Los Angeles Hearing Aid Doctor

When Your Child Should See a Pediatric Otolaryngologist in Los Angeles


Los Angeles Hearing Aid Doctor for Children

Determining what is causing problems for your child is the first step in helping them get better. Our pediatric otolaryngologists at Westside Head and Neck are skilled at diagnosing and treating a wide range of ear, nose and throat conditions in children.

If your child needs surgical or medical treatment for illnesses or issues affecting the ear, nose, or throat, a pediatric otolaryngologist has the expertise and qualifications to best treat them.

What is a Pediatric Otolaryngologist?

A pediatric otolaryngologist, (or ENT doctor), specializes in the medical and surgical care of infants, children and adolescents with disorders that affect the ears, nose, throat, head and neck. Pediatric otolaryngologists diagnose and treat a variety of health conditions, including, but not limited to, tonsillitis, laryngomalacia, ear infections, and sleep apnea.

A pediatric otolaryngologist typically: 

  • Evaluates a patient’s medical history and educates about disease prevention
  • Performs examination of the ear, nose, throat, head and neck
  • Performs hearing and speech screenings
  • Orders and interprets laboratory and imaging tests and prescribes medications
  • Diagnoses and treats acute and chronic diseases and conditions that affect the ears, nose, throat, head and neck including ear and throat infections, voice box problems, thyroid disease, and swallowing problems
  • Performs surgical procedures on the ears, nose, throat, head and neck, such as myringotomy, tonsillectomy, and cleft lip and cleft palate repair

What Conditions and Diseases Does a Pediatric Otolaryngologist Treat?

A pediatric otolaryngologist treats conditions and diseases including:

  • Ear conditions including ear infections, hearing loss, balance disorders, ruptured eardrum, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), cholesteatoma, benign growths, and congenital disorders and deformities of the outer and inner ear
  • Head and neck conditions including tumors of the parotid, thyroid and parathyroid glands; sleep apnea; head or neck masses; hemangiomas and vascular malformations; and facial irregularities, deformities or injuries
  • Nose conditions including sinusitis, deviated septum, chronic or recurring nosebleeds, nasal polyps, nasal obstructions, and loss of smell
  • Speech and hearing problems including hypernasal speech, hearing loss, and vocal cord paralysis or lesions
  • Throat conditions including voice and swallowing problems, pediatric gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR), and tonsil and adenoid infections

What Tests Does a Pediatric Otolaryngologist Order or Perform?

A pediatric otolaryngologist can order or perform a wide variety of diagnostic and screening tests, including:

  • Biopsies including tissue removal from the thyroid or other areas of the head and neck
  • General health tests including physical exam of the ears, nose, throat, head and neck; blood tests; bacteria cultures and allergy skin tests
  • GERD tests and endoscopy with biopsy
  • Hearing and speech evaluations including otoscopy, tympanography and audiography
  • Imaging tests including X-rays and CT scans
  • Scope tests including endoscopy, otoscopy, bronchoscopy, and laryngoscopy 
  • Sleep studies including polysomnogram (PSG)

What Treatments Do Pediatric Otolaryngologists Provide? 

Pediatric otolaryngologists are primarily concerned with medical and surgical treatment of ear, nose, and throat diseases in children. Pediatric otolaryngologists generally provide the following services: 

  • Airway procedures including bronchoscopy and tracheostomy
  • Allergy treatments including medication and immunotherapy
  • Cancer treatments including chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery
  • Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery including rhinoplasty, otoplasty, and repair of cleft lip and cleft palate
  • Ear surgery including cochlear implants, myringotomy, and tympanoplasty 
  • Endocrine surgery including thyroid and parathyroid glands
  • GERD treatments including medication, lifestyle changes, and surgery
  • Larynx procedures including voice therapy, phonosurgery, and laryngectomy 
  • Nasal treatments including medication, balloon sinuplasty, and septoplasty 
  • Tongue and throat treatments including medication, tonsillectomy, adenoidectomy, and surgery to correct sleep apnea and snoring

When Should My Child See a Pediatric Otolaryngologist?

