Nuffield Health Cardiff and Vale Hospitals treats both children and adults for a range of ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems.
Easily treatable, if the conditions described below happen over a long period of time, or recur, your child may be referred for specialist treatment. To help to prevent against infections in the home, wash your hands frequently, don’t smoke around your child, and by make sure they get the correct vaccinations.
Recurrent tonsillitis is very common in children and it can often feel like a bad cold or flu for the sufferer. Tonsillitis is usually caused by a viral infection but can be bacterial, and it can display various symptoms including headache, cough, earache, problems swallowing, hoarseness, a high temperature and feeling nauseous. A daycase tonsillectomy procedure can improve quality of life and allow a return to normal school attendance.
Glue ear is another very common condition found in otherwise healthy children, particularly in ages 2-5, where the middle ear gets filled with fluid, rather than air. This can lead to hearing loss, either in one or both ears, which can sound rather like what you hear when you cover your ears with your hands. If your child has symptoms of glue ear which have lasted over three months, treatment may be necessary, usually in the form of a minor surgical procedure.
In children, sleep disordered breathing is usually caused by a relaxation in the throat while sleeping, allowing the tonsils or adenoids to obstruct it. Children who have sleep apnoea may snore, breathe through their mouth and experience pauses in breath while sleeping, feel tired or sleepy during the day, have problems concentrating at school, and some display behavioural issues.In children, the commonest cause of sleep apnoea is enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Many cases are treated through surgical removal of the tonsil/adenoid tissue.
Finally ear pinning, or pinnaplasty, for prominent ears is a procedure to improve the appearance of your child’s ears. It involves surgically changing the shape of the cartilage so the ear lies closer to your head. Nuffield Health Consultant ENT Surgeon Mr Ali Al Hussaini comments, ‘Pinnaplasty surgery usually achieves excellent results and has a profound effect in improving self-confidence’.
In adults, three of the main treatable ENT conditions are septal deviation, chronic sinusitis/ nasal polyps, snoring and we are sometimes required to perform nasal reshaping, called rhinoplasty.
Treatment for a deviated septum is a surgery called a septoplasty. If you have breathing problems, frequent sinus infections or other bothersome symptoms, a septoplasty may be an option for you.
If over the counter or GP treatments do not work for sinusitis, surgery to treat chronic sinusitis called functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS) may be required. The
ENT surgeon can widen your sinus openings by either removing some of the blocked tissue or inflating a tiny balloon in the blocked sinuses and then removing it.
Enquire about a referral to an ENT surgeon if snoring is affecting aspects of your life, such as causing excessive tiredness and poor concentration, or relationship problems with your partner. Excessive daytime sleepiness should be taken seriously, because it increases the risk of a road traffic accident – one in five road traffic accidents are caused by excessive sleepiness.
ENT specialist Mr Ali Al-Hussaini explains, “Sleep apnoea is a condition that interrupts your breathing when you are asleep and the cessation of breathing automatically forces you to wake up in order to start breathing again. This interferes with your sleep and quality of life. To treat this there are a number of surgical options to improve the nasal airway or to improve the upper airway.”
Nasal reconstruction is called rhinoplasty, which is surgery that changes the shape of the nose. This can be to improve appearance, breathing or both. Mr Al-Hussaini says ‘In contrast to filler injections that allow temporary contouring, rhinoplasty surgery achieves a permanent improvement in appearance including the removal of hump, reduction of size and tip enhanced rotation’.