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Capital Otolaryngology

Pediatric ENT Care

Capital Otolaryngology

Ear, nose, and throat care is an important part of a child's healthcare. That's because kids are especially prone to ear, nose, and throat problems. Successful management of recurring ear infections from Capital Otolaryngology in Austin and Lakeway, Texas is important to long-term hearing and speech development.

Management of enlarged tonsils and adenoids can relieve obstruction of the airway, improving sleep and swallowing. Treatment of allergies and congestion can improve dental and orthodontic development. These are just a few examples of how specialty ear, nose, and throat care for your child can affect their health and development.

At Capital Otolaryngology, our pediatric ear, nose, and throat doctors have extensive training and experience in the special needs of pediatric patients. They are board certified in pediatric ear, nose, and throat care by the American Board of Otolaryngology and offer the latest techniques and innovations in the field.

Our ENT specialists are sensitive to the needs of children and the concerns of parents and referring physicians. Capital Otolaryngology combines specialty expertise with a gentle touch, providing kids with excellent care while helping ease their anxiety about doctors.

Common pediatric ear, nose, and throat problems include:

Recurring Ear Infections and Ear Fluid

If your child has recurring ear infections or persistent ear fluid, she may be referred for possible tube placement. Tubes are inserted in the eardrum in a brief outpatient procedure under anesthesia. The tubes relieve middle ear pressure and fluid accumulation, resolve recurring infections, and return hearing to normal.

The modern tubes we use typically do not require your child to use ear plugs when in water. We like to see your child in the office about every six months to make sure the tubes are still working. Typically, the tubes will be naturally pushed out of the eardrum in about 12 months. In most cases the child will not require another set of tubes.

Eardrum Perforation (Hole in the Eardrum)

If your child has a hole in the eardrum he will be referred for a hearing evaluation and review of treatment options. Typically, the hole will cause hearing loss and may be associated with recurring ear infections and drainage.

We perform tympanoplasty (repair of the eardrum hole) as an outpatient procedure under anesthesia. Many of the latest techniques allow for quick recovery and minimal discomfort. Hearing is tested following repair to confirm successful correction of the hearing loss.

Chronic Nasal Congestion, Allergies, and Runny Nose

Children can have these complaints for many different reasons. Thorough evaluation is important to obtain the correct diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment.

Whether the cause is allergies, chronic sinus infection, an enlarged adenoid, septal deviation, turbinate enlargement, or other causes, we will utilize the latest diagnostic equipment with a caring touch to find the solutions your child needs.

We have imaging services available right in our office and use the latest equipment that provides very low amounts of radiation to ensure the safety of our patients.

Chronic Sinus Infections

Sinusitis in kids presents differently than adults. Whereas adults frequently have headache, sinus pressure, and fatigue, children may simply have a chronic cough. Persistent infections can also cause asthma-like symptoms or worsen asthma. Many times the child may have been thought to have allergies when there is an underlying chronic sinus infection.

Capital Otolaryngology has the necessary diagnostic tools in our office, including our own CT scanner and painless nasal endoscopes, to fully evaluate the problem. We offer many unique medical therapies, including topical antibiotic nasal sprays, tailored to the culture results we can obtain in the office.

Our doctors also offer allergy treatment to assist with significant allergies that may be making the infection hard to clear. In addition, we can identify any structural problems that may also be contributing to the persistent infection.

If sinus surgery is necessary, we have extensive experience in minimally invasive and balloon techniques to provide gentle removal of the infection and antibiotic washing of the sinuses. The after care is also comprehensive, with culture-directed antibiotics, continued allergy management, and close follow-up to confirm the results.

Tonsil and Adenoid Issues

Children may have many different problems with their tonsils and adenoids. Similar to lymph nodes, these structures are located in the back of the throat (tonsils) and back of the nose (adenoid).

Some children get recurring infections, such as strep throat, requiring many antibiotic courses and time lost from school and sports. Other children have enlargement of these structures, resulting in snoring, sleep apnea, mouth breathing, speech, and swallowing issues. Some children have a chronic infection of these structures with chronic cough, drainage, and bad breath.

Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (removal of the tonsils and adenoid) can now be safely performed as a brief outpatient procedure. We use the latest techniques to reduce the pain and hasten recovery.

Most children will be out of school for one week and will be on a soft diet for one to two weeks.

Removal of the tonsils and adenoid has been shown over many decades to be a safe procedure long term without any increased risk for upper respiratory infections.

Ankyloglossia (Tongue Tied)

Some newborns have a small band (frenulum) that holds the tip of the tongue down to the floor of the mouth. It prevents the tongue from moving normally and can result in difficulty nursing or bottle feeding. It may also result in some speech issues as the child develops.

Release of this band (frenulectomy) can typically be performed as an office procedure for infants under topical anesthesia. Nursing or bottle feeding can resume immediately. Older children typically will need a quick sedation for this procedure in our specialty surgical center.

Speech Delays

Children experiencing a delay in their speech production will often be sent to our office for evaluation. Our physicians will evaluate for all the possible causes including hearing problems, tongue tied, and tonsil and adenoid issues, as well as other causes. We work closely with the speech pathologist to coordinate the care for the best speech progression.

Noisy Breathing During Sleep

Infants may have noisy respirations during sleep or excitement. This condition is frequently secondary to weakened cartilage of the voice box (laryngomalacia). We can evaluate the airway in the office with a special fiber-optic telescope to determine the cause of the airway noise and the appropriate treatment.

Other children may have noisy respiration and snoring during sleep. These children may be suffering from sleep apnea (partial blockage of the airway with reduced breathing during sleep). Sleep apnea affects the child's daytime performance, memory, and even growth.

We can assess the child's airway for specific causes and provide minimally invasive targeted therapy. 

Neck Tumors

Children may present with unexplained masses in their neck. Many of these tumors are secondary to small cysts or vascular tumors that develop during embryologic development. Others may be secondary to infections causing lymph nodes to enlarge. We can combine our thorough examination with an in-office CT scan to evaluate the cause and offer the correct treatment.

From infants to teenagers, rest assured that children with ear, nose, and throat problems are in good hands here at Capital Otolaryngology. Most of our ENT physicians have children of their own, so they understand deeply what parents and kids go through. For more information on pediatric otolaryngology — or any other ear, nose, or throat conditions — call Capital Otolaryngology today.

To schedule an appointment with an Austin pediatric ENT specialist, contact Capital Otolaryngology. You can use our online appointment request form at your convenience or call us during normal business hours in Austin at (512) 339-4040 or in Lakeway at (512) 682-4798.

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