Earache, sore throat, snuffles – a lot of unpleasant symptoms and sleepless nights. Temper of parents having small children is often substantially tried by a respiratory disease, a serious common cold or snuffles caused by allergy. Moreover parents certainly do not recognize cases, when the small child being incapable of speaking frequently snatches at his ear, as the beginning of a painful inflammation in the internal ear – although the child gives signals. Otorhinolaryngological specialists of our clinic have wide experience in diagnosing, curing and healing the full range of ear, nose and throat problems.
Dr. Krisztina Balogh, otorhinolaryngological specialist welcomes children who need individual care to her consultation each Monday between 14.00 and 16.00.
Cause of simple stuffy nose or nasal obstruction could be the presence of an oversized adenoid, allergy, nasal septum deviation or nasal polyp. Grounds of an earache may be an inflammation in the ear canal, inflammatory disease of the middle ear (otitis media) or in case of recurrency a so-called chronic otitis media.
Since all diseases need different treatment the most important aspect is the exact diagnosis which is the precondition of the safe curing and healing for the children, all to the satisfaction of the parents.
Nasal breathing disorders at small children
This problem is typical for the preschool (or sometimes for nursery) age when the child starts visiting children’s communities or his older brothers and sisters, already attending the nursery or kindergarten, import the diseases from the said communities to home.
Reason of the nasal breathing disorder could be the oversized adenoid. Its symptoms are: snoring, frequent infection of upper airways, breathing with open mouth or impaired hearing.
Parents may also realize the aforesaid symptoms in a way that their child often asks for repetition of what they said or speaks louder than usual and not reacting for whispering.
Nasal breathing disorder without treatment may lead to a vicious circle. Recurring inflammatory cycles could develop and this is why it is important to have the child examined by an ENT specialist.
(1.) Infection (viral or bacterial) (2.) stagnant nasal secretion – adenoid becomes oversized so – (3.) air vents are slimmer – therefore (4.) the child breathes with open mouth (5.) in autumn and winter he catches cold more easily – finally the inflammation time by time recurs (6.) and the problem becomes continual.
If this circle prevails the solution is the removal of the adenoid.
School aged children’s nasal breathing problems
Reason of these disorders may be the development of allergy which is not typical for smaller children but may appear in school age as per susceptibility.
Its symptoms depend on the type of hypersensitivity:
- in case of allergic rhinitis due to pollen symptoms are running nose, sneezing, lacrimation – these are seasonal and last a few months only
- in case of dust mite allergy the prevailing symptom is stuffy nose with complaints all year round
- aspergillus (mould) allergy causes similar symptom that is snuffles all year round
- in case of cat or dog hair allergy the complaint is also a nasal obstruction (if we have the pet at home the effect is a stuffy nose while if the child accidentally meets the animals out of home the symptoms are rather sneezing and running nose)
Children’s allergic diseases must be treated with care since they may cause asthma (see link) or other lingering allergic diseases relating to the respiratory or digestive system or to the skin.
Nasal breathing disorders in adolescents and adults
These disorders are caused by nasal septum deviation (see footnote no.1.), nasal polyp (see footnote no.2.) or the regular and excessive usage of nasal drops (see footnote no.3.).
Earaches differ in aspect of their causes and their location of incidence. It has a great importance to avoid children’s complications originating from simpler common cold diseases or cases of fever since they may have later consequences in adulthood. Inflammation of the ear canal (see footnote no.5.) is typical for the summer season owing to the time spent with swimming and bathing while inflammatory disease of the middle ear is generally caused by complications generated by colds. It is worth mentioning the role of the auditory tube (see footnote no.6.) in connection with inflammatory diseases of the ear since incidence of the ailments is often due to the improper function of this organ.
Inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media)
Complication of acute colds (rhinitis, running nose) could be an inflammation of the middle ear. Since in case of susceptible children even a common cold may lead to this disease, the prevention and the application of effective nasal drops are very important. There are two types of otitis media: acute and chronic/lingering (see footnote no.4.).
Characteristic symptoms of the acute inflammation of the middle ear:
- intense earache especially at dawn and night
- fever, helplessness
- in case of infants: intense crying, sleepiness, fever, vomiting, helplessness with loss of appetite
- in case of children: nausea, vomiting or maybe picking the ears
- impaired hearing
In the presence of the aforesaid symptoms it is a must to take the medical advice of a doctor.
Inflammatory disease of the maxillary and the frontal sinus
Colds and infections of the upper vents in some cases may lead to the inflammation of the maxillary and the frontal sinuses.
In acute cases symptoms are similar to the outcomes of a common cold with snuffles and running nose but the unintermitted presence of fever, face- and/or headache and the distressed mood might be telltale clues for the otorhinolaryngological specialist. A subsequent X-ray image demonstratively informs about the condition of the maxillary and frontal sinuses.
Since radiologists operate and diagnose daily in our clinic interpretation of the X-ray images is returned to the ENT specialist in a rapid way.
Symptoms of chronic inflammation of maxillary and frontal sinuses are:
- moderate occurrence of nasal secretion which often trickles toward the pharynx
- the consequent recurring cough and a scraping feeling at the throat
- coughing intensifies when the patient goes to bed
- feeling of fullness at the location of the face and forehead
- accidental indefinite pain
At the presence of the aforesaid symptoms it is necessary to see the specialist doctor.