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Clearing the Airway and Then Some: How ENTs Help Patients of All Ages


Otolaryngology – not the easiest medical specialty to say, so most people shed the syllables and go with ear, nose and throat or ENT. Both terms have been around for quite a while to describe the practice of treating patients for everything from sinus conditions and ear aches to full-scale head and neck surgeries. In fact, otolaryngology is the oldest medical specialty in the U.S., according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery (www.ent.org).

ENTs may best be known for treating adults suffering from chronic conditions involving nasal/sinus issues, ear problems and tonsillitis. However, ENTs also treat children for a variety of pediatric issues related to the head and neck.

“We don’t take over for pediatricians when it comes to primary health care for children, but ENTs are specially trained to treat conditions that can become chronic and quite painful for young patients,” said Dr. Benjamin C. Johnson, M.D., an otolaryngologist with Lake County ENT/Head & Neck Specialists in Libertyville. “In fact, symptoms for a particular ailment may appear differently for children than adults and treatment methods may vary.”

Some common ENT-related conditions found in younger patients include interference with proper breathing related to sleep disorders such as sleep apnea and chronic tonsillitis. Pediatric ear issues treated by ENTs can range from heavy wax buildup to ear infections and hearing loss.

“Obviously, it’s not necessary for a child to see a specialist for a runny nose or a common head cold,” Dr. Johnson added. “But when a condition affecting the ears, nose and throat becomes chronic, more painful and doesn’t seem to be getting better with initial treatment, that’s when you or your pediatrician may inquire about seeing whether an ENT can help.”

All ENTs are trained to care for children. Although pediatric ENTs are specially trained to care for newborn babies with airway problems, they are typically not needed for additional consultation regarding children with the ear, sinus or tonsil problems. To learn more on how ENTs can help children and adults and about Lake County ENT/Head & Neck Specialists in Libertyville, please visit www.lakecountyent.com or call 847-367-5770.

Direct Article Link: http://libertyville.patch.com/blog_posts/clearing-the-airway-and-then-some-how-ents-help-patients-of-all-ages-02ff91ff

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