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.
Do All Children Have One Or More Ear Infections By The Age Of Six?
Ear infections are a common diagnosis in children especially affecting infants and preschoolers. Almost all children have one or more bouts of inner ear infections before age six. Those that develop acute otitis media as infants have a higher chance of getting more infections later in childhood.
Are Ear Infections Contagious?
By itself, an ear infection is not contagious. Ear infections often result from previous infections of the nose, mouth or throat that has relocated and settled in the ears.
What Causes Hearing Loss As The Result Of An Ear Infection?
Ear infections can sometimes cause temporary hearing loss, especially in older children. This occurs when pus builds up in the middle ear and dampens ear vibrations.
Is There A Way To Prevent Ear Infections In Children?
Common cold is one of the key causes of ear infections. To prevent ear infections, you need to keep cold viruses at bay by frequently washing hands. Also, ensure that your child receives his or her annual flu vaccine and that they are up to date with pneumococcal vaccine as well. Other lines of defense against ear infections include breastfeeding your baby for the first year of life and avoiding secondhand smoke.
What Medication Treatments Are Available For Ear Infections?
An ear infection can be treated with antibiotics and in some cases, a doctor may recommend a “wait and see” approach to allow the infection to improve on its own. As time goes by, doctors have found that treating ear infections with antibiotics is becoming more difficult since the bacteria responsible for them are becoming resistant. If your child experiences recurrent ear infections even after receiving medication, you may need to see an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist) for tympanostomy tubes.
Tonsillectomy is basically a surgical procedure done on a person to remove tonsils. Tonsils are glands located at the back of ones throat and are usually two in number. They help fight infection by accommodating white cells. Suffice to say the tonsils themselves may become infected sometimes. The operation can also be a solution to treating breathing problems such as sleep apnea and heavy snoring.
Adenoidectomy is the removal of adenoids by an E.N.T doctor (ear, nose and throat. The adenoids are a mass of lymphoid tissue which are situated behind the nasal passages. It involves a simple surgical procedure whereby adenoids are extracted through the mouth hence no incisions are made apart from where the adenoid tissues once were.
Who Needs it?
Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are mainly common in children rather than adults. It is normally an option for those who more than often have found themselves sick from ear, nose or throat infections. According to extensive research done by doctors, adenoid and tonsil removal is a sure and effective way of treating sleep apnea. The specialists will first perform a sleep study of the child so as to get an accurate evaluation before going ahead with the surgical procedure.
Why Do The Procedure?
Both tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy have their own primary reasons as to why they need to be undertaken as listed below.
Abnormally loud snoring
Tonsils that are bleeding
Sleep apnea (one stops breathing for a short period when asleep)
Breathing difficulties which might be because of enlarged tonsils
Chronic or recurring tonsils
Nose blockage that results to nasal voiced sound as well as breathing through the mouth
Continuous discharge from the nose
As well as because of difficulty in eating
Adenoidectomy may only be recommended for kids by doctors mostly if they have frequent ear infections, sinus infections, recurring nasal blockages or continuous fluid collection in the middle ears.
Causes Of Enlarged Adenoids Or Tonsils
Most of the reasons as to why adenoids or tonsils occur may be because of uncontrollable reasons such as :
Some children are just born with relatively large tonsils and adenoids
They can become enlarged through viral or bacterial infection such as sore throat
Irritants such as aerosol sprays
Being exposed to children or patients who have viral or bacterial infections at medical care centers
Surgery Duration and Recovery
The surgical procedure is usually an outpatient kind of surgery. Meaning that the operation is one that does not require an overnight hospital stay. The patient will leave the facility the very same day after the surgical procedure is done. This means that any added costs won’t be incurred. An anesthesiologist will be there to monitor the patient through the whole operation as well as ensure that the child is as comfortable as possible. It is advisable that the child should not take any medication that contains aspirin 10 days to the surgery. The recovery period usually does not take long. Usually a week or less. However it is best to schedule for a checkup after 10 to 14 days for the doctor to check on the child’s healing progress.
Stuttering, also known as stammering is a speech problem making it hard for kids to speak smoothly. Most kids between the ages of 2-5 go through a stage when they stutter repeating certain phrases, word or syllables. In most cases, a parent does not need to worry when a child stutters because it eventually goes away on its own by age 5. However, there are cases where a child will stutter for a prolonged period of time than it is normal. When this happens, as a parent you need to be more concerned. To understand this condition better, let’s first look at types of stuttering and what causes it in children.
Types Of Stuttering
Psychogenic stuttering: This type of stuttering is not common and it is mostly triggered after a child undergoes through an emotional trauma. It can also happen due to overthinking or reasoning a lot.
Neurogenic stuttering: Tis type of stuttering may happen after a brain injury or stroke. Stuttering happens when signals cannot be properly transmitted between the brain, muscles and nerves involved in speech.
Development stuttering: This type of stuttering is common in children and usually takes place between the ages of 2 and 5. It may happen when the language and speech development of a child lags behind what he or she wants or needs to say.
