Prepared by Team of Consultant Paediatrics & Paediatric ENT Surgeon
Gleneagles Kuala Lumpur
Ear infection, allergic rhinitis and tonsillitis are the common ENT infections in children.
Most kids have at least one middle ear infection before they are 2 years old. Symptoms may include ear pain, fever, fluid in the middle ear and a runny nose.
It’s best to get your child to the doctor to test if it is a viral or bacterial infection. Pus indicates a bacterial infection and it would be best to be treated with antibiotics. A viral infection conversely, can be treated with paracetamol. If the frequency of an ear infection is 4 to 6 times a year, minimally invasive procedures are available to treat the problem.
30% to 40% of the population has nasal allergies. Nasal related allergies or commonly known as allergic rhinitis can bring on sneezing, watery eyes, itchiness of the eyes, nose and sometimes a sore throat. Dust mites, pollen, pet dander or indoor mold can be the cause of your child’s allergies. A cold tends to go away in a week or so but nasal allergies can persist for most of the year. Early identification of childhood allergies will improve your child’s quality of life, reduce the number of missed school days and help you avoid having to use sick time or vacation days to care for your child.
It seems like children always get a sore throat once or twice a year. What should you do when this happens? Could it be tonsillitis? How can you tell?
Usually, most people attribute pain in the throat to a tonsil infection, which is far from the truth. Most cases of sore throats are due to viral infections, which affect the throat, nose, middle ears and lower airways to some degree. All cases of tonsillitis have sore throat, but not all cases of sore throat are due to tonsillitis.
Other symptoms like voice hoarseness and cough are also often blamed on the tonsils, either because the tonsils are enlarged, or they look “inflamed”. Many people seem to see enlarged and inflamed tonsils even when the tonsils are normal in size and colour. The most common cause of sore throat in children is any one of a large number of viruses, none of which are treatable with antibiotics. These viruses can cause high fever and very painful sore throat. The tonsils are oval-shaped, pink masses of tissue on both sides of the throat. The adenoid is similar to the tonsils and is located in the very upper part of the throat, above the uvula and behind the nose. Both the tonsils and the adenoid are part of your body's defence against infections.
Tonsillitis is an inflammation of the tonsils usually due to infection. There are several signs of tonsillitis, including:
- Red and swollen tonsils
- White or yellow coating over the tonsils
- A "throaty" voice
- Sore throat
- Uncomfortable or painful swallowing
- Swollen lymph nodes ("glands") in the neck
If your child shows any of these signs or symptoms of enlargement of the tonsils or the adenoid, and doesn't seem to be getting better over a period of weeks, talk to your paediatrician for an accurate diagnosis.