The Importance of Keeping Your Child’s Ear, Nose, and Throat Healthy

Laryngopharyngeal reflux

Children today are unlike the children of any generation before them. There have been so many medical breakthroughs in recent years and, for that, our children may have never been healthier. These breakthroughs, combined with other developments in adolescent health, have gotten us to a point as a society where several afflictions and diseases that once ran rampant have effectively been eliminated.

With that said, there are still a lot of bumps in the road that even an average, healthy child is likely to run into. With proper preventative care and treatment, parents have a lot less reason to worry, but some afflictions can definitely become serious if not taken care of. Some of the most commonly seen afflictions related to children have to do with the ear, nose, and throat.

Studies show that by the time your child turns 3 years old, there is an 83% chance that they’ve had an ear infection. If they haven’t, that’s lucky! Some experts give an even less conservative estimate, claiming that more than 90% of children will have an ear infection by their 2nd birthday. Regardless of which set of numbers you’re using, it’s plain to see that keeping the ear healthy certainly presents its own unique set of challenges.

Failure to recognize or address these issues when they occur could lead to hearing loss, or result in a child requiring surgery to repair their inner ear. But, preventative measures rule supreme here — even in today’s technologically advanced climate, surgeries involving the repair of the eardrum are only successful about 85% of the time, with some experts claiming the number is closer to 90%. Regardless, it is vital to make sure your child sees an ear, nose, and throat doctor so that they never require surgery in the first place.

Another common affliction is sleep disordered breathing. About 3% of all children suffer from some form of sleep disordered breathing — a constriction of the airways which could give your child long-term breathing difficulties, or require them to undergo vocal cord surgery, if not addressed. You may see the symptoms of this affliction manifest in the form of snoring at a very young age.

Sinus infections are also very common, sometimes even being the direct result of failing to address the above-mentioned sleep disordered breathing symptoms. We’ve all probably had sinus infections before, but it is particularly important that we make sure our children are not left to fend for themselves should they ever experience one.

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