Ear, Nose and Throat Care for Children

Lake Regional Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Edward Barns, M.D., FACS, routinely cares for children of all ages, treating them for ear infections, throat infections, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, allergies and more. Many of these conditions can adversely affect multiple body systems, so it’s imperative you have your child evaluated to ensure the best treatment and optimal development.

Learn more about Dr. Barns.

To schedule an appointment, call (573) 302-2864.

Ear infections and Tubes

Ear infections are one of the most common health problems children face - by the age of five, nearly every child experiences, at least, one episode. Chronic ear infections at critical points of development can result in hearing loss, as well as speech and communication problems making proper diagnosis and treatment of ear infections essential to your child's physical, intellectual and emotional well-being. 

Most ear infections either resolve on their own or respond to antibiotic treatment. But sometimes ear infections or fluid in the middle ear may become a chronic problem leading to other issues. In these cases, insertion of an ear tube by an ear, nose, and throat specialist may be considered. Each year more than half a million ear tube surgeries are performed on children, making it the most common childhood surgery carried out with anesthesia. (American Academy of Otolaryngology)

What are ear tubes?

Ear tubes are tiny cylinders placed through the ear drum (tympanic membrane) to allow air into the middle ear. These tubes can be made out of various materials and may have a coating intended to reduce the possibility of infection.

There are two basic types of ear tubes: short-term and long-term. Short- term tubes are smaller and typically stay in place for six months to a year before falling out on their own. Long-term tubes are larger and have flanges that secure them in place for a longer period of time. Long-term tubes may fall out on their own, but removal by an otolaryngologist may be necessary.

Potential Benefits of Ear Tubes

  • Reduce the risk of future ear infections
  • Restore hearing loss caused by middle ear fluid
  • Improve speech and balance problems
  • Improve behavior and sleep problems caused by chronic ear infections    

Tonsillectomy and Adenoids

Many children experience chronic sore throats, strep throat, enlarged tonsils, and adenoids that can cause breathing, swallowing, and sleep difficulties. The tonsils are two clusters of tissue located on both sides of the back of the throat. Adenoids sit high in the throat behind the nose and the roof of the mouth. Tonsils and adenoids are often removed when they become enlarged and block the upper airway, leading to breathing difficulty. They are also removed when recurrence of tonsil infections or strep throat cannot be successfully treated with antibiotics. 

Thermal Fusion Surgical Technology

Conventional devices used to perform tonsillectomies can damage surrounding tissue and cause excessive bleeding with intense post-operative pain. As a result, it can take weeks for a patient to recover fully and resume his or her normal life.

Dr. Barns uses state-of-the-art Thermal Fusion technology to remove the tonsils and adenoids leading to faster recovery time, with significantly less pain. 

This innovative procedure uses direct heat and pressure to seal and divide soft tissue quickly and delicately, thereby reducing damage to surrounding tissues. Typically done as an outpatient procedure, the patient can go home a few hours after surgery. Recovery time is half that of traditional tonsillectomy.

Allergies Testing and Treatment

Allergies are very common in children and can cause many ear, nose and throat symptoms, including ear infections and sore throats. Lake Regional’s ear, nose and throat specialty team is trained to diagnose and manage allergies in pediatric patients. We offer skin testing, medication management and immunotherapy, including allergy shots and sublingual allergy drops.

For some children, chronic sinus infections may be related to polyps or a deviated septum. Dr. Barns is board-certified and highly experienced in state-of-the-art endoscopic sinus surgery techniques used to treat these conditions.


To schedule an appointment for your child, call 573-302-2864.