6 Ear Nose and Throat Conditions Common in Kids

February 15, 2021

Pediatrician examines ear of sick child in office of hospital background; blog: Ear Nose and Throat Conditions Common in Kids

February is Kids ENT Health Month. Ear nose and throat conditions can affect people of all ages, including children. However, the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery reports that pediatric ear, nose, and throat disorders are one of the primary reasons for children to visit a physician.

Ear Nose and Throat Conditions in Children

Children can experience many ENT issues. Some children have more problems with these conditions than others.The

1. Ear Infections 

Most every child at some point is faced with an ear infection. In fact, ear infections in children are as common as a cold. Most ear infections are otisis media, or middle ear infection. Upper respiratory tract infections can make their way up the Eustachian tube and infect the middle ear to cause pain, fever, and even some hearing loss. In this instance, oral antibiotic medications typically help. In some cases, however, allergies can be to blame. If the child is under the age of two, most likely allergies aren’t to blame for any ear infection. But in older children, allergies can lead to fluid behind the eardrum and painful ear pressure.

2. Sore Throats

Two common throat problems in children are tonsillitis and pharyngitis. The difference in the two is that pharyngitis specifically affects the throat while tonsillitis affects the tonsils. Both conditions can lead to infections and inflammation in the throat, and often anti-inflammatory medications can treat them. Sometimes, however, sore throats are simply caused by allergies. Allergies can cause too much mucus to form, causing a post-nasal drip (a nose drip down the back of the throat).

3. Sinusitis (Sinus Infections)

Sinusitis is typically caused by an infection of the maxillary sinus in children. Typical symptoms are frequent nasal discharge, nasal blockage, and cough, and antibiotics are typically given to treat sinusitis. But if symptoms persist, the underlying problem could be allergies. Chronic sinusitis could also be caused by an allergy that needs to be determined.

4. Rhinorrhea (Runny Nose)

Rhinorrhea, or a runny nose, happens when excess fluid drains from the nose. The fluid is mucus that is thin or thick, clear or opaque, and can be intermittent or constant. The nose and sinuses normally produce mucus which keeps the nose moist and is typically swept back into the throat and swallowed. There are many conditions that can cause the nose to run, including:

  • Colds and flus
  • Crying
  • Cold weather
  • Infections of the sinuses and or adenoids
  • Allergic rhinitis: Mucus can result from allergies, or a nasal reaction to allergens such as pollen or pet dander.
  • Nasal reaction to an irritant like smoke or pollution, or the body’s reaction to other stimuli like cold weather or hot food.
  • Large adenoids
  • Foreign body insertion

5. Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis is commonly referred to as hay fever, and it’s a common ENT problem in children. Allergic rhinitis can be seasonal or year-round, and typically it causes nasal congestion, nasal discharge, sleep problems, fatigue, and skin rashes. The chronic problem can be caused by a number of allergens, both indoors and out, along with certain foods.

6. Nosebleeds

A nosebleed is bleeding from tissues inside the nose (nasal mucus membranes) caused by a broken blood vessel. The medical word for nosebleed is epistaxis. Most nosebleeds in children occur in the front part of the nose close to the nostrils. This part of the nose has many tiny blood vessels. These can be damaged easily.

A nosebleed can look scary, but is usually not a serious problem. Nosebleeds are common in children. They happen more often in dry climates. They also happen more during the winter. That’s when dry heat in homes and buildings can cause drying, cracking, and crusting inside the nose. Many children outgrow nosebleeds during their teen years.

Contact Holly Springs Pediatrics

If you have questions about ear nose and throat issues that may affect your child, contact a pediatrician. Holly Springs Pediatrics is committed to providing quality care to your kids at all times. That includes being there in uncertain times. We will always prioritize the health and safety of your family. Call our Holly Springs, NC pediatric office at (919) 249-4700 to schedule an appointment or talk to a staff member.