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Cold, ear pain in daughter, sneezing and nasal mucus in other child. Suggestion?

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ENT Specialist
Practicing since : 1991
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Hello doctors, my little daughter aged 5 is suffering from cold for quite a days and now she complains pain / irritation in the ear; kindly suggest. Also my 10 years old son suffers from cold (he sneezes a lot in the morning - lot of mucus) but won't have any problem throughout the day after that. Please suggest.
Posted Fri, 13 Apr 2012 in Child Health
Answered by Dr. Sumit Bhatti 34 minutes later

Thank you for your query.

1. The ears are connected to the nose by the Eustachian Tube which helps equalize the pressure on both sides of the ear drum. In children, the Eustachian tube is shorter, wider and more horizontal as compared to adults. Hence nasal infection such as cold spread easily into the ear.

2. Since she is 5 years old you should also get an X-ray skull, lateral view for adenoids done. Adenoids are tonsil-like lymphoid tissue present at the back of the nose. Adenoids enlarge in all children between the ages of 3 to 7 years. As the adenoids are situated between the openings of the Eustachian Tubes, they can obstruct them. Does she snore or have mouth breathing?

3. You should get your physician to give her a course of broad spectrum antibiotics, anti-allergics, decongestants, mucolytics and supervised steam inhalation. In addition a PTA (Pure Tone Audiogram) and an Impedance Audiogram (I/A) will help decide whether the ear need treatment as well. You may share the ear examination, test results and X-ray images here.

4. You may follow the same investigations for your 10 year old son as the adenoids decrease in size from 8 years or so but do not completely subside till the ages of 12 to 15 years. In his case, you need to stress on steam inhalation and mucolytics. Also nasal steroid sprays will help (can also be used in your younger one under the supervision of an ENT specialist).

Awaiting your reply.

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