Having a sick child is a parent’s worst nightmare; and in some ways it’s even worse when the child in question is too young to express what’s hurting them. If your child is diagnosed with a disorder of any kind, your first reaction may be to panic. But rest assured that should your child’s condition have to do with the ear, nose, or throat, there are many caring professionals who specialize in such issues. Although every child and every medical condition is different, you should know that there are options. Below are some conditions that can be treated by ear, nose, and throat specialists. Many are particularly easy to correct when dealt with while the child is young.
1. Airway Reconstruction
Although not an issue so much as a solution, the idea of airway reconstruction is something that may frighten some parents. It can be the answer to something as simple as sleep disordered breathing or something as concerning as breathing difficulties. It’s been estimated that 1 to 3% of children will experience not only snoring, but sleep disordered breathing — very related to sleep apnea. This can cause more serious issues down the road, leading many doctors to recommend an airway reconstruction. This procedure may sound intimidating at first, but is done fairly commonly and can seriously improve a child’s everyday life.
2. Cleft Palate Repair
A cleft lip or palate is technically, for many children, a “cosmetic” issue. But it will cause problems later on in life, whether physical or social or both. The fact is that a cleft palate can be repaired when a child is quite young, before he or she can even remember the procedure. In fact, most cleft lip repairs are done within the first few months of life, and are recommended to be finished before the child is 12 months old. Cleft palate repairs, on the other hand, should be done within the first 18 months of life.
The removal of the tonsils is believed by many to be a remedy for repeated infections in an individual’s tonsils. It’s true 30 years ago, 90% of tonsillectomies were related to recurrent infection. However, today only 20% are done for recurrent infections, while 80% are for obstructive sleep problems. Sleep problems may not be taken seriously at first — but they can seriously affect a child’s physical and mental health. A tonsillectomy could be the solution to years of problems. It’s definitely better done during childhood versus adulthood.
4. Ear Infection Solutions
Many children suffer from recurrent ear infections. These infections can lead to serious health problems down the road at worst — at best they lead to continuous hospitalization and pain. Many of the side effects of ear infections include fever and pain. A simple procedure could put an end to ear infections, and improve a child’s life.