Paediatric ENT Specialist – Melbourne and regional Victoria
Paediatric ENT Specialists manage conditions affecting the ear, nose and throat in children. If your child requires medical treatment or surgery, a paediatric ENT surgeon (also known as a paediatric otolaryngologist) can help. Paediatric otolaryngologists treat children from newborn through to the teenage years.
The most common conditions requiring a paediatric ear, nose and throat specialist are:
- Ear infections
- Hearing loss and hearing problems
- Snoring and nasal breathing issues
- Sleep disorders
- Throat conditions
Paediatric ENT Specialists also play an important role in the assessment and ongoing care of children with speech delay, language and learning difficulties.
Paediatric Ear Conditions
Babies and younger children have narrower and shorter eustachian tubes which allow more bacteria and viruses into the middle ear than in adults. As a result, children are more prone to ear infections and adenoid enlargement which can lead to glue ear or middle ear fluid (also referred to as ‘effusion’). When there is fluid within the middle ear it can become a source for recurrent ear infections and can impair the transmission of sound, resulting in hearing loss in children. Grommets or ventilation tubes can aerate the middle ear to minimise ear infections and improve hearing.
Instances where referral to a paediatric ENT are warranted include children suffering six or more ear infections in a year or where you suspect hearing problems or speech delay.
The tonsils are a pair of tissue masses at the back of the mouth. Tonsils help the body identify infections in early life. Recurrent episodes of tonsillitis (inflammation of the tonsils) are often painful for children and can significantly impact families as a result of missed daycare, school and work. While tonsils play a role in fighting various infections they can also become repeatedly infected. This means they may no longer be effectively working as part of the immune system. Parents may consider surgical tonsil removal, also referred to as tonsillectomy, as a treatment option for children.
Snoring in Children
Snoring in children is usually caused by a blockage of the air passages during sleep. Blockages can occur in the tonsils, adenoids or the nose. It is normal for children to lightly snore particularly if extremely tired or unwell, however loud snoring associated with gasping or pauses in breathing and frequent waking is not normal. If your child looks like they are “working hard” to breathe and snoring at abnormal levels, then they may have obstructive sleep apnoea and should be assessed without delay.
Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA) in Children
Obstructive sleep apnoea in children is a sleep disorder in which your child’s breathing is repeatedly blocked during sleep. Untreated OSA in children can cause issues with growth restriction, behaviour and neurocognitive development. In children, the treatment of OSA is a balance between severity of symptoms and corresponding anatomy – but generally involves surgical removal of the obstructive tonsils and adenoids.
Other Services Offered for Children’s Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders
- Consultation with other medical professionals
- Paediatric head and neck surgery / neck masses
- Complex paediatric ENT surgery
- Allergic rhinitis treatment for children
When to refer to a paediatric ENT specialist
Here’s some of the more common conditions that can help GP’s and parents navigate when to see a specialist:
- Recurring colds or viral illness that don’t clear up between episodes
- Recurring URTI (upper respiratory tract infection)
- Recurring ear infections
- Glue ear
- Suspected hearing loss
- Speech delay or speech disorder
- Loud snoring, suspected sleep apnoea or sleep disordered breathing
- Recurrent rhinitis (blocked / runny nose, hayfever)
Our ENT Team
All of our specialists are fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon and have undertaken additional sub-specialist training.
Our ear nose and throat specialists will take the time to work through the process with you to ensure the best outcome for your little one.
Our surgeons are also members of the Australian Society of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.
What to expect from your consultation
Before progressing with any treatments at ENT Specialist Group, we want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision and know exactly what to expect. Every case is different. If you’re in Melbourne or regional areas of Victoria, we invite you to contact us for a consultation. We will discuss all your options and help you feel empowered to take the next step.
Fast appointments for paediatric ear, nose and throat concerns
At ENT Specialist Group, we’re HotDoc integrated which means you can book and schedule an appointment online or via mobile any time of night or day. We aim to accommodate urgent GP referrals within 24 hours.
Where can I make an appointment for a ENT
To help ensure our ENT services are accessible for all Victorians, we consult at various locations across metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.
Visit us at:
If you’d like to understand more about treatment and surgical options for your child, contact us today or make an online booking.