Back to School ENT Issues

PediatricENT.jpgIt's hard to believe, but school is starting back very soon for most of us here in Georgia. With the new school year comes fun, new challenges for keeping everyone in your family healthy. Many of the health issues you and your children may encounter are related to ENT health. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common ear, nose, and throat illnesses associated with this time of year.

Sleep Disorders

Sleep disordered breathing can also have a detrimental effect on school performance. Children that snore throughout the night, have restless sleep, occasionally have pauses in their breathing during sleep, or have persistent bed wetting might be suffering from sleep disordered breathing. Enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids (tonsil-like tissue in the back of the nose) might be causing poor sleep due to obstruction in the airway. This can lead to difficulty concentrating, daytime sleepiness, and paradoxically, daytime hyperactivity in some patients. A comprehensive history and physical exam by an otolaryngologist can often lead to a diagnosis and treatment plan.

Ear Infections

Ear infections are the most common illness for which antibiotics are prescribed in children. Chronic ear infections can lead to school absences, missed days of work for parents, and frequent trips to the doctor’s office. Persistent fluid behind the eardrum, even in the absence of an active infection, can have an adverse effect on hearing. Children that are unable to hear well in the classroom can have difficulty paying attention and poor academic performance. An early evaluation by an otolaryngologist (ear, nose, and throat doctor) can help resolve these issues before they become chronic.


Tonsillitis, or infection of the lymphoid tissue at the back of the throat, most commonly affects children from the pre-school ages to the teenage years. Symptoms include sore throat, painful swallowing, fever, tender neck lymph nodes, and malaise. In some cases, the episodes resolve with antibiotic treatment. In other cases, there are chronic, but less severe symptoms present for a prolonged period of time. Children may begin to miss more and more school. When infections become recurrent or chronic, removal of the tonsils may be required. An early evaluation by an ear, nose, and throat doctor can help guide treatment.


If your child is experiencing any of the symptoms described above, or any other signs of ear, nose, and throat illness, contact your ENT doctor. If you are in the Athens, GA area, Ashford Clinic is here to help get you and your little ones up and running again.