Pediatric ENT in Trinity & Spring Hill, FL
Children and teenagers in Trinity, Spring Hill and nearby communities in Florida require specialized pediatric ENT care and treatment. For some children, symptoms that appear benign may lead to more complex problems that jeopardize your child’s hearing, speech, balance and overall quality of life. The board-certified Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgeons of Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists have the expertise to recognize, diagnose and treat pediatric ENT conditions.
Children and teenagers require specialized ears, nose and throat treatments. Unlike adults, younger people are still developing and growing in stature, immune system, weight, and other emotional and physical aspects. As such, children and adolescents require special consideration and care. The most important aspects of care for young patients are
- Use and dosing of medications prescription and over-the-counter medications
- Monitoring for chronic and acute ailments
- Recognition of non-verbal cues that indicate symptoms or conditions
Suncoast ENT Surgical Specialists has the trained staff, equipment and facilities required to provide treatment for children of all ages, starting from birth. We work close with the families and pediatricians of young patients to ensure that they are well and healthy.
What is a Eustachian tube?
The Eustachian tube is a tube structure running from the middle ear to the rear of the nose. The tube is highly dynamic in nature — opening and closing when you eat, yawn, or talk. The design of your Eustachian tube explains why you can pop your ears when you hold your nose. The middle ear equalizes the pressure in the middle ear. Fluid and pressure may build up if the middle ear fails to equalize properly, which can cause poor hearing or lasting damage to an ear. Additionally, young children are prone to developing infections the middle ear. Some children experience frequent middle ear infections.
The Eustachian tube is under-developed in infants and very young children, the tubes are shorter and less angled than those of older children and adults. As children mature, the Eustachian tube develops and maintains equalization in the middle ear more effectively, resulting in less pressure, infections, and fluid buildup. The rate at which the Eustachian tube matures varies. At around the age of six or seven, most children have completely developed Eustachian tubes that do not cause problems. Basically, they have outgrown Eustachian tube dysfunction. Children between one and three years old often experience frequent ear infections. Due to the correlation with speech development, parents should seek medical care for any ear infections.
Pressure Equalization Tubes (PE tubes) Placement
The procedure begins with the administration of general anesthesia with the use of a mask. No IV is necessary. After your child falls asleep, the eardrum is examined using an operating microscope. A tiny incision is made along the eardrum. Any fluid present inside the middle ear is then suctioned out. The PE tube is then put into position. Once this tube is in place, the ear does not need the Eustachian tube and is able to equalize pressure by means of the inserted tube. Normally, the tube will remain in place for up to 12 months. Your child has follow-up appointments every six months to ensure the tube comes out, and the eardrum hole heals properly. The surgeon also examines the ears to ensure that the Eustachian tube is mature enough to work properly without further intervention.
Serous Otitis Media
The condition of Serous Otitis Media occurs when children have non-infected fluid buildup within the middle ear. Children who have inflamed eardrums accompanied by a fever are of great concern to their parents and doctors. Children who have persistent fluid in the middle ear are also of concern. The child may not complain of pain in their ear, or they may only occasionally complain. The child may suffer hearing loss because the condition goes undetected. The child may indicate that they can hear but fail to reveal they do not hear as well as they once did. The condition can lead to speech delay during the critical period of life that the ear dysfunction is occurring.
Types of Treatment For Ear Infections
Treating ear infections usually involves antibiotics. The length of the treatment and type of antibiotic used varies, depending upon the frequency of the child’s ear infections, the child’s age, and any allergies they have involving medications. Reflux or allergy treatment may lower the chances of an infection.
Pressure Equalization tubes (PE tubes) are indicated when treatment is unsuccessful due to factors such as the length of the infections, the number of infections, the severity of the infections, the time it takes to resolve infections, infection complications such as febrile seizure and ruptured eardrum, speech delay, hearing impairment, and if fluid remains following treatment.
Overview of Ear Tube Treatment and Surgery
- The surgery takes around 10 minutes
- It involves outpatient surgery
- General anesthesia is given using a mask. No breathing tube of IV placement is needed.
Your child may go home after spending up to two hours in the recovery room. Your child may be somewhat irritable at arriving home, and Tylenol normally relieves any discomfort. For one or two days after surgery, your child may have difficulties with coordination and balance, so we advise parents to watch their children closely for the first couple days. Children are also required to wear ear plugs when swimming or bathing during the first month. If no drainage is present after one month passes, your child can be bathed without ear plugs.
Vertigo, also referred to as a balance disorder, is feeling motion when no motion is occurring. The causes of vertigo include a problem with the inner ear’s balance mechanisms or issues within the brain. Although vertigo is harmless, it can indicate a serious condition if it is accompanied by symptoms such as difficulty speaking or walking, double vision or severe headaches. Even if no other symptoms exist, we recommend that anyone experiencing vertigo be examined by one of our ENT specialists, but treatment is especially important if your symptoms worsen.
Dizziness is a term used to describe lightheadedness or to feel faint, weak and unsteady. Vertigo is the dizziness that creates the sensation that you or your surroundings are moving or spinning.
Dizziness ranks behind fatigue and chest for the top reasons that adults visit their doctors. Experiencing frequent dizzy spells or constant dizziness may affect your level of productivity, but it is rarely a serious, life-threatening condition. The treatment for dizziness is dependent upon your symptoms and the cause of the condition. The treatments are usually effective.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea
Overview of Sleep Disordered Breathing
Many common breathing difficulties that take place while a child is sleeping are referred to as SDB, or sleep-disordered breathing. For most children, SDB presents as mild snoring, especially when they are sick or have allergies. When the airways are almost completely blocked, however, the condition is referred to as OSA, or obstructive sleep apnea. Children with OSA may face a wide variety of medical issues without treatment, including elevated blood pressure, increased heart rate, and difficulty entering the restorative stage of the sleep cycle. Recent studies show that around 10% of children frequently snore while nearly 4% of children have OSA.