6 Reasons Your Child Should Visit an ENT

Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Health.

6 Reasons Your Child Should Visit an ENT

Why Should My Child Visit an ENT?

What is a pediatric ENT and why should you take your child to see one? First, ENT is an abbreviation for Ear Nose and Throat. We are also called pediatric otolaryngologists. Like the abbreviation suggests, pediatric ENTs specialize in care for the ear, nose and throat for children. There are a lot of reasons for a child to visit a pediatric ENT, but here are six of the most common reasons that a child may need the attention of an ENT.

  1. Snoring can sometimes be a sign that something is wrong. If your child is snoring, they may also have obstructive sleep disordered breathing (SDB) or even obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is a sleep disorder that causes a person to stop breathing during sleep. The muscles of the upper airway relax when they fall asleep. The upper airway can repeatedly become blocked, limiting the amount of air that reaches the lungs, contributing to loud snoring, choking or gasping. Your ENT can assess the upper airway for anatomical blockages that contribute to SDB or OSA.
  2. Tonsilitis occurs when the tonsils are inflamed and swollen. It is a common condition for children. Common symptoms of tonsillitis include a sore throat, difficulty swallowing, white or yellow coating on the tonsils and fever. Depending on various factors, treatment for tonsilitis may include antibiotics or in patients with recurrent infections, surgery to remove the tonsils may be an option as well.
  3. Recurring colds and coughs are common in children, up to six infections per year can be considered normal. However, sometimes colds and coughs can turn into sinus problems if the infection lasts for longer than 7-10 days. If recurrent or long-lasting sinus infections are suspected, it is time to call your ENT.
  4. Ear infections are common in children. In fact, by age 5, most children have had at least one. However, if ear infections are persistent or cause hearing loss, it may be time to consult an ENT for treatment.
  5. Hearing loss or hearing impairment. If your child has trouble hearing, you should schedule a hearing test with an ENT physician and audiologist as soon as possible. Getting early treatment can help avoid permanent speech and language delays. If your child is diagnosed with hearing loss, your physician will investigate the cause and then discuss potential treatments with you. Treatment options could include ear tubes or other surgical procedures.
  6. Nosebleeds typically come from the front of the nose where nests of blood vessels are located inside the nostrils. When these blood vessels crack or break, it causes bleeding. Nosebleeds that last longer than 30 minutes may need to be investigated further by your child’s pediatrician or a hematologist. Additionally, an ENT should be seen to examine the site of bleeding.

Learn more about Maria Carratola, MD and Pediatric Otolaryngology at Ochsner Health.

Dr. Carratola received her undergraduate degree and medical degree from Ohio State Dr. CarratolaUniversity and Wright State University, respectively. Following this she completed her internship and residency in Otolaryngology at Tulane University in New Orleans. She completed her fellowship in Pediatric Otolaryngology at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Carratola is board certified by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and has been on staff at Ochsner since July 2021 and practicing medicine since July 2014. Dr. Carratola’s expertise is in pediatric airway reconstruction.

As southeast Louisiana’s largest nonprofit, academic, multispecialty healthcare delivery system, Ochsner owns, manages or is affiliated with 30 hospitals and more than 80 health centers across the region, all connected electronically to provide convenience and the best possible care for our patients.

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