Southwestern Ear, Nose & Throat Associates Offers Guidelines On Hearing Loss, Lack of Sleep Affecting Back-to-School Health

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A guide for parents on common ear, nose and throat problems your children may face. As school preparation begins, it is a good time to get evaluated.

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Dr. Peter Shepard

Ear, nose and throat health problems are among the most common medical conditions that children face.

As the new school year begins, many parents are preparing their children by buying school supplies, new clothes, and organizing fall sporting events. But in order to help kids get a healthy head start to the school year, Southwestern Ear, Nose & Throat Associates (SWENT) also recommends taking a closer look at your child’s health for common ear, nose, or throat-related health issues that might affect academic success.

“Ear, nose, and throat health problems are among the most common medical conditions that children face,” says Dr. Peter Shepard of SWENT. “In addition to the standard back-to-school physical, parents should also consider whether or not their child would also benefit from seeing an otolaryngologist for additional evaluation.”

Dr. Shepard cites the following common ENT health concerns in the back-to-school season:

1. Hearing Loss – Hearing difficulty or loss can greatly impact children’s performance in school and their ability to interact with peers, and is increasingly a risk because of the popularity of mp3 players. Most children have their hearing evaluated after birth or in the first few years to determine any congenital conditions. However, as hearing loss is also caused by things like infections, trauma, and damaging noise levels, the problem may not emerge until later in childhood. Monitoring a child’s hearing ability on a consistent basis can help a parent take action early if an issue should arise.

2. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea and other Childhood Sleep Disorders – Obstructive sleep apnea, also known as sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is not uncommon in children, but can have a profound impact on their educational experience by causing daytime sleepiness, attention deficit disorder, and other behavioral issues, along with bed-wetting and slowed growth. The number one indicator of SDB is restless sleep and labored breathing. This includes loud snoring that occurs every night, regardless of sleep position; snoring is then followed by a complete or partial obstruction of breathing, with gasping and snorting noises.

3. Facial Sports Injuries – Many children begin the fall with a variety of team and individual sports programs. These activities are great exercise for kids, but they can result in a variety of injuries to the face, including broken noses and facial abrasions. Many injuries are preventable by wearing the proper protective gear. Check with your child’s coach to make sure he/she has and is wearing all the necessary protective equipment. Also check with the coach after each practice to see if your child sustained any injuries while playing.

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Located in Santa Fe, Southwestern Ear, Nose & Throat Associates was founded in 1986 and has satellite locations in Los Alamos, Espanola, and Las Vegas, NM. Known for comprehensive ear, nose and throat care, SWENT features centers in audiology and hearing aids, sleep disorders, allergies, and same day surgeries - the only all-inclusive office of its kind in New Mexico.

For more information about SWENT, visit: http://www.swentnm.com or contact them here:
1620 Hospital Dr.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
87505
Phone: (505) 982-4848

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Megan Perkins
Southwestern Ear, Nose and Throat
505-670-8258
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