Pacific ENT Medical Group offers friendly, personalized and comprehensive care of diseases and disorders of the Ear, Nose, Throat and for children and young adults. We are conveniently located, open 5 days per week and offer all aspects of ENT care, both medical and surgical. We also provide allergy testing and treatment. Audiograms (hearing tests) and hearing aids are available at our office.
Does your child have chronic ear infections?
Pediatric ENT Conditions
Ear Infections and Ear Tubes
Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear. It is more common in young children and is often associated with “colds”, allergy or upper respiratory infections. It may cause earache, fever, hearing loss and irritability.
Occasionally, the eardrum ruptures during an infection resulting in drainage from the ear canal. After the infection resolves, fluid and mucus may remain in the middle ear causing hearing loss.
The diagnosis of a middle ear infection is made by history and physical examination using an otoscope to visualize the eardrum. A tympanogram may be used to measure the air pressure in the middle ear to see how well the eustachian tube is working.
If the infection or fluid does not respond to medications, a procedure called a myringotomy may be recommended. A small incision (opening) is made in the ear drum to allow the fluid to drain. The incision usually heals quickly, in a few days unless a ventilation or PE tube is placed in the incision to maintain the opening. The ventilation tube may remain in place for several weeks or months.
Swimmer’s ear is an infection of the outer ear or ear canal. It frequently occurs when water becomes trapped in the ear while swimming or bathing.
Symptoms of an outer ear infection include ear pain that is aggravated by tugging on the ear. Other symptoms include:
- Hearing loss or ear fullness
- Swelling around the ear
Treatment includes cleaning of the ear and treatment with ear drops that may contain boric or acetic acid or antibiotics. If the canal is swollen shut, a sponge or wick may be placed in the ear canal so that the antibiotics drops will be effective.
Ear infections may be prevented by drying the ear after swimming or bathing. A hair dryer is an effective way to dry the ears. Do not use a Q-tip because it may irritate the ear canal skin, remove protective earwax and it may pack the moisture deeper into the ear canal. If you do not have a hole in the eardrum, a 50:50 mixture of alcohol and vinegar may be used as an eardrop to prevent infections after swimming.
Children have small, underdeveloped sinus cavities at birth. The sinus cavities are not fully developed until age 20. Symptoms of sinusitis may be different from those that adults experience. Symptoms of sinusitis in children include:
- A “cold” lasting more than 10 to 14 days, sometimes with a low grade fever, thick yellow-green nasal drainage, post-nasal drip that may cause a sore throat, cough and bad breath.
- Headache (usually in children age six or older)
- Irritability and low energy
- Swelling around the eyes
Viral upper respiratory tract infections (colds) and allergies may predispose children to sinusitis. Avoiding exposure to environmental allergies and tobacco smoke helps reduce the risk of sinus infections. Children in daycare also may experience more frequent sinus infections. Stomach acid reflux disease may be a cause of sinusitis in children.
Sinus infections are diagnosed by history and a physical examination. An x-ray called a CT scan may be ordered to help with the diagnosis and treatment.
Medications for infections and/or allergies are usually effective in treating sinus infections in children. If a child’s infection is severe or persistent, surgical therapy may be recommended. Adenoidectomy or endoscopic sinus surgery may be indicated for chronic sinus infections.
Tonsils and Adenoid
Bacterial infections of the tonsils are first treated with antibiotics. Sometimes removal of the tonsils and/or adenoids may be recommended. The two primary reasons for tonsil and/or adenoid removal are (1) recurrent infections despite antibiotic therapy and (2) difficulty breathing due to enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.
Obstruction caused by enlarged tonsils and /or adenoids may cause breathing problems such as loud snoring and disturbed sleep. Enlarged infected adenoids may block the eustachian tube, the passage between the back of the nose and the inside of the ear. This may be a cause of frequent middle of infections.
Request An Appointment
We are currently accepting new patients and encourage you to schedule a consultation about your symptoms and discuss your goals. We will be able to provide an assessment and options based on your unique needs.
Pacific ENT Medical Group can help! Call 858-755-9343 or 760-827-6400