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Ear, Nose, and Throat

Young girl getting her throat checked by doctor, Ear, Nose & Throat

Our ENT providers specialize in health issues related to the ears, nose, and throat. Together they seek to provide comprehensive and compassionate care to both adult and pediatric patients. Services include nasal and sinus surgery, voice analysis and treatment of vocal cord disorders, surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid disease, facial plastics and reconstruction, balloon sinuplasty and balloon eustachian tube dilation and many other general and pediatric ENT problems. 

Our providers see patients at our State Street and Vanguard Way clinics. Please visit each provider's profile to learn more:

Shannon Gardiner, P.A.-C.
Jake Majors, M.D.
Scott Morