The division of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ENT) specializes in the management of disorders of the ears, nose and throat in children. Patients benefit from the skills and training of a fellowship-trained Pediatric Otolaryngologist, as well as a nurse practitioner, audiologists, and our dedicated nurses and clinical support staff. When appropriate, our staff work closely with colleagues in pediatrics, pulmonology, gastroenterology, neurology, radiology, general surgery, plastic surgery and speech pathology to provide a comprehensive, multidisciplinary approach to many childhood disorders.
Location: ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri
812 N Keene St
Columbia, MO 65201
Map and Directions: Click here for a map and directions
Contact: (573) 817-3000
Common conditions managed by our team
Snoring, Upper Airway Resistance and Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Our specialists rely heavily on symptoms reported by parents, as well as physical exam findings to diagnose these conditions. Tests that may be performed include an endoscopic exam (through the nose) that allows our specialist to visualize the size of the adenoids and other potential abnormalities, X-rays, or in some cases a polysomnogram (sleep study). The most common cause for these conditions is abnormal enlargement of the tonsils and adenoids. Surgical removal of tonsils in children who have frequent strep throat infections can drastically reduce the number of infections.
The following represent a spectrum of upper airway obstruction and typical symptoms:
- restless sleep
- open mouth breathing
- gasping or pauses in breathing while sleeping
There are many causes of hearing loss in children, some congenital (present at birth), and some acquired. Our specialists work with audiologists to pinpoint the cause and treat the problem. Often, hearing loss in children is due to persistent fluid in the middle ear, which is caused by immature and dysfunctional eustachian tubes. This condition is easily treated by a simple surgical procedure to place tiny plastic tubes in the ear drums. This procedure is also performed to treat children who get frequent ear infections. For other less common conditions, more advanced testing, such as a CT scan or auditory brainstem responses, may be necessary to determine the cause. Other treatment methods may include hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids or cochlear implantation.
In addition to gastroesophageal reflux (GERD or "heart burn"), many children develop a condition called laryngopharyngeal reflux, which occurs when stomach acid refluxes into the upper part of the throat and voice box. This reflux can cause problems such as hoarseness (especially in the morning), nighttime coughing, throat irritation and increased secretions. Findings from an endoscopic exam (through the nose in the clinic), may suggest this diagnosis. Often a trial of medication will improve symptoms.
Children may develop a wide array of airway disorders, which can cause breathing problems, stridor (noisy breathing), and choking or coughing while feeding. The most common of these is laryngomalacia (floppy tissues in the voice box). This can be diagnosed by endoscopic examination. In severe cases, surgery may be required. Children with suspected airway disorders will undergo further testing with X-rays, and often a complete endoscopic examination, under general anesthesia, may be necessary. Some children have narrowing of the wind pipe, below the vocal cords, known as subglottic stenosis, which may be congenital or caused by scarring from a previous intubation (breathing tube placement frequently performed in premature infants in the ICU). In some cases, reconstructive surgery may be required.
Our staff also provide medical and surgical management for children with many other conditions including sinus problems and nasal polyps, allergies, craniofacial malformations, cleft lip/palate, neck masses and congenital neck cysts/pits/sinus tracts. Patients are seen at the ENT and Allergy Center of Missouri clinic, and appointments can be made by calling