Although children are often affected by the same ear, nose and throat conditions as adults, they are often more susceptible to these conditions and require special care to treat these complex conditions. Dr. Lee is specially trained to diagnose and treat a wide range of ear, nose and throat conditions affecting children.
Dr. Brian Lee strives to provide the most effective treatment while taking into consideration the comfort of our patients and concerns of their parents.
Ear Infections Treatment
Ear infections are one of the most common diseases in children and occur most often between the ages of four months and five years. An infection occurs when excess fluid, often as a result of a cold, becomes trapped in the middle ear and becomes infected by bacteria. This fluid pushes against the eardrum and causes pain.
Aside from pain, ear infections can also cause:
- Hearing loss
- Discharge from the ear canal
- Difficulty sleeping
Although an ear infection can cause your child pain and may result in crying and sleepless nights, most infections clear up on their own after 3 days. However, some persist and could cause long-term damage to the middle ear if not treated. Depending on the severity of your child's condition, ear infection treatment may include antibiotics, steroids, placement of ventilation tubes, or surgery.
Children who suffer from repeat ear infections or fluid in the ear may benefit from ear tubes. Ear tubes are plastic inserts that are surgically placed in the eardrum under general anesthesia. The insertion of ear tubes can help allow air to enter the middle ear, allow fluid out of the ear, prevent future buildup of fluid and restore hearing.
Ear tubes are usually considered when a child has fluid in one or both ears for more than 3 months or has repeated ear infections. The tubes drain the ears of fluid and allow ventilation into the middle ear. Ear tubes usually stay in place for 6-12 months, at which time they fall out on their own. The tubes are usually effective in preventing ear infection and the buildup of pressure and fluid, but these conditions can return after the tubes are gone.
Ear tube surgery, known as a myringotomy, involves a tiny incision in the eardrum. Any fluid in the ear is removed and the tube is then inserted. The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and only takes 10-15 minutes. Most children can return to school and other activities the next day. Talk to Dr. Lee today to find out if ear tubes are right for your child.
The tonsils are two masses of tissue found on either side of the back of the throat. The adenoids are located high in the throat behind the nose and roof of the mouth. Together they form part of the ring of glandular tissue at the back of the throat. The tonsils and adenoids assist the body in defense against infection by "sampling" entering bacteria and viruses. They then help form antibodies to resist and fight future infections. However, the tonsils and adenoids often become susceptible to recurrent bacterial infections.
A tonsillectomy is the surgical removal of the tonsils (two oval-shaped pads located in the back of the throat on each side). A tonsillectomy is needed when an individual has recurring episodes of tonsillitis (inflammation/infection of the tonsils) or an infection that has not gotten better with other treatment. In some cases, a tonsillectomy may be performed if enlarged tonsils block normal breathing. This can lead to problems such as sleep apnea and difficulty eating.
The surgery is most often an outpatient procedure and uses a general anesthetic.
An adenoidectomy is the surgical removal of the adenoid glands. Adenoids are small lumps of tissue in the back of the nose that help fight ear, nose, and throat infections. The majority of adenoidectomies are performed in children. The adenoids usually shrink by adolescence, so adults rarely undergo the procedure.
An adenoidectomy may be needed if the adenoids become infected and swell up, blocking the nose and making it difficult to breathe. Swollen adenoids may also result in sleep apnea, chronic snoring, ear infections, chronic cough, runny nose, and post nasal drip. Adenoidectomies are usually performed on an outpatient basis using a general anesthetic.
Swollen adenoids are often associated with tonsillitis and may be removed as part of an operation to remove the tonsils. This procedure is called an adenotonsillectomy.