Children get colds often. They are still developing a strong immune system and are often exposed to various germs at school or daycare. The symptoms are common and may not even require a trip to the pediatrician. However, more serious conditions related to the ears, nose, and throat may require a visit to a specialist.
A pediatric otolaryngologist is a specialist that who diagnoses and treats medical conditions in children related to the ear, nose, and throat. A common name for these doctors is pediatric ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. When your child’s symptoms exceed the boundaries of a cold, it’s time to schedule an appointment with an ENT.
4 Reasons to Visit a Pediatric ENT Specialist
There’s a reason for the term common cold. Cold symptoms like congestion, earache, and sore throat are responsible for the majority of visits to any pediatrician every year. These recurring symptoms make it difficult to know when to seek the help of a specialist. Here are four reasons you should take your child to see an ENT doctor.
This might not seem like a symptom at all, but if your child snores regularly there is an underlying cause. The biggest reason for snoring is blocked nasal passages. The problem isn’t likely an emergency, but chronic snoring (especially loud snoring) is a concern. It can signal something as simple as allergies or something more serious like sleep apnea.
Chronic Ear Infections
Earaches are common in children, but chronic infections can lead to problems. Earaches are usually characterized by ear pain and possibly congestion due to a cold. Infections in the ear canal are usually accompanied by fever, dizziness, and sometimes nausea. If your child experiences several ear infections over the course of a year, it might be time to consider ear tubes. An ENT specialist can help you decide when to consider this option. Hearing loss with or without pain should be diagnosed immediately by your child’s ENT specialist.
Any problem swallowing could be a sign of something serious. Difficulty swallowing liquids without pain or discomfort is especially concerning. Severe swelling or a blockage in the throat could restrict your child’s airway. An ENT specialist has the proper tools and training to look into your child’s throat and diagnose the problem quickly.
Occasional nosebleeds are common in children and usually occur due to trauma to the nose. Nosebleeds can sometimes occur without warning especially during the course of a cold or sinus infection. If your child experiences nosebleeds frequently for no reason, it is something that should be checked by an ENT specialist.
Other reasons to visit a pediatric ENT specialist include chronic throat infections, lumps or swelling on the neck, and allergies. When your child can’t explain his symptoms to a doctor a pediatric specialist can help. Pediatric ENT doctors are specially trained with proper tools to treat children and put them at ease.