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Introduction to Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders in Children
Ear, nose, and throat disorders, particularly infections, are extremely common among children.
Ear infections (see Overview of Middle Ear Infections in Young Children) occur almost as often as the common cold. They can develop behind the eardrum (in the middle ear), called otitis media (see Otitis Media (Acute)), or in front of the eardrum (in the outer ear), called otitis externa or external otitis (see External Otitis).
Throat infections (see Enlarged Tonsils and Adenoids) are usually not serious, but they make children uncomfortable and can lead to missed school days and multiple visits to a doctor.
Other disorders, such as hearing impairment (see Hearing Impairment in Children) and neck masses (see Neck Masses in Children), affect fewer children but are potentially serious. In general, any abnormality of a child’s ear, nose, or throat (see Recurrent Respiratory Papillomatosis and see Juvenile Angiofibromas) that does not resolve within several days should be evaluated by a doctor. Sometimes these disorders and abnormalities lead to problems with communication (see Communication Disorders in Children).
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