Otolaryngology Services in Amarillo, Texas
Patients suffering from ear, nose and throat (ENT) issues can receive specialized care at Northwest Physicians Group. ENT physicians, also known as otolaryngologists, can diagnose and treat a wide range of disorders using minimally invasive techniques.
Ear, Nose and Throat Conditions We Treat
An ear infection happens when viruses or bacteria enter the ear canal. They can cause pain and fever in children as well as adults. We provide care for all types of ear infections, including swimmer’s ear, which is an infection in the outer ear canal. Other infections may affect the inner or middle ear. Ear infections can cause itching, redness, pain and swelling and pus may drain from the ear. Antibiotics are often used to treat ear infections.
Frequent Tonsil Infections
Frequent tonsil infections can cause tonsillitis, which is an inflammation of the tonsils. Both viral infections and bacterial infections, such as strep throat, can cause tonsillitis. While adults can get tonsillitis, it is most common in children. Symptoms of tonsillitis may include a sore throat, red and swollen tonsils, trouble swallowing and fever. Antibiotics can treat tonsillitis if it’s caused by a bacterial infection.
Surgery to remove the tonsils (tonsillectomy) may be an option for children who experience frequent tonsillitis or who have bacterial tonsillitis that doesn’t get better with antibiotics.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
While snoring is not generally a serious condition, it can impact relationships and may be a sign of a condition called sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is one of the most common types of sleep disorders. The National Sleep Foundation estimates that more than 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form.
In OSA, breathing is interrupted repeatedly during sleep. This happens when the muscles in the back of the throat fail to keep the airway open during sleep. Sleep apnea is often accompanied by loud snoring, but not always. Other sleep apnea symptoms may include daytime drowsiness and pauses in breathing during sleep accompanied by gasps for breath. Sleep apnea can be dangerous. The combination of disturbed sleep and lack of oxygen (from the airway repeatedly closing throughout sleep) may lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, memory and mood problems.
Inspire Sleep Apnea Treatment
Northwest Physicians Group offers the Inspire sleep apnea system as an alternative to Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) to treat OSA. Inspire is the only FDA approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside your body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea with just the click of a button.
The Inspire system uses a small battery and two small wires that are placed under the skin of the neck and chest through two or three small incisions. This is done during an outpatient procedure. The system delivers mild stimulation to key airway muscles. This enables the airway to open during sleep. A small handheld remote is used by the patient to turn the system on before bed and off when they wake up.
Watch this video to learn more about how Inspire for sleep apnea works:
Allergies, Hay Fever, Laryngitis
Sneezing, red, swollen, itchy eyes, nasal congestion, wheezing, hives and rashes are signs you may be dealing with allergies. Allergies to grass, weeds, tree pollen and molds may come and go with the seasons. This type of allergy is called hay fever. Laryngitis occurs when the voice box (larynx) swells and becomes inflamed. It’s caused by allergies, infections, a virus or other irritants.
Nasal and Sinus Disorders
Our physician treats a wide range of nasal and sinus disorders, including chronic sinusitis and nosebleeds.
Chronic infection and inflammation of the sinuses can lead to chronic sinusitis. Symptoms of chronic sinusitis may include nasal congestion, nasal obstruction, facial pain and pressure, tooth pain and loss of taste and smell. Minimally invasive treatments are available and patients usually experience fewer sinus infections and less severe sinus infections after the procedure.
Nosebleeds are a common medical problem and usually go away without treatment. When they do require medical attention, nosebleeds are usually controlled with simple packing or cauterization. In severe cases, bleeding may be the result of damage to a blood vessel at the back of the nose.
In those cases, physicians can often stop the bleeding by inserting an endoscope, a long-lighted rod, through the nose to identify the bleeding artery, and cauterize or clip the artery to produce immediate results. Following the surgery, discomfort is usually minimal and may include some nasal congestion. Patients can often return home the same or next day.