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Ear, Nose & Throat

Ear, Nose & Throat

ENT Care in Southwestern Montana

The specialists on medical staff diagnose and manage diseases of the ears, nose, sinuses, larynx (voice box), mouth, and throat, as well as structures of the neck and face.

At Bozeman Health Ear, Nose and Throat, conditions treated include:

ALLERGIES

Respiratory allergies affect approximately 20 percent of the population. They can contribute to many other disorders of the ears, nose, throat and respiratory system. Allergies are caused by antigens which react with our immune systems. Antigens are found on pollens, pet dander, dust, molds and other substances. The immune system reacts to antigens, causing swelling, irritation, inflammation and wheezing. If the allergic reaction is severe enough, life threatening reactions can occur that require immediate medical attention. Our specialists can test for and treat most allergies.

EAR INFECTIONS

Most ear infections occur in the middle ear, located behind the eardrum and when healthy, filled with air. Middle ear infections are very common in children ages 2-5 years old. Most middle ear infections are treated with antibiotics, but if infections are frequent or if fluid does not clear, our physician can place tubes in the ears to help prevent fluid build-up and resulting infections.

SINUSITIS

Sinusitis is a leading health care problem, with 20 million cases of bacterial sinusitis in the U.S. every year. The chronic form, lasting more than 12 weeks, affects more than 31 million individuals. This makes it the most common chronic health problem in the United States.

The sinus cavities are lined with a mucus membrane covered in tiny hair, which actively push mucus from the sinuses into the nose through tiny openings called ostia. The mucus contains antibodies and other infection fighting substances. Sinusitis is caused by obstruction of the ostia, which leads to mucus backing up in the sinus. This mucus easily becomes infected. Other issues causing sinus obstruction include allergies, viral upper respiratory infections ("the common cold,"), nasal irritants such as dust and noxious chemicals or physical obstructions such as a deviated septum.

Our ear, nose and throat physician can diagnose sinusitis through several tests and can treat the infection with medications or, when necessary, through surgical treatments.

SLEEP APNEA & SNORING

Many people don’t think of snoring as a sign of something potentially serious, and not everyone who has sleep apnea snores. Be sure to talk to a doctor if you experience loud snoring, especially snoring that’s punctuated by periods of silence.

Snoring and sleep apnea are both caused by excess tissue in the throat. The primary obstructed areas are the soft palate and the base of the tongue. A long palate vibrating while breathing causes most snoring. Apnea is when the sleeper stops breathing. Central sleep apnea results when the brain fails to tell the body to breathe. Obstructive sleep apnea results from excess soft tissue in the palate, base of tongue, and rarely, the sides of the throat collapsing in and blocking breathing.

In both types of apnea, oxygen concentration in the blood drops low enough so the person feels starved for air and wakes up to breathe. These brief waking episodes may occur hundreds of times a night and are not usually remembered by the patient. The result is a poor night’s rest and the possibility of associated health problems such as high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke.

Medical treatment is generally recommended as the initial treatment for all but the most severe cases of sleep apnea. For obstructive sleep apnea, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) uses a mask worn at night with a machine blowing air into it, creating pressure in the airway to support the tissues and prevent blockage. If CPAP is not effective or if the patient does not tolerate it, surgery may be considered. Our medical specialist offers several types of surgery on the soft palate, uvula, tonsil area, throat and tongue to control or minimize snoring issues.

TONSIL AND ADENOID DISORDERS

The tonsils and adenoids are a part of the immune system, containing large numbers of white blood cells which fight infections. Tonsils and adenoids are located in the throat so they can respond to infectious agents entering the body by priming the immune system. Fortunately, there are additional systems which can perform this task if the tonsils become chronically infected or enlarged and need to be removed.

The initial treatment for tonsillitis, or inflammation of the tonsils, is antibiotics. Tonsils and adenoids can become chronically infected and thus a source of recurrent infections themselves. They also can become so enlarged they obstruct normal breathing, swallowing and speech. Enlarged tonsils and adenoids are the most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea in children. If the tonsils become chronically infected, a tonsillectomy usually is recommended. Specialists usually remove the adenoids at the same time.

Otolaryngology,
6 Physician(s) displayed.
Brennan T. Dodson MD
Brennan T. Dodson MD
Bridger Ear, Nose and Throat, PLLC
1648 Ellis Street, Suite 301
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 556-9798

Otolaryngology(Board Certified)

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Hugh E. Hetherington MD
Hugh E. Hetherington MD
Bozeman Health Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
925 Highland Blvd., Suite 1160
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 414-3780

Otolaryngology(Board Certified)

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Heidi Arnold PA
Heidi Arnold PA
Bridger Ear Nose & Throat Pllc
1648 Ellis St
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 556-9798

Otolaryngology

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Blythe L. Lindsay PA-C
Blythe L. Lindsay PA-C
Bridger Ear, Nose and Throat, PLLC
1648 Ellis Street, Suite 301
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 556-9798

Otolaryngology

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Sonia S Settergren PA-C
Sonia S Settergren PA-C
Bridger Ear, Nose & Throat
1648 Ellis St., Suite 301
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 556-9798

Otolaryngology

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Hillary Smith FNP-BC
Hillary Smith FNP-BC
Bozeman Health Ear, Nose & Throat Clinic
925 Highland Blvd., Suite 1160
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 414-3780

Otolaryngology

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6 Physician(s) displayed.