Ear, Nose, and Throat


Pediatric Ear, nose and throat is a common term for pediatric otolaryngology. Pediatric otolaryngology is a specialty that concerns itself with the diagnosis and management of the ear, nose, throat, sinuses and larynx in children.

What is it?

Pediatric ear, nose and throat is a common term for pediatric otolaryngology. Otolaryngology is a specialty that concerns itself with the diagnosis and management of the ear, nose, throat, sinuses and larynx in children. Pediatric ENT specialists treat most disorders above the shoulders with the exception of eye and brain related ailments.

What are the subspecialties?

Pediatric ear, nose and throat is a subspecialty of otolaryngology. Pediatric ENT specialists may work with other associated specialists such as allergists, rhinologists or cosmetic surgeons to develop comprehensive treatment plans for ailments and diseases.

What are the commonly associated medical diseases or symptoms?

Common diseases that would lead to treatment from a pediatric ENT specialist include, but are not limited to, adenoiditis, tonsillitis, cleft palate, ear infections, gastroesophageal reflux disease, nasal obstruction, thyroid conditions, allergy complications and sleep apnea. Additionally, symptoms include upper respiratory infections, pain, pressure, impaired hearing, impaired balance, vomiting, nausea and fluid in the ears.

What are the commonly associated medical procedures?

In addition to routine diagnostic tests, more frequent procedures include tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and endoscopic sinus surgery. Tonsillectomy is a common procedure in which the inflamed tonsils are removed to improve a child’s breathing and swallowing abilities. Similarly, adenoidectomy is the removal of the adenoids. An endoscopic sinus surgery is used to treat sinusitis by removing scarred tissue and obstructions within the sinus.

Are there any preventative measures I can take?

There are several lifestyle behaviors that can reduce the chances of disease in the ears, nose or throat. The most useful preventative measures include avoiding smoking or an environment with smoking, eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, exercising, listening to music at an appropriate level, and gently cleaning the ears with a cloth after swimming or showering.

What are the common misconceptions about this specialty?

It is a common misconception that pain or pressure in the sinuses is caused by sinus infections. Although pain and pressure can certainly be felt during a sinus infection, there are many other conditions such as a common cold or allergies that are felt in the same manner. It is better to seek a specialist to effectively treat diseases of the ears, nose and throat rather than make assumptions of general symptoms.

Another misconception is that snoring during sleep is a harmless occurrence. Snoring is often the result of obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition that prevents proper breathing and causes stress to the body. Sleep apnea is a condition that can be treated with the help of ENT specialists.

One final misconception is that Q-tips are useful for cleaning out the ears. It is not recommended that parents use Q-tips to clean their children’s ears as these tools run the risk of plunging into children’s ears, accidentally damaging their ear drums in the process. It is recommended instead, that parents use a towel to gently clean the insides of their children’s ears.


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