Consider seeking care from an experienced pediatric otolaryngologist if your child develops any of the following symptoms or conditions: 

  • Allergy symptoms such as itchy eyes, nose, and throat with nasal congestion or discharge
  • Ear pain, pressure and popping; hearing loss; ringing in the ears; dizziness; or ear discharge
  • Facial paralysis or injury due to trauma
  • Heartburn, acid reflux, and nausea
  • Hoarseness that continues to worsen and is accompanied by throat pain and swallowing issues
  • Lump or bump in neck, mouth, throat, nose or ears
  • Snoring and/or poor sleep
  • Sore throat, cough, throat clearing, hoarseness, drooling, difficulty swallowing, or bleeding from the mouth
  • Stuffy nose, difficulty breathing, facial pain, loss of smell, or frequent nosebleeds

Your child’s primary doctor may recommend that your child seeks care from a pediatric otolaryngologist for more complex or serious problems, such as frequent tonsillitis or ear infections that are difficult to treat. This also includes conditions that cause breathing and swallowing problems; hearing loss and speech difficulties; lumps or growths in the mouth or neck; and pain affecting the ear, nose or throat.

Our pediatric otolaryngologists are trained in both medical management and surgery, and do not need to refer patients to other doctors when surgery is needed.

Where Can I Find A Pediatric Otolaryngologist?

Our pediatric otolaryngologists are the best care and choice for children who are experiencing any of the symptoms or issues previously mentioned. We know how to examine and treat children to make them feel comfortable. 

If your pediatrician suggests that your child seeks a specialist for a problem with their ears, nose, or throat, a pediatric otolaryngologist has the widest range of treatment options, the most extensive and comprehensive training, and the expertise in dealing with children and in treating ear, nose, and throat disorders.

Best Pediatric Otolaryngologists in Los Angeles

At Westside Head and Neck, our physicians are board certified with staff privileges at St. John’s Medical Center, Southern California Hospital, and UCLA Hospitals in Santa Monica and Westwood. 

If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms or issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us at any time by phone at 310-361-5128 or email at  appointments@westsidehn.com.

We understand that you need someone skilled in the care of your children to help understand their complaints, behaviors and exam findings. 

Our doctors, surgeons and staff are experienced in examining and providing care for children, keeping them as relaxed and cooperative as possible. Our goal is to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to your little ones, while providing you the knowledge and confidence to entrust them to our care.

Why Westside Head and Neck?

  • Quality, Compassionate Care
  • Personalized, Comprehensive Exams
  • Top Surgeons & Board Certified Physicians
  • Insurance Accepted (Medicare & Most PPO/HMO)
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How the Ear Works


The ear has three main parts: the outer ear, the middle ear & the inner ear.

The outer ear, including the external auditory canal, (the part you can see) opens into the ear canal. The eardrum (tympanic membrane) separates the ear canal from the middle ear. The middle ear contains three small bones which help amplify and transfer sound to the inner ear. These three bones, or ossicles, are called the malleus (or hammer), the incus (or anvil), and the stapes (or stirrup). The inner ear contains the cochlea which changes sound into neurological signals and the auditory (hearing) nerve, which takes sound to the brain.Ear Anatomy

Los Angeles Hearing Aid Doctor for ChildrenAny source of sound sends vibrations or sound waves into the air. These funnel through the ear opening, down the external ear canal, and strike your eardrum, causing it to vibrate. The vibrations are passed to the three small bones of the middle ear, which transmit them to the cochlea. The cochlea contains tubes filled with fluid. Inside one of the tubes, tiny hair cells pick up the vibrations and convert them into nerve impulses. These impulses are delivered to the brain via the hearing nerve. The brain interprets the impulses as sound (music, voice, a car horn, etc.).

Hearing & Ear Problems

  • Balance Disorder
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorder
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Chronic Ear Infections
  • Chronic Middle Ear Fluid
  • Dizziness: Lightheadedness & Vertigo
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV)
  • Meniere’s Disease/ Endolymphatic hydrops
  • Earaches & Otitis Media
  • Ear wax/ Cerumen/ Glue Ear
  • Eustachian Tube Dysfunction
  • Exostosis/ Surfer’s ear
  • Hearing loss
  • Mastoiditis
  • Otosclerosis
  • Perforated Eardrum
  • Tinnitus
  • Vestibular neuritis/ Labyrinthitis

Treatments

  • Cerumen (ear wax) removal
  • Otoplasty Ear Correction Plastic Surgery
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Myringotomy with (Ventilating) Tubes
  • Stapedectomy
  • Tinnitus Evaluation and Retraining Therapy
  • Tympanomastoidectomy
  • Tympanoplasty
  • Vestibular Rehabilitation

Outer Ear Infections
Outer ear infections can cause itching in the ear canal, pain and swelling of the ear canal, discharge from the ear, and crusting around the ear canal. Your physician will carefully clean and dry your ear. If your ear is very swollen, the physician may insert a wick soaked with an antibiotic into the ear to get the medicine into the infected area. You may need to put drops in your ear several times a day to keep the wick moist. Oral antibiotics may also be indicated if you have a severe infection, or your physician may suggest a cream or ointment medicine for some types of infection.

