At ENT physicians of North Mississippi, we understand that children are not just small adults, they have special needs. Our team of ENT specialists is extensively trained to care for all of your pediatric ENT concerns. We have a combined experience from 5 different children’s hospitals throughout the southeast. We use this combined knowledge and work together as a team to assure you that your child couldn’t be in better hands. Thank you for trusting us to care for your most prized possession.
1. Ear infections- acute and chronic otitis media
Many children experience recurrent ear infections or persistent fluid behind the eardrums. This problem can potentially cause serious side effects or long term health issues. If your child has had these persistent ear problems and has seemingly failed medical therapy he or she might need an evaluation by our team of ENT specialists.
The condition may need further workup with hearing tests, nasal evaluations, or even x-rays. Some children may also require “ear tubes” to drain the fluid or infection and to relieve the symptoms.
2. Swimmer’s Ear
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear or ear canal. It frequently occurs when water becomes trapped in the ear while swimming or bathing and can also be the overuse of q-tips. Symptoms of an outer ear infection include significant ear pain that is aggravated by tugging on the ear. Other symptoms include: drainage, ear fullness, itching, swelling around the ear. Treatment includes cleaning of the ear and antibiotic ear drops. If the canal is swollen shut, a sponge or wick may be placed in the ear canal so that the antibiotics drops will be effective.
One of the most concerning problems for parents is when a child may have a hearing loss. Hearing loss can affect speech development and school performance, Whether it is has been discovered from a hearing screen or it is a parental concern, we can help. Our team of certified audiologists has extensive experience testing and fitting hearing aids for pediatric patients of all ages. From the minor condition of ear fluid, to the more serious genetic conditions causing hearing loss, our team is equipped to serve your needs and maximize your child’s hearing. Call our office today if you have concerns about your child’s hearing.
4. Protruding Ears or Deformity of the outer ear
Some parents or children feel that their ears “stick out” too much which can cause embarrassment and psychological distress. Children may be teased by classmates and even be the subject of unpleasant bullying.
Protruding ears can be hereditary, due to trauma, or can occur for no apparent reason. Typically the outer ear sticks out from the side of the head at about a 20-35 degree angle, and if the angle is greater than this, the ears will appear to “stick out”.
Otoplasty is a surgical reshaping of the outer ear to correct or reconstruct deformities and is performed by an ENT Specialist. Otoplasty is more commonly performed during childhood. For best results, the procedure should be done after the ears have reached their full size, somewhere between the ages of 4-5 years. Call our office for more information on Otoplasty.
Children can suffer from chronic sinus infections just like adults. Our team is trained in the treatment of sinusitis in children and is trained in procedures to help with chronic sinus conditions. Most of the time, this only requires medical therapy, but sometimes additional procedures are needed. CT scan is one of the first crucial steps in diagnosing a chronic sinus condition. This procedure is painless and is done in the office; therefore, you will know the extent of your child’s sinus problems the same day without ever having to leave the comfort of our office. Sinus surgery can be done on children if treatment with medications has failed and the doctor feels that it is necessary. Sinus surgery in children is a limited procedure and much less invasive due to the size and under development of children’s sinus cavities.
Bleeding from the nose, also known as epistaxis, is common in childhood. Nosebleeds are more common in the winter months due to the cold, dry climate. Causes can range from minor trauma such as picking the nose or an injury such as a blow to the outside of the nose, dryness, irritation secondary to allergies, prominent blood vessels and rarely, a more serious nasal condition. Most pediatric nosebleeds are controlled by simple office procedures with little to no discomfort to the child.
4. Nasal obstruction
1. Acute and chronic tonsillitis
Snoring and breathing difficulties usually occur in children 2 - 6 years of age, but can also occur in children younger than 2 years. Greater than 90% of children who snore or have sleep apnea episodes, (stop breathing during sleep), usually have enlarged tonsils and/or enlarged adenoids. Studies show that regular snoring causes sleep deprivation and in children can lead to behavioral disorders, such as hyperactivity and aggressiveness. If you are concerned about your child’s snoring, our team of specialists can evaluate them and recommend the best treatment based upon their symptoms and examination.
5. Vocal cord papillomas
1.Speech Delay/ Disorder
The most critical time period for your child's development of speech is during the first 2 years of life. In our field, we find that speech problems are most closely linked to ear fluid and/or ear infections. Hearing loss from ear infections during this critical period can have lifelong effects on language development. Fortunately, despite ear infections being the most common disease of childhood, permanent speech and hearing problems related to ear infections are rare if monitored and treated by your physician. At ENT Physicians of North Mississippi, our team of specialists can evaluate your child to see if a speech delay or disorder is caused by ear problems or hearing loss.
3. Thyroglossal duct cyst
4. Branchial cleft cyst
5. Lumps of head and neck
6. Foreign bodies of Ear, Nose & Throat
It is amazing what some children may put in their ears or nose, or try to swallow!
At ENT Physicians of North Mississippi, we have special tools and techniques to remove even the most difficult foreign bodies. Our team of specialists is specially equipped and trained to handle each situation, whether it be a minor foreign body of the ear or nose, or a life-threatening situation of a foreign body ingestion into the throat causing airway obstruction. In most cases, these problems can be handled in the clinic, but occasionally, children may require sedation. In either instance, you can depend on our team to personalize the treatment that is needed for your child.
Each year, more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery performed with anesthesia. The average age for ear tube insertion is one to three years old. Inserting ear tubes may: Reduce the risk of future ear infection; restore hearing loss caused by middle ear fluid; improve speech problems and balance problems.
Ear tubes are performed as an outpatient surgical procedure. A myringotomy which is a small incision is made in the eardrum and an ear tube is then placed in the hole to drain the fluid and to allow air to reach the middle ear for ventilation. Ear tubes are often recommended when a child experiences repeated middle ear infections or has hearing loss caused by the persistent presence of middle ear fluid.
Tonsillectomy and Adenoidectomy
A tonsillectomy and possible adenoidectomy is a very common and safe operation. It is the second most common surgery performed on children. Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy, or T&A, can help to prevent recurrent sore throats and may also help decrease middle ear infections. A tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy are not always performed together; only one or the other may be needed. The T&A is performed under general anesthesia, which means the patient is asleep during surgery. After surgery, in the recovery area, the patient is given medications to reduce pain and swelling, plenty of IV fluids are given for proper hydration and then they are able to go home. The normal time of recuperation is 10-14 days. T&A is a very well tolerated operation.