Children are prone to airway problems that can affect their breathing and lead to unpleasant or painful symptoms. Some are minor, but others can be more serious. The most common causes include upper and lower respiratory tract infections, colds, flu, sinus infections, asthma, croup, bronchiolitis and pneumonia.
These conditions can lead to shortness of breath, wheezing, rapid breathing and congestion.
Gastric reflux can also cause problems. This occurs when stomach acid backs up into the throat. Your child may complain of swallowing difficulty, sore throat, cough, wheezing and postnasal drip. Other possible airway problems that affect children include allergies, teething and sleep apnea.
We want to make sure your child doesn’t suffer, and are committed to finding a solution to your child’s airway problems. Our physicians may order diagnostic testing to help figure out what is causing symptoms.
Otolaryngologists have the training to examine the patient’s airway from the nose to the voice box. Sometimes a small 3 mm diameter flexible endoscope is placed in an anesthetized nose in the office to view the nasal cavity (looking for nasal polyps, sinus discharge or large adenoid) to the voice box (to look for causes of troubled breathing, hoarseness, cough). This procedure, flexible laryngoscopy, can not only provide an immediate diagnosis without exposure to x-rays but is also a fraction of the cost of CT and MRIs of your neck or lungs.