Pediatric Ear Nose & Throat (ENT) Doctors in Foley & Daphne, AL
What is pediatric ENT?
Pediatric ear, nose, and throat (ENT) covers a wide variety of conditions. Children can develop just as many ear, nose, and throat problems as adults, and may be particularly prone to developing certain conditions, such as ear infections and tonsillitis. Depending on a child’s age, he or she may not be able to articulate exactly what hurts, where, or when. The causes and treatments for pediatric ENT conditions may differ significantly between adults and children. Dr. Keith Kowal, our pediatric ENT specialist, has extensive experience treating children with all types of ear, nose and throat problems. He works closely with his audiologist, Dr. Kimberly Brown, who can perform hearing evaluations and provide specialized treatments for children with hearing loss.
What conditions can a pediatric ENT treat?
Dr. Keith Kowal, pediatric ENT in Foley, Alabama treats children impacted by ENT-related conditions including:
- Middle ear infection (otitis media)
- Outer ear infection (otitis externa)
- Chronic tonsillitis
- Sinus infection (sinusitis)
- Ear wax impaction
- Hearing loss
- Speech delay
- Auditory neuropathy
- Infection in the bone behind the ear (mastoiditis)
- Abnormal growth in the middle ear (cholesteatoma)
- Facial nerve palsy
What are the most common pediatric ENT problems?
Dr. Kowal commonly treats pediatric patients suffering from acute or recurrent middle ear infections (otitis media) and chronic tonsillitis. Here’s an overview of what these pediatric otolaryngology conditions entail and how they are treated.
Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media)
Middle ear infections can produce uncomfortable symptoms including ear pain and fever. Many children develop middle ear infections between the ages of 6 months and 2 years. Some kids are particularly prone to getting them because of environmental and lifestyle factors, such as group childcare and secondhand tobacco smoke exposure. Although these infections are fairly easy to treat, a child who has multiple ear infections, known as recurring ear infections, that do not respond to antibiotics may need another treatment solution. Proper treatment is essential as chronic ear infections can cause signs of hearing loss or speech delay.
Conservative treatment for middle ear infections typically involves prescribing antibiotics. If antibiotics do not successfully treat the infection, a device called a tympanostomy tube, also known as a pressure equalization tube (PE tube), can be inserted into your child’s eardrum to provide relief. It works by keeping the middle ear (the air-filled space behind the eardrum) aerated for a prolonged period of time, preventing the accumulation of fluid in the middle ear. Chronic otitis media treatment also involves performing a hearing test in order to evaluate a child’s hearing both before and following treatment.
Tonsillitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the tonsils, which are the tissues on both sides of the back of your child’s throat. When healthy, the tonsils help fight infection as part of the immune system, but bacterial or viral infections can lead to inflammation of the tonsils, with symptoms including fever, sore throat, hoarseness and coughing. Tonsillitis is considered chronic when your child has several cases of tonsillitis over the course of one year or isolated cases of tonsillitis where symptoms last for several months at a time.
Conservative treatment for tonsillitis commonly involves the prescription of antibiotics. In chronic tonsillitis cases, more involved treatment may be necessary in order to achieve long-lasting symptom relief. A procedure called a tonsillectomy (removal of tonsils) and/or an adenoidectomy (removal of adenoids) may be recommended.
In addition to our most commonly treated pediatric ENT conditions of ear infections and chronic tonsillitis, our practice also specializes in diagnosing and managing childhood conditions including:
- Cysts and thyroid conditions – Just like adults, children may develop unusual or complex conditions. Dr. Kowal treats cysts, abnormal fluid collections, irregular neck masses and lumps in the thyroid.
- Sinusitis – Dr. Kowal is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the nose and sinuses in children. He has a broad range of experience and expertise in diagnosing and managing general sinus cases as well as more complex sinus conditions. He treats acute and chronic sinusitis, enlarged adenoids, blockage of the nasal passage, nasal polyps, and other sinus conditions.
- Disorders of the larynx – Dr. Kowal can also diagnose and treat disorders of the larynx (voice box) in children. In some cases he may be able to treat the condition directly at the ENT Centers of Excellence. Disorders of the voice box may include hoarseness and vocal cord dysfunction, including nodules and paralysis.
- Sleep disorders including snoring in children – The ENT Centers of Excellence specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders in both adults and children. In many cases, childhood snoring is caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and enlarged tonsils are often the underlying cause.
- Audiology – Our audiologist, Dr. Kimberly Brown, provides hearing and audiologic services for infants and children of all ages and developmental levels. Services include newborn hearing screening, comprehensive hearing evaluations, hearing aid services, and along with Dr. Kowal, cochlear implant evaluation and mapping.
If your child is suffering from an acute or recurring ENT condition, ENT Centers of Excellence is here to help. Top Foley ear, nose & throat physician, Dr. Keith Kowal, specializes in diagnosing and treating children of all ages with a wide range of ENT conditions. Dr. Kowal also works with audiologist, Dr. Kimberly Brown, to treat children with hearing and other pediatric audiology issues. Help your child get the long-lasting symptom relief they deserve by scheduling an appointment at ENT Centers of Excellence today. Get started by filling out the appointment request form on this page or calling our office at 251.943.1117.