ENT is a widely known term which refers to ears, nose, and throat. ENT specialists are known as otolaryngologists and deal with the ailments and diseases of ear, nose, and throat.
Pediatric otolaryngologists are ENT specialists who are specifically trained in dealing with children.
A significantly large percentage of the population including children suffer from some common ENT problems like hearing loss, speech and swallowing, sleep problems, and head and neck cancers.
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Some ENT problems are extremely common in children due to allergies or under-development of the region.
1. Ear Infections
Ear infections are extremely common in children (so much that some studies suggest five out of six children have an ear infection by the age of three). Most ear infections in children are middle ear infections and can occur due to a variety of reasons. Allergies and upper respiratory infections are two major causes of ear infections in children. It is to be noted that ear infections can affect infants who can not express the pain verbally, so watch out for signs like excessive crying, fluid coming out of ear etc.
2. Glue Ear
Glue ear is another common problem in children in which fluid gets filled up in the middle ear instead of air. Usually, the problem resolves on its own in a few days or weeks. But if it persists for more than three months, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor for removal of fluid. Some signs to look out for glue ear include difficulty in hearing, irritability etc.
Sinusitis is caused due to infection of the maxillary sinus in children and is usually temporary. However, children may also get affected by chronic sinusitis which is usually caused due to allergies. An ENT specialist may prescribe antibiotics for the treatment of sinusitis.
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Also commonly known as hay fever, allergic rhinitis is another very common ENT problem in children, which may either be seasonal or last year-round. Common symptoms of rhinitis are nasal congestion, rashes on the skin, sleep problems, fatigue etc. Various outdoor and indoor allergens may cause hay fever and hence it is important to determine and eliminate the allergen.
5. A Sore Throat
Inflammation in the throat leading to soreness is also common in children. Two most common infections which cause a sore throat are pharyngitis (infection of the throat) and tonsilitis (infection of the tonsils) which can be painful and irritating for the child. Sometimes, allergies can also cause a sore throat in children. Anti-inflammatory medications are usually sufficient to treat a sore throat in children.
6. Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea refers to the temporary stopping of breathing while sleeping. Though it is more common in adults, children can also sometimes suffer from sleep apnea. In children, apnea is usually caused due to relaxation in the throat while sleeping leading to obstruction and blockage by adenoids or tonsils.
Most of the ENT problems in children can be effectively managed and treated. However, none of these problems should be overlooked as it can lead to uneasiness, irritability, and even chronic conditions like chronic sinusitis which may be difficult to treat later on.
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Our diverse team of qualified doctors includes dietitians, paediatricians, counsellors, neonatologists, and many other specialists who are adept at handling various health issues in kids.