When it comes to what causes stuttering, doctors are yet to establish the root problem of dysfluency. Development stuttering is believed to be genetic and that it may be passed down from parents to children. Most parents have a misconception that children stutter when they are stressed or anxious. This is not true. However, stuttering can cause stress to children since they cannot control it
When To Seek Help
If your child is more than 5 years old and stuttering, you need to talk to a speech-therapist. Other signs that may indicate that your child’s stuttering is not normal and may need to consult a speech therapist include:
You may have concerns about your child’s speech
Your child is afraid to speak because of stuttering
You notice your child changes words so as to avoid stuttering
There is increased tightness or facial tension during speech.
Increased prolongation of words
Repetition of syllables start occurring more than often
Speech starts to be strained or difficult
How Parents Can Help Their Stuttering Children
The steps below can be used to assist your child:
During family meals, try to avoid distractions such as TV or radio
Avoid interrupting your child when he or she is talking y telling him or her to start over
Try to create a calm atmosphere at home
Be talking slowly to your child. This will help boost a child’s fluency in his or her speech
Try and avoid your child from having to speak or read aloud when they are not comfortable doing it.
In conclusion, stuttering can be cured, treated or avoided simply by parents observing their children. Additionally, parents should take their children to visit an E.N.T (ear, nose and throat) child specialist to check that the key organs involved in facilitating the processes of hearing, speech and language are in order.
And many more. Many sufferers go through the procedure of attending their medical practitioner for antibiotics, as well as other assorted treatments, many of which fail to improve the situation to any degree. So, what can be done about it?
It is true to say that you or your child will feel some degree of pain or pressure in your nose following the surgical procedure. However, this is generally short-lived and can be alleviated by generally available pain medication. There may also be a little bleeding initially, but that is normal with any surgical procedure. It will stop after 2-3 days. If the bleeding is severe or prolonged then you should seek medical help, as this is not normal. You are likely to feel tired after the surgery, which is usually due to the effects of the general anesthetic. Rest is the best cure for this!
Allow Your Child Time Off School
Expect to take time off work or if your child has had the procedure, time off school. Generally, allow around a week or longer, depending on the procedure that has taken place. Leave it a little longer before playing sports or if your job is active, then you should also take longer off work.
Do’s and Do Not’s Following Surgery
Your ENT specialist will give you a comprehensive list of what to avoid after surgery. Here is a short list of:
Do not blow your nose: It is important not to blow your nose for a couple of weeks following surgery, as this can set the treatment back or cause complications. There may be an overwhelming need to blow the nose due to a feeling of congestion, but do not do it!
Do not engage in exercise: To many people this may sound inviting, but if you are sports orientated you should not do any exercise that requires effort or contact. A short walk is fine.
Do irrigate your nasal passages: If you can irrigate your nasal passages with a saline solution following surgery you will help ease any congestion you feel there, and it will assist the healing process.
Do ask about medications: if you take a regular medication ensure you ask your ENT specialist if you can continue taking it following the surgery. There are a few medications that should be avoided post-surgery, but you will receive all the information you need. If in doubt – ask!
Your ENT specialist will be able to talk you through the whole procedure and options and as soon as a week or two after the surgery you should notice a marked improvement, and this will increase with time.
By the time your child reaches 3 years of age it is likely they will have had at least 1 episode of illness that involved a hearing infection. In fact, they may already have had recurrent middle ear infections. Although most children will exhibit signs and symptoms that are impossible to ignore when they contract an ear infection, sometimes the infections are not characterized by pain, but they can nevertheless have an impact on your child’s speech and language. Ear infections will commonly decrease a child’s ability to hear clearly and if they are not addressed quickly, they can have a larger impact on their overall speech and language development.
Early Years Are Crucial
Speech and language play an important part of your child’s development and if they miss hearing words, due to hearing loss caused by ear infections, they can start to fall behind. If your child develops a middle ear infection very early in their babyhood, then the chances are that they will be more susceptible to recurrent ear infections. Ear infections that include middle ear fluid can have a dramatic effect on your child’s hearing and this type of hearing loss is more difficult to detect.
How To Detect A Possible Ear Infection
As ear infections are not always accompanied by pain, there are a few signs you might notice in your child. For example:
Tugging at the ears: This can be one of the early warning signals. Your child may not be suffering pain, but there may be some irritation in the ear that should be checked out.
Restless nights: If your child is normally a good sleeper and they have developed a series of restless nights of wakefulness and/or crying, then this could be an indication of an ear infection. Of course, it could also be something else too, but whatever the reason it should be investigated.
Fluid coming out of the ear: Sometimes you may notice fluid or even pus coming out of the ear. This would indicate something quite severe, such as a perforated eardrum. This would most likely be accompanied by crying and pain and grabbing the ear as well.
Mumbled speech: You may notice that your child speaks less clearly and tends to mumble more than they did previously. This can be due to an ear infection affecting their hearing ability.
Bedtime crying: Sometimes lying down can have an effect on a child with an ear infection as the change in pressure in the middle ear is more noticeable. Of course, they may just not want to go to bed!
Reduction in appetite: Ear infections can also affect the tummy causing a reduction in appetite or even diarrhea and/or vomiting.
Ignoring sounds: If your child starts to ignore noises or sound s they usually respond to then that could be an indication of an ear infection, especially if it is also accompanied by repetitions of asking “what” or “huh?”.
If in doubt about an ear infection, you should consult an ENT specialist, even if your child does not display pain, crying or fever. If a silent ear infection is allowed to continue it can affect your child’s hearing and may even lead to permanent diminished hearing or hearing loss.