Dr Hodge has a special interest in paediatric ear, nose and throat (ENT) problems. During her training she spent over 18 months working in tertiary level paediatric ENT units. As a mother herself she understands the anxiety that may be associated with having a child who requires surgery. She is able to provide a comprehensive and caring approach to children’s ear, nose and throat problems and will take the time to answer your questions and discuss available treatment options.
Common ENT problems she treats in children include:
Obstructive sleep apnoea and snoring
Loud snoring, pauses during breathing while asleep, night time waking, poor concentration, restless sleep, behavioural problems, teeth grinding and bed-wetting all maybe signs of obstructive sleep apnoea. Untreated sleep apnoea has been shown to potentially impact long term on growth and brain development. The removal of the tonsils and adenoids can resolve these issues in 80-90% of these children.
Hearing loss in children may present with speech delay, poor attention or behavioural issues. Children may develop a temporary hearing loss due to the accumulation of fluid behind their ear drum (glue ear). The fluid may resolve spontaneously; however, some children may require the insertion of grommets to clear the fluid. The removal of fluid usually returns the hearing to normal, which is particularly critical in the key early period of speech and language development.
Recurrent ear infections
Ninety percent of children will have at least one ear infection by the age of three. However, frequent or severe ear infections may need surgical intervention to prevent future complications.
Repeated episodes of tonsillitis can impact greatly on a family particularly in terms of missed school, daycare and work. Although the tonsils have a role in fighting infection, they can become infected themselves. Antibiotics may reduce the numbers of bacteria in the tonsils on a temporary basis but sometimes the tonsils carry a constant colony of infective bacteria. In this case they are no longer filtering infection and their removal may lead to better health.