Middle Ear Infections
A middle ear infection is an infection of the air-filled space in the ear behind the eardrum. Ear infections usually begin with a viral infection of the nose and throat. Ear infections may also occur when you have allergies. Symptoms of a middle ear infection include earache, hearing loss, feeling of blockage in the ear, fever, and dizziness. The physician will check for fluid behind the eardrum, and a hearing test may also be recommended if you are experiencing hearing loss. Antibiotic medicine is a common treatment for ear infections. However, recent studies have shown that the symptoms of ear infections often go away in a couple of days without antibiotics. Your provider may recommend a decongestant (tablets or a nasal spray) to help clear the eustachian tube.

Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
Benign Proxysmal Positional Vertigo is one of the most common causes of vertigo in adults. It presents with the illusion of movement, which occurs within a few seconds of a change in head positioning. Most commonly a short sensation of spinning is experienced after lying down in bed, arising in the morning, or rolling over in bed at night, but may also occur when one looks up to a high shelf, or down under furniture. Typically, the symptoms last seconds to minutes or so before resolving. BPPV is due to microscopic crystals, or otoconia, floating around in one of the compartments of the inner ear. The movement of these particles stimulate the sensory endings of the vestibular (balance) nerve, producing vertigo.

The good news is that BPPV responds well to physical therapy maneuvers. Medications rarely help. A trained physician or vestibular therapist can perform therapy which can rapidly eliminate the symptoms of dizziness. These maneuvers are designed to relocate the crystals to a part of the inner ear where they will not produce any symptoms. Treatments for BPPV can usually be performed in one or two sessions with very high success rates. This office frequently diagnosis and properly treats this disorder.

Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s Disease is a problem in the inner ear. It can cause severe dizziness (vertigo) and hearing loss. It usually affects just one ear, but it can happen in both ears. There can be a significant hearing loss, but complete deafness is rare. The symptoms can be mild or severe. Although the dizziness can be very disabling, it can usually be controlled.

Earwax
Excessive amounts of earwax, or cerumen, can block the ear canal and cause temporary hearing impairment. Earwax should be removed only by a professional. Q-tips, ear candeling, or other methods of home earwax removal are not recommended. Please consult your physician if you suspect earwax impaction.

Labyrinthitis & Vestibular Neuritis
Labyrinthitis is an inflammation of the inner ear. Vestibular neuritis is an inflammation of the nerves connecting the inner ear to the brain. In vestibular neuritis, a virus similar to the herpes virus causes an infection. This infection causes swelling and inflammation of the vestibular nerves or the labyrinth. Sometimes bacteria from a middle ear infection cause labyrinthitis. Symptoms of vestibular neuritis and labyrinthitis include dizziness or vertigo, trouble maintaining balance, and nausea. Diagnosis may include a hearing evaluation, balance testing, an MRI scan, and possible blood testing.

Otosclerosis
Otosclerosis is the abnormal growth of bone in the middle ear which can cause conductive hearing loss, or the prevention of the normal transmission of sound. It is most common for otosclerosis to affect one of the bones in the middle ear called the stapes. Other symptoms of otoscerlosis may include ringing in the ears and dizziness. Otosclerosis can be diagnosed by your ENT physician, and will include a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. Treatment may consist of a surgery called a stapedectomy, where a prosthetic device replaces the abnormal bone growth.

Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is not normal, and can be a symptom of other disorders. Some of the causes of tinnitus are hearing loss, noise exposure, ear infections, sinus infections, Meniere’s disease, ear or head injury, otosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, certain medications, anxiety or stress, heavy smoking, and thyroid disorders. Tinnitus can be described as ringing, buzzing, crickets, escaping air, and many other types of sound. Your physician will ask about your symptoms and may order a hearing test, scans, or blood work to determine the possible cause. Treatment options may include a hearing aid or masking device, Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (TRT), and perhaps certain medication.

Hearing Loss
Types of hearing loss: Hearing loss is categorized by what part of the auditory system is damaged. These fall into three categories: Conductive hearing loss, sensorineural hearing loss, or mixed hearing loss.

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