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Highlights: NYEE's Pediatric ENT Director Discusses When Is It Time to See a Specialist

New York, NY (February 2013) -- Winter can be an especially confusing time about whether or not patients need to see an ENT specialist.

Joseph Bernstein, MD, director of pediatric otolaryngology at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, suggests that a parent's first call should be to the pediatrician, who will be quite experienced at making appropriate referrals to ENT specialists.

"The flu is generally not an indication for a consultation with a specialist, however recurrent or prolonged respiratory symptoms may warrant an ENT evaluation," said Dr. Bernstein. But whether a cold or flu-- it is particularly important for kids who are ill to avoid contact with other children. "Parents should make wise decisions about keeping their ill children out of school and about cancelling play dates," he recommended.

What Distinguishes Pediatric Otolaryngology at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary

When an ear-nose-throat specialist is indicated, affiliation with a specialty hospital can be especially important. New York Eye and Ear Infirmary is one of a handful of specialized hospitals devoted to medical and surgical care of the ears, nose, throat, and eyes. "Given our hospital's focus, we see a much larger volume and more varied spectrum of ENT disorders than most other hospitals," Dr. Bernstein said. "Our physician and ancillary staff's expertise is at the cutting edge of the specialty."

NYEE excels at treating the entire spectrum of ENT ailments. The hospital's staff sees a great number of routine pediatric problems involving infections of the ears, tonsils and sinuses. Additionally, complex and rare conditions such as profound hearing loss, cleft palate, neck masses, and airway disorders are routinely treated at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary.

In addition to expert medical and surgical care of a wide range of pediatric ENT disorders, New York Eye and Ear Infirmary also has superb pediatric audiology, speech and language pathology, sleep disorders center, and pediatric accredited radiology facility.

Consider the Options

Parents should be aware that they often have options in the treatment of their child's ENT problem. Each option has associated risks and benefits, and an intelligent decision should be reached, taking into account evidence-based medicine, the child's particular circumstances as well as the parents' wishes and concerns. Similar symptoms and presentations may lead to surgical intervention in one child, medical treatment in others, and careful observation in some cases. Dr. Bernstein concluded: "This family-centered approach to pediatric ENT care is a mission I try to impart at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. I consider it a privilege to be entrusted with the care of young children, and I find it incredibly rewarding to make even a small difference in the lives of our next generation."

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