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UT Health's board-certified ENT specialists provide complete ear services for all ages. From diagnosis, to medical and surgical treatments, our mission is to provide the highest quality care for all your ENT needs.

To learn more about commonly treated conditions and procedures, click the boxes below.

A sore throat is pain, scratchiness or irritation of the throat that often worsens when you swallow. The most common cause of a sore throat (pharyngitis) is a viral infection, such as a cold or the flu. A sore throat caused by a virus resolves on its own.

Strep throat (streptococcal infection), a less common type of sore throat caused by bacteria, requires treatment with antibiotics to prevent complications. Other less common causes of sore throat might require more complex treatment.

Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat — one tonsil on each side. Signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils, sore throat, difficulty swallowing and tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck.

Most cases of tonsillitis are caused by infection with a common virus, but bacterial infections also may cause tonsillitis.

Because appropriate treatment for tonsillitis depends on the cause, it's important to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis. Surgery to remove tonsils, once a common procedure to treat tonsillitis, is usually performed only when bacterial tonsillitis occurs frequently, doesn't respond to other treatments or causes serious complications.

To learn more about tonsillectomy, read Dr. Eric Flavill's blog.

Zenker's diverticulum is a rare condition that typically affects older adults. It occurs when a pouch of tissue forms where the pharynx meets the esophagus. Mild forms of Zenker's diverticulum may not require treatment. Treatment for moderate to severe forms of Zenker's diverticulum typically involves surgery.

Snoring and Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are caused by the development of resistance to airflow in the upper airways during sleep. As the resistance to airflow increases breathing is disrupted and obstructive sleep apnea develops. The first thing to happen is that the tissues in the throat start to vibrate causing snoring.

Snoring can be treated in the office with laser assisted uvuloplasty (LAUP), injection snoreplasty, or radiofrequency palatoplasty. Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation is another treatment option that works inside your body to treat the roodt cause of sleep apnea with the click of a button.

The disruption in sleep can lead to being tired during the day but more importantly contribute to the development of high blood pressure, heart attack and heart failure.

What is Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation?

Inspire is the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved obstructive sleep apnea treatment that works inside your body to treat the root cause of sleep apnea with the click of a button. Inspire is a small device that is surgically inserted just under the skin during an outpatient procedure. This new treatment option helps sleep apnea patients who cannot use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP). Inspire allows you to breathe normally, without a CPAP mask, hose or machine.

How does Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation work?

Inspire delivers gentle stimulation to key airway muscles helping keep the airway open for better breathing during sleep. The Inspire system is controlled by a small handheld sleep remote. The user turns on the device with the sleep remote before going to sleep and turns it off upon awakening.

You may be a candidate for Inspire if:

  • You have moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea.
  • You are unable to use or get consistent benefit from CPAP.
  • You are not significantly obese.
  • You are over the age of 22.

Will Inspire help with snoring?

A significant decrease in snoring has been found as a secondary effect of the Inspire device. Ninety percent of bed partners report no or soft snoring by their partner.

If you are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, ask your health care provider for a referral to UT Health East Texas or call 903-531-8079 to begin the referral process.

Providers for Inspire Sleep Apnea Innovation

To learn more about ear, nose and throat services or to schedule an appointment, call 903-747-4098 in Tyler or 903-577-1101 in Mount Pleasant.