Childrens ENT

Overview text of childrens ent conditions

Ear Infections & Glue Ear | Nose Bleeds | Prominent Ears | Sleep Apnoea | Sore Throats

Ear Infections & Glue Ear

Most children will, at some point, have short lived ear problems which include ear infection and hearing loss. The situation may be more persistent and a specialist opinion may be necessary. Even when referred to a specialist a period of observation will often be recommended before surgery is advised. Grommets and sometimes removal of the adenoids may be recommended if the problem is felt to be significant and has not responded to non-surgical treatments.  

Nose Bleeds

A lot of children will suffer with nose bleeds and whilst they are typically short-lived they always seem to happen at the most inconvenient times and the effects can sometimes be dramatic. Antiseptic ointments applied just inside the nose can be an effective treatment, although sometimes “nasal cautery” is recommended. This procedure, which can often be carried out in the out-patient clinic, is aimed at specifically targeting the bleeding vessel, and is usually very effective.

Prominent Ears

Some children are born with one or both ears that are noticeably more prominent than normal. Usually this is as a result of a specific abnormality where one of the folds of the outer ear has not fully developed. It may be a characteristic of the family. This can result in teasing and bullying at school causing psychological distress to the child. If all agree that it is a significant problem then surgical correction is possible.

Sleep Apnoea

Occasionally, tonsil and adenoid surgery will be recommended if a child is suffering with obstructive sleep apnoea. This is a condition which occurs during sleep resulting in brief, regular pauses in breathing. If significant it can interfere with the quality of sleep with repercussions during the day. Very occasionally it can have more serious effects on the heart. In order to investigate this problem it may sometimes be necessary to arrange a sleep study. This is a simple, painless test to monitor the breathing overnight and can usually be carried out at home.

Sore Throats

Tonsillectomy (surgery to remove the tonsils) is the treatment of choice for a child who is suffering with frequent attacks of acute tonsillitis and where there is no sign that they may be growing out of the problem. It is still a commonly performed operation and is sometimes performed in association with an adenoidectomy in those situations where there are significant symptoms of nasal blockage. It is important to remember that not all sore throats are caused by tonsillitis; sometimes the cause may be a more generalised viral throat infection, and therefore a tonsillectomy will not be beneficial.