Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Conditions We Treat
At UnityPoint Health – Grinnell, you'll find high-quality pediatric and adult care to treat your ear, nose and throat condition.
You don't need a doctor's referral to see our ENT specialist. Call us at (641) 236-2585 to schedule an appointment.
Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Treatment in Grinnell
When you choose us for your ENT care, you can feel confident that your care team is experienced in managing the complexities of ear, nose and throat conditions. You'll find:
- Expertise and technology to accurately assess ear, nose and throat conditions
- ENT doctors who begin treatment with conservative (nonsurgical) therapies
- Surgeons who use the latest ENT surgical procedures with demonstrated positive outcomes
- Comprehensive care, including postsurgery reconstruction of the ears, nose, throat, head and neck, also called facial plastics
- Care team members support you before, during and after ENT surgery
Ear infections or fluid in the middle ear is one of the most common ear conditions we treat. Ear infections happen when the eustachian tube, which drains fluid from the middle ear, gets clogged.
Ear infections are painful and can cause the eardrum to rupture. They may also cause problems with hearing or balance. Children and adults whose ear infections keep coming back may need surgery. In cases where surgery is necessary, doctors insert ear tubes.
Severe nose conditions can cause discomfort and pressure in the face. Going far beyond symptoms of cold or allergy, they may also cause long-term discharge and fever.
Our doctors first try conservative treatments. Sometimes surgery is necessary for severe nose conditions, including:
Chronic rhinosinusitis or sinus inflammation
Rhinosinusitis (also called sinusitis) is a sinus infection that happens when the cavities in your skull (around eyes and behind the nose) and your sinuses become inflamed. Inflammation usually results from blockages, such as:
- Tissue, or cells and cell products that your body produces
- Small growths called polyps
- Mucus buildup
If you have swelling and pain symptoms don't go away within 12 weeks, doctors consider the sinus infection to be chronic (long-lasting). A chronic sinus infection may require surgery to clear nasal passages of these blockages.
A deviated septum means the thin wall between your nasal passages is off-center or pushed to one side. A deviated septum can happen at birth or because of an injury. The result leaves you with one nostril smaller than the other.
People with a deviated septum can have trouble breathing, nosebleeds or discomfort in the face. Sometimes they breathe loudly during sleep or experience other symptoms. Surgery can restore your ability to breathe clearly by removing bone or restructuring the septum.
Throat, Head and Neck Conditions
Throat conditions can affect breathing, sleeping and eating — processes that are vital to your quality of life. Our doctors have the expertise to help find the right treatment for you. Sometimes that means surgery. Some of the many conditions we treat are:
Tonsillitis happens when the two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat are swollen or inflamed. It usually occurs in children. Tonsillitis can cause a sore throat and difficulty swallowing.
Doctors do not routinely do surgery for tonsillitis. But surgery may be a good option when tonsillitis happens frequently or doesn't go away. Tonsillectomy surgery completely removes the tonsils so they won't cause problems in the future.
Tonsil stones are hard, white or yellow formations on or in tonsils. Dead cells, mucus, saliva and food collect and harden into a tonsil stone.
Sometimes these stones grow and cause tonsils to swell. They can result in bad breath, trouble swallowing or a sore throat. If other treatments don't work, doctors may recommend surgery. Your doctor may use a laser to remove the pockets or folds where tonsil stones form.
Heavy snoring and sleep apnea
Snoring and sleep apnea result from short interruptions in breathing while you are sleeping. Sometimes these interruptions occur when muscles at the back of the throat relax and don't keep the airway open.
Snoring and sleep apnea can lead to hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease, and mood and memory problems. It can have major impacts on health and life. Doctors can use surgery to treat snoring and sleep apnea caused by muscle relaxation or tissue in the upper airway. Surgeries might include nasal surgeries, tonsil removal or other options.
Mastoid cell conditions and cholesteatoma
Mastoid cells are air cells around the middle and inner ear. They can get infected or inflamed by infections or blockages.
Sometimes, infection or inflammation happens repeatedly. If it endangers your hearing, vision or puts your brain at risk, you may need surgery that removes the infected cells. Symptoms of cholesteatoma or mastoid problems include:
- Fatigue or irritability
- Swelling, bulging or drooping of the ear
- Pain behind ear
- Drainage from ear
Your thyroid is a gland at the bottom of your neck. It makes hormones that control your heartbeat and how you burn calories. Doctors sometimes perform surgery to remove the thyroid when patients experience overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) or thyroid cancer.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include:
- Nervousness or anxiety
- Mood swings
- Heat sensitivity
- Irregular heartbeat
Thyroid cancer can sometimes happen after children have radiation treatments, when there is a family history or due to other unknown reasons. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include:
- Pain in the neck and throat
- Lump in the neck (goiter)
- Trouble swallowing
- Changes to the voice
- Cough that persists
Your esophagus is the tube in your throat that connects the mouth to the stomach. Surgery on the esophagus is highly specialized. Our head and neck team is specially trained to focus on these complex problems. Learn about esophageal conditions we treat.
Contact Our Ear, Nose and Throat Experts
If you or your loved one has ear, nose or throat issues, you can schedule an appointment by calling (641) 236-2585. Our ENT specialists will work closely with your primary care provider to understand your health needs and create a comprehensive treatment plan.