Endoscopic sinus surgery

Ear nose and throat problems in children and adolescents aren’t uncommon — since they’re bodies are still growing and their immune systems are still developing. Some common ENT problems can be very serious and have lasting effects in a child’s health, so it’s important to be aware of what they are. Here are three common ENT problems that can affect children and young people.

Obstructed Sleep Apnea
One ENT problem that affects children in obstructed sleep apnea (OSA), which causes breathing difficulties for about 2% to 4% of children. Ten percent of children snore, which is usually due to an issue in the throat, like swollen tonsils. Tonsillectomies are actually more performed now because of OSA than because of infection. Thirty years ago, about nine in 10 tonsillectomies were performed because of infection. That number has dropped to just two in 10 — 80% of them are now done due to OSA.

Ear Infections and Problems
Ear infections are also pretty common ENT problems. Most children (83%) will experience an ear infection before their third birthday. Cholesteatoma and other chronic ear problems can also plague children, since their bodies are still growing and their immune systems are still developing — most ear problems begin with some type of infection.

Cleft Lip and Palate
Another ENT problem that many children face is actually a birth defect. Cleft lip and cleft palate occur when part of a baby’s mouth, roof of the mouth, or lip does not fully form, creating a cleft. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 2,650 babies are born with a cleft palate and 4,440 are born with a cleft lip (with or without a cleft palate) each year. It’s recommended that surgery is performed within the baby’s first year to correct it.

Does your child suffer from any of these common ENT problems? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section below.