Pediatric otolaryngologists, also known as pediatric ear, nose & throat doctors (ENT doctors), are physicians who treat children's disorders of the ear, nasal, and throat structures. These disorders can include children's issues with speech, breathing, swallowing, hearing, speaking, and craniofacial (head and neck) tumors. Pediatric ENT doctors may also provide long-term care for children who require repeated treatments. Pediatric ENT doctors can diagnose and care for the following conditions:
Pediatric ENT doctors frequently use an otoscope (a lighted tool) to examine the ear and ear canal. If hearing disorders are suspected, a pediatric ENT doctor may order an auditory brainstem response (ABR) hearing test. For nasal problems, patients can undergo a nasendoscopy (nose exam). Throat and airway issues may be diagnosed through fiberoptic laryngoscopy (small camera device which examines the throat), a sleep study, and/or fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing (FEES). Pediatric ENT doctors may also use culture biopsies (tissue samples), where laboratory tests by a pathologist may reveal abnormalities. Pediatric ENT doctors may refer patients to pediatric radiologists for CT and MRI diagnostic scans. If a disorder is detected, pediatric ENT doctors may provide treatments such as:
Pediatric ENT doctors frequently consult with other pediatric specialists such as pediatric audiologists, speech language pathologists, child-life specialists, pediatric radiologists, allergists, and pediatric plastic surgeons, among other pediatric medical professionals.