All you need to know about ear, nose and throat infections

Upper respiratory tract infections can come on at any stage, even when the weather is mild. In summer allergies can cause some of the same early symptoms of an upper respiratory tract infection. The trick is to catch these symptoms before they develop into a full blown infection, and treat them so they alleviate.

Allergies

If your child suffers from their allergies, then they could be more susceptible to ear, nose and throat infections. Nasal allergies cause sneezing, itching, congestion and nasal drainage.

 

Sometimes for children under the age of four years, allergens in the air, dust or dander are not the primary cause of these symptoms. They could be a result of an upper respiratory tract infection. Here are some signs to look out for that it’s the latter:

Ear infections:

One children’s most common medical problems are ear infections or otis media. They can be caused by fluid behind the ear drum, or blockage of the ear canal.

Symptoms:

  • Pulling or tugging at the ear
  • Fever
  • Drainage from the ear that is thick or runny and yellow
  • Trouble sleeping
Sore throats:

Allergies from pollen and dander can lead to the formation of too much mucous in the back of the throat and nasal cavity. This mucous can then run or drip down the back of the throat causing ‘post-nasal-drip’. This can cause coughs, sore throat and a croaky voice.

Symptoms:

  • Redness at the back of the throat
  • Swollen glands in the neck
  • Bad breath
  • Pain on swallowing
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Sinusitis:

If your child continues to come down with recurrent ear, nose or throat infections then it could be a sign that there is something else going on. Engorged adenoids and tonsils will contribute to ear, nose and throat infections if not remedied. Contact your GP or healthcare provider if you think your child needs their tonsils or adenoids checked.

Symptoms:

  • A cold lasting more than 10 to 14 days
  • Thick yellow, green nasal drainage
  • A cough, sore throat and/or bad breath caused by post nasal drip
  • Irritability and fatigue
Sleep trouble

Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of allergies which can affect the quality of life and everyday performance. If allergies are prevalent, snoring and obstructive sleep apnea can occur because of congestion in the nasal airway.

 

Treatment
  • Doctors may prescribe an antibiotic for an ear infection, throat infection or sinusitis
  • Ear drops to help alleviate mucous build up in the ear canal
  • Natural remedies for ‘swimmers ear’ include drops of olive oil and vinegar into the ear canal
  • Nasal decongestants to alleviate sinus pressure
  • Pain killers and ibuprofen to help with pain and fever

 

If you are unsure what’s bothering your child, please don’t hesitate to contact your GP or healthcare provider.

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