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Beyond Well-child Visits

by Kyle Quillin, DO, ENT, Southwest Health

The importance of a well-child visit cannot be downplayed. They are often a parent’s first defense when protecting children against diseases like measles and whooping cough. This annual, or sometimes more frequent, visit can help create a baseline of care, track developmental milestones, and establish a relationship with your child and a primary care provider.

Depending on the child’s age, their healthcare provider will perform a few different examinations and tests to see where they are developmentally. These exams may include measuring height, asking about commonly eaten foods, natural behavior at home, reviewing your child’s immunization records, and giving any necessary vaccines.

But what happens when your child continually gets ear infections or develops snoring that starts to impact their ability to get quality sleep? If you are constantly taking your child to urgent care or calling their primary care provider, it might be time to go beyond the well-child visit and see a specialist.

An ENT might be the specialist your child needs to address concerns you may have about health and development. ENTS, also referred to as Otorhinolaryngologists, specialize in caring for the Ears, Nose, and Throat. It’s not uncommon for children and adults to need to see an ENT. The CDC found that over 20 million people visited an ENT in one year alone, and 20% of those visits were for children.

A primary care provider can help with some conditions that affect your ear, nose, and throat, like a sinus infection or sore throat. However, if a concern continues without any changes or improvement, it’s likely a good idea to see an ENT.

Here are a few of the many ways an ENT can help:

  • Frequent cases of runny nose, congestion, or sinus pressure
  • Reoccurring infections including sinus, ear, or strep throat
  • Repeated dizziness
  • Hearing concern
  • Changes in voice
  • Difficulties in feeding or swallowing
  • Sleep-disordered breathing or other sleep concerns

Ear – Hearing, and balancing, which are affected by the ear, are critical to how people conduct their daily lives. ENT specialists treat ear infections, hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears, etc.

Nose –In addition to allergies, ENT specialists treat deviated septum, rhinitis, sinusitis, sinus headaches, and nasal obstruction.

Throat – Disorders that affect people’s ability to speak and swallow properly can greatly impact their day-to-day and quality of life. ENT specialists treat sore throat, hoarseness, thyroid disorders, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infections, throat tumors, vocal cord disorders, etc.

Sleep – Being able to breathe and sleep well through the night impacts life and the ability to be productive. ENT specialists treat sleep-disordered breathing, nasal and airway obstruction, snoring, sleep apnea, etc.

Pediatrics – Children often need special attention. ENT specialists treat congenital disabilities of the head and neck, developmental delays, ear infections, tonsil and adenoid infections, airway problems, asthma, allergies, etc.

If your child is continually dealing with the same condition that affects their ears, nose, throat, or a related area, ask their primary care doctor if an ENT specialist may be able to help.

Southwest Health staffs Dr. Kyle Quillin, a full-time, local ENT that is available to address all concerns addressed above. He may be a new full-time ENT provider at Southwest Health, but he is a familiar face in Southwest Wisconsin and the surrounding area. Kyle specializes in treating pediatric and adult ear, nose, and throat conditions, allergies, sinuses, hearing conditions, and facial plastic surgery options. He is available Monday through Friday at Southwest Health in the Specialty Clinic. To make an appointment, call 608.342.5060 or visit your primary care provider.