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February is Kids ENT Health Month

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  • Written By: Cydney Shriver
February is Kids ENT Health Month

In February, Myrtue Medical Center celebrates Kids ENT Health Month to help spread awareness on how to best help kids and adults stay ENT healthy.

Ear, Nose, and Throat Specialist at Myrtue Medical Center

Myrtue’s Outpatient Specialty Clinic is lucky to have Dr. Paul Sherrerd come to Harlan every Tuesday of the month from Family ENT out of Omaha. Dr. Sherrerd sees a wide range of patients from pediatrics to geriatrics for a variety of reasons:

  • Sinusitis
  • Tinnitus: Feeling of ringing or other sounds in one or both ears
  • Vertigo: Motion-related dizziness or sickness
  • Allergic Rhinitis: Allergic reaction resulting in symptoms like itchy, watery eyes and sneezing
  • Adenoidectomies (adenoid removal surgery): Procedure to remove a child's adenoid glands
  • Pediatric Ear Infection Problems

"Dr. Sherrerd's care and expertise in treating my son's ear issues, including tube placement surgery, were truly exceptional. His kindness, patience, and calming demeanor made the whole experience, from the first appointment to post-surgery, smooth and reassuring for our family,” said Cydney Shriver when asked about her experience with Dr. Sherrerd. “We highly recommend him for any ENT needs!"

What is “ENT”?

ENT stands for the ears, nose, and throat areas of our bodies. These areas are especially important and should be taken extra care of throughout our entire lives.

Ears: Hearing loss affects one out of ten North Americans. ENTs specialize in treating ear conditions, encompassing medical and surgical care for hearing issues, ear infections, balance problems, ear ringing (tinnitus), nerve pain, as well as facial and cranial nerve conditions. Additionally, they handle congenital (from birth) abnormalities of the inner and outer ear.

Nose: About 35 million individuals (about twice the population of New York) experience chronic sinusitis annually, making it a common health issue in the United States. ENTs specialize in caring for the nasal cavity and sinuses, encompassing the management of allergies and sense of smell. They also address breathing through the nose and its appearance as part of their area of expertise.

Throat: The Throat plays a crucial role in communication (speech and singing) and eating. ENTs specialize in treating conditions of the voice box and the upper esophagus area, such as voice and swallowing disorders.

Head + Neck: In the area of the head and neck, ENTs specialize in treating infectious diseases, benign and malignant tumors, facial trauma, and facial imperfections. They are also skilled in performing cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery because this region has crucial nerves controlling sight, smell, hearing, and facial expressions.

Kids ENT Health Month

Sometimes, children and their developing bodies and senses need special attention. About three million children under 18 years old have a pediatric hearing impairment. Additionally, by age five, most children have endured at least one ear infection.

“Children may need to see an ENT specialist for many reasons, some include; recurrent ear infections, recurrent strep throat infections, hearing loss, snoring in children, nasal deformities, tongue tie, swallowing problems, etc.” said Clare Croghan, PA-C, primary care physician in Harlan’s Rural Health Clinic. “Always speak to your primary care physician about an ENT referral for your child when the above or any other ears, nose, or throat concerns arise.”

Additional common pediatric ENT conditions can include:

  • Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Pediatric Hearing Loss
  • Pediatric Sinusitis
  • Pediatric Sleep-disordered Breathing
  • Pediatric Thyroid Cancer
  • Swimmer's Ear
  • Tonsillitis
  • Tonsils and Adenoids
  • Sinusitis: inflammation of the cavities around the nasal passages

A crucial point to remember is these conditions in children can look vastly different from how they would present in adults. For example, sinusitis in children may present differently from adults, with symptoms like cough, irritability, bad breath, and reduced energy. Paying attention to your child’s behaviors is a safe way to first see the signs of possible ENT issues.

When Would Adults See an ENT Specialist?

Your primary care physician may recommend a visit to an ENT specialist if you experience specific symptoms such as:

  • Persistent sore throat
  • Runny nose that doesn’t go away
  • Chronic cough
  • Chronic sinus pressure or nasal congestion
  • Dizziness
  • Vertigo
  • Severe allergies
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hearing loss
  • Hoarseness or wheezing that doesn’t go away
  • Frequent ear infections
  • Chronic tonsillitis
  • A lump on your face or neck
  • Severe snoring
  • Sleep apnea

Who are ENT specialists?

An ENT specialist, or otolaryngologist, are professionals who focus on consultation, diagnosis, and treatment of ear, nose, and throat disorders. ENTs see patients of all ages with conditions ranging from mild (such as a cough and runny nose) to serious (such as head and neck cancer). Additionally, they can perform surgeries in the head and neck areas of our bodies, including the ears, mouth, throat, nose, neck, and face.

Becoming an ENT specialist requires as many as 15 years of college and post-graduate study. That includes four years of undergraduate study, four years of medical school, and five years of specialty training. The doctor must then pass the American Board of Otolaryngologist exam. After, some physicians choose to pursue a 2-year fellowship for more extensive training in a subspecialty area.

ENT specialists are generally seen on a referral basis from your primary care physician. To schedule an appointment at Myrtue Medical Center to speak about possible ENT issues, call us at 712.755.4516 or use your MyChart account. Let’s all dedicate this year to helping kids and adults alike stay ENT healthy!

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