Health: Answers from an Ear, Nose & Throat Specialist

dr-chad-putman-entMoms often have tons of questions for doctors about ears, noses and throats. From earaches and sore throats to toddlers with a bad habit of seeing what might fit up their nose, moms have to deal with plenty of the same problems ENT physicians see every day.

So today we’re continuing our interview with Dr. Chad Putman of Mercy, who we talked to recently about about earwax, snoring and tonsillectomies. (If you missed the previous post about ear infections, click here to read it. Click here to read more about adenoids and ear tubes.) Today Dr. Putman weighs in on what to do if your child sticks something up her nose, what causes nosebleeds, and the truth about earbuds and excessive volume.

What should parents of toddlers/preschoolers do if their child sticks something up his or her nose? Does it always require a trip to the ER or doctor’s office?emergency-room-sign

If it is easily seen near the surface, sometimes parents can get them out. If there is a concern it may be pushed in farther, many specialists have special equipment and scopes that can safely remove them.

Why are some kids more prone to nosebleeds?

Some kids develop small blood vessels along the insides of their nose that can cause nosebleeds and can often be treated easily in the clinic setting.

Are earbuds bad for my teenager’s ears? Can daily use of earbuds damage hearing?volume level

Earbuds themselves do not cause damage, but moderate to loud noise over time can cause hearing loss. It’s important to use a reasonable volume when listening to music.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Putman, call the Mercy Ear Nose and Throat Clinic at 479-636-0110. It’s located at 5204 W. Redbud Street in Rogers, Ark. Click here for a map and to see a full list of the conditions treated at this clinic.

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What moms need to know about ears and tonsils

dr-chad-putman-entHappy Wednesday! Today we’re continuing our interview with Dr. Chad Putman of Mercy, who we talked to recently about about ear infections. (If you missed that one, click here to read it. Click here to read more about adenoids and ear tubes.) Today Dr. Putman weighs in on the best way to clean your kids’ ears, childhood snoring and what factors trigger a recommendation for a childhood tonsillectomy.

Moms often feel the need to clean their kids ears, especially if it seems like there’s too much earwax. Why does the body make earwax and is there such a thing as “too much” of it? How should moms be cleaning their kids’ ears?

Our bodies make ear wax to protect the skin in out ear canal.  It is similar to the reason we wax our floors — to provide a barrier to water. Normally the ear canal acts like a conveyor belt which allows wax to come out on its own. Sometimes q-tips can push the wax in and cause it to buildup. I generally advise that it’s okay to clean the wax you can see on the outside part of the ear canal, but don’t use Q-tips.

emoji sleepingIf a child isn’t overweight but snores loudly, should he or she be evaluated by an ENT? 

The primary concern we have with loud snoring is the risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea, which in kids is commonly caused by large tonsils and adenoids. Even when mild, kids can sleep a full night and not get quality sleep which can cause problems with how they develop and learn.

What are some of the reasons an ENT might recommend a tonsillectomy for a child?

The two most common reasons we consider taking out tonsils and/or adenoids during childhood are Obstructive Sleep Apnea and recurrent tonsil infections.

For more information or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Putman, call the Mercy Ear Nose and Throat Clinic at 479-636-0110. It’s located at 5204 W. Redbud Street in Rogers, Ark. Click here for a map and to see a full list of the conditions treated at this clinic.

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Q & A with a Mercy Ear Nose Throat Specialist

dr-chad-putman-entHappy Wednesday! Today we’re continuing our interview with Dr. Chad Putman of Mercy, who we talked to last month about about ear infections. (If you missed that one, click here to read it.) For those of us who have kids with frequent ear infections, Dr. Putman offers some helpful insight on the common concerns parents have when kids battle these types of infections.

Can chronic ear infections cause long-term damage?

Middle ear infections typically don’t cause long-term conductive hearing loss which hampers sound transmission through the ears. It can cause a delayed or impaired speech if hearing loss is present for many months in young children.

How do tubes help prevent ear infections and how do doctors determine which kids need them?toddler

Tubes (or Pressure Equalization Tubes) keep a small hole open in the ear drum which essentially bypasses the middle ear problems kids have. The procedure takes a few minutes and requires a short gas anesthetic in children. They reduce the frequency of middle ear infections and allow middle ear fluid to drain which improves hearing and discomfort.

The true art of medicine  is to determine when kids need tubes. This most often occurs from frequent ear infections and prolonged hearing loss from middle ear fluid. There are recommendations from numerous studies that help guide us to determine when tubes are needed or if we can try other options first.

What are adenoids and why do some kids need to have them surgically removed?

Adenoids are tonsil tissue at the back of the nose that at times can cause chronic nasal blockage or not allow the Eustachian tube to drain as it should. Sometimes kids who have chronic nasal congestion, even when they’re not sick, benefit from taking out the adenoids at the same time when they receive tubes.

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Q&A with a Mercy Ear, Nose and Throat doctor

If you have kids, especially babies, toddlers and preschoolers, then you’ve probably seen a few ear infections and endured the misery they can cause for kids and parents. We recently interviewed Dr. Chad Putman of dr-chad-putman-entMercy to find out what causes ear infections, the tell-tale symptoms, genetic predisposition and treatment with antibiotics.

What causes most ear infections in children?

Middle ear infections (Acute Otitis Media) are infections that occur behind the ear drum and occur in children due to their Eustachian tubes not working well. These are the small tubes that open in the back of our nose that normally equalize the pressure behind our ear drums and cause our ears to pop when we fly on an airplane.

What are the red flag symptoms parents should know about which might indicate that their baby or child has an ear infection?baby-428395_640-2

Typical symptoms include nasal congestion, fever, and irritability since most ear infections are the result of an underlying upper respiratory infection. The only way to know for sure is to look at the ear drum.

Can a child be genetically predisposed to ear infections?

There have been some studies that link an increased frequency of ear infections in identical twins or triplets compared to other siblings in the same family. More research is being done to develop more specific genes and hopefully someday tests to allow us to determine who might be at a higher risk.

Should an ear infection always be treated with antibiotics?

The short answer is yes. Many studies show antibiotics reduce how long ear infections last and generally improves how the child feels while recovering. They also reduce the frequency of other rare complications that middle ear infections can cause.

We had SO many questions for Dr. Putman on this topic and several others, so look for a series of posts which continue our interview with him in the weeks to come. 

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New Mercy Walk-In Clinic option

quick tip mercyMamas, we know that getting sick NEVER comes at a convenient time. So it’s good to have a few different options on where and when to get help from a doctor.

Mercy (one of our nwaMotherlode sponsors) has just added a new walk-in clinic service at the Mercy Clinic Primary Care location at 2900 Moberly Lane in Bentonville.

This clinic will have providers treating the following minor symptoms: Flu, sore throat, cough cold, congestion, sinus infection, pink eye, urinary tract infection, and rash.

If your symptoms match up to one of those listed, you can see a doctor or nurse practitioner at the Moberly Lane clinic Mondays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

This is a walk-in clinic so there’s no need for an appointment, but we do advise calling the clinic on your way there just to see how long the wait might be. That phone number is 479-273-1550.

The Mercy Convenient Care Clinic — the one located on Highway 102 — will continue to operate as normal.