Paediatric ENT disorders

Hearing Problems

Hearing Problems

The commonest cause of hearing loss in children is Fluid behind the ear drum is also referred to as "Glue ear" or middle ear effusion.  As this space is meant to be air filled it results in a sensation of blockage and moderate hearing loss. Other rarer causes include cholesteotoma, perforated ear drums and congenital losses. 

It frequently occurs as a result of previous middle ear infection but can also occur due to large adenoids, allergy or following colds.

It's a common condition in children which usually resolved spontaneously. If it persists beyond 3 months then Grommets are usualy indicated. Along with treatment of any contributing factors.

Ear Infections

Ear Infections

Ear infections in children are usually of the middle ear and known as Acute Otitis Media. Infections of the ear canal or Otitis Externa can also occur but are less common.

Many children will experience occasional episodes of Acute Otitis Media, often in conjunction with colds. Symptoms inculde fever, pain, sleep disturbance and hearing loss. On examination the ear drum is red and bulgeing with pus in the middle ear space. In some cases the ear drum may perforate and pus will discharge from the ear.

Most require no specific treatment or a course of antibiotics

Children who suffer repeated, frequent epiosdes may benefit from Grommets with or without Adenoidectomy.

Snoring and Sleep Apnoea

Snoring is not uncommon in children but if its happening most nights and particularly if there are episodes of obstruction of breathing (apnoea) then treatment is needed.

A large number of studies have shown that these problems lead to a disturbance of normal sleep patterns with a loss of phases of deep sleep. This can have a number of implications including tiredness and impacts on learning and development.

Adenotonsillectomy is the most common treatment but on occasion treatment of nasal allergy or adenoidectomy alone is sufficent.

Blocked and Runny Noses

Blocked and runny noses in children, either persistent or recurrent, are usually due to allergy or adenoid issues. Assessment may require blood tests and Xrays in addition to clinical examination. Sinusitis and other causes are less common but need to be considered.