A child’s earache or sore throat should be worrisome for any parent.
Clinical epidemiologists have long known that the six most common infectious diseases affecting children are recurrent ear infection, repeated tonsillitis, pneumonia, frequent diarrhea or colitis, bladder or urinary tract infection, and mononucleosis. Two of these disorders (ear infections and tonsillitis) attack the inter-connected passages of the ear and throat, including the upper respiratory tract, and are the most common reasons that children visit a physician.
The National Center for Health Statistics reports at least one in four children younger than 10 will have repeated ear infections (recurrent otitis media) at some time in their lives. If untreated, temporary and even permanent hearing loss can occur, setting back the educational and speech development of the young patient.
Children who do not have infected tonsils may have enlarged tonsils, a leading cause of pediatric upper airway obstruction and apnea, and the primary reason for performing a tonsillectomy. But even if the tonsils are normal during early childhood, repeated tonsillitis affects an average of five percent of teenagers each year.
Despite the significant advances in medicine in the last century, there remains no clear consensus on how best to treat middle ear infection and tonsillitis. Some physicians advocate doing nothing; others believe that antibiotics alone offer the best course of action; many suggest that surgery should be undertaken when prescription medicine proves to be inadequate.
This difference of opinion regarding the optimum treatment for two of the most common pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders has justifiably caused concern for parents seeking the best care for their children. Accordingly, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery ( http://www.entnet.org/ ), representing the nation’s 8500 otolaryngologists, is launching, “Kids E.N.T. Health”, a new public education initiative that will advise parents, caregivers, and other physicians on the latest diagnostic and treatment procedures for children’s ear, nose, and throat problems.
Why Kids E.N.T. Health?
Consider the tonsillectomy. Some 75 years ago, removing the tonsils was a childhood rite of passage to prevent the onset of infection. Thirty years later, the overall number of tonsillectomies declined due to the development of effective antibiotics. Today, antibiotic resistance has caused an increase in the number of tonsillectomies to treat recurrent tonsillitis. This, coupled with the removal of enlarged tonsils, has brought children back into the operating room.
New advancements have been made in other treatments for disease and disorders of the upper respiratory system. Updated information on the proper diagnosis and treatment of childhood ear, nose, and throat disorders is available. This information, addressing otitis media (ear infections), tonsillitis, and pediatric allergic rhinitis and sinusitis, is now available at www.entnet.org/KidsENT . Throughout the year, new information regarding childhood ear, nose, and throat disorders will be available on this website.
The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery believes that the proper diagnosis and treatment of pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders offers the greatest possible gift to our children – the ability to discover and communicate with the world around them. Kids E.N.T. Health and E.N.T. Voice & Sinus Center of Nevada are an important contribution to this goal, shared by both physicians and parents alike.
Dr. Susan Schwartz, founder of E.N.T. Voice & Sinus Center of Nevada is here for all your KID and Adult needs. Call for an appointment - 702.647.2900.