Protecting Your Ear, Nose, and Throat With an Expert’s Opinion
The human body is a complex thing, demanding the need of several different kinds of doctors and experts to offer comprehensive medical care. One such specialist is an otolaryngologist, or an ear nose and throat doctor. Ear nose and throat problems are some of the most serious in the medical world as these issues have the potential to not only damage some of our most critical senses but can also leave the individual susceptible to infection or other potentially serious medical issues.
Cleft Palates and Tonsils
The Centers for Disease Control recently estimated that as many as 2,650 babies in the United States are born with a cleft palate and an additional 4,440 babies are born with a cleft lip every year. Babies born with a cleft palate are particularly susceptible to develop middle ear problems, dental problems, and breathing problems if corrective action is not taken. It is recommended that reparative surgery is done within the first year and a half of life if not earlier; thanks to qualified surgeons, these babies will have a chance to live a healthy and normal life. Another serious condition localized in the throat is the inflammation of tonsils. Studies found that children with enlarged tonsils were up to 3.7 times more likely to experience symptoms of sleep disordered breathing. It is suggested that there are between 300,000 to 400,000 tonsillectomies performed every year on children and adolescents alike.
Young children are particularly susceptible to ear infections; an estimated 83% of children will have at least one ear infection by their third birthday with around 30% of children having had three or more episodes. With proper antibiotics, many children are able to overcome the infection and return to health; some however may experience hearing loss requiring corrective surgery. Around half of all children that experience hearing loss have some kind of genetic basis for deafness in their family according to researchers. Medical experts state that the chance of successfully repairing an eardrum with surgery is relatively low with an 85-90% chance of success; as new research comes to light, otolaryngologists are hoping that they can solve the problem that has become childhood hearing loss.
Adenoiditis and Adenoid Hypertrophy
Adenoiditis and adenoid hypertrophy refers to a swelling of the adenoids in the back of the throat due to infections. Adenoiditis and adenoid hypertrophy is most common in children, but adults are also susceptible; boys are actually 1.5 times as likely to develop adenoidectomy as girls. Swollen adenoids have the potential to impair respiratory functions and may include these common symptoms: a sore throat, stuffy nose, swollen glands on the neck, or ear pain. While adenoiditis is frequently treated with basic antibiotics, in serious cases surgery may be required especially in cases where a child is constantly getting ear and sinus infections. Talk to an ear nose and throat doctor in your area if you believe that you suffer from one of these common ailments.