Ear, nose and throat problems in children can often be challenging for parents. The physicians at Affiliated Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians have many decades of experience diagnosing and treating even the most difficult conditions. The following is a list of common problems and some helpful suggestions for parents.

Ear Infections

One of the most common reasons parents bring their child to a health care provider is ear infections. Many children will see a pediatrician for an episode of otitis media during the first 3 years of life and if these are isolated cases, there is no need to go beyond this initial care.

Reasons to consult with an ENT provider for ear infections include:

  • More than 3 to 4 infections per year
  • Ear infections in children with speech delay
  • Persistent fluid in the ears (more than 3 months)
  • Rupture of the ear drum during an infection
  • Ear infections requiring multiple antibiotics

Tonsil and Adenoid Problems

Tonsils and adenoids are clumps of lymphoid tissue in the back of the throat that can impact the development and health of a child. When infected or enlarged, nasal obstruction, swallowing, breathing and sleep disorders may occur. Antibiotics are often the initial treatment for tonsillitis or adenoiditis. However, pediatric patients who suffer from recurrent infections or persistent enlargement of tonsils or adenoids frequently demonstrate sleep apnea at night with associated snoring and poor quality of sleep with frequent awakenings. For these conditions, removal of tonsils or adenoids (or both) is a very effective treatment modality, often performed on an out-patient basis.

Nosebleeds, Growths or Masses

Children who get nosebleeds frequently, particularly when there appears to be no associated cause, may benefit from evaluation by our physicians. Furthermore, any neck masses or lumps can often be concerning to any parent. An appointment at Affiliated Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians is often beneficial to establish the nature of the condition. In particular, conditions that warrant examination include:

  • Any neck mass that is progressively enlarging
  • If it is congenital, recognized at or near the time of birth
  • The lump is associated with skin discoloration

Pediatric Hearing Loss

Children born in Illinois are routinely tested for hearing loss before they leave the hospital. But sometimes, hearing loss in children develops as the child ages, during the crucial early stages of growth.

If you have concerns about your child’s ability to hear or his or her speech development, it is important to have a hearing test with a qualified doctor of audiology at Affiliated Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians

Below are important developmental milestones related to hearing that should occur with children:

Birth to 3 months

  • Startles in response to loud sounds
  • Seems to recognize your voice
  • Quiets or smiles when spoken to

4 to 6 months

  • Babbles with many different sounds
  • Moves eyes in direction of sounds
  • Notices toys that make sounds
  • Vocalizes excitement and displeasure

7 months to 1 year

  • Listens when spoken to
  • Imitates different speech sounds
  • Enjoys games like peek-a-boo

1 to 2 years

  • Points to some body parts when asked
  • Says more words every month
  • Listens to simple stories, songs and rhymes
  • Puts two words together (“more juice”)

2 to 3 years

  • Understands differences in meaning (“on-in”)
  • Has a word for almost everything
  • Often asks for objects by naming them

3 to 4 years

  • Hears when you call from another room
  • Talks about activities at school or a friend’s home
  • Speaks in way that people outside the family can usually understand

5 to 6 years

  • Pays attention and can answer questions about a short story
  • Uses the same grammar as the rest of the family
  • Communicates easily with other children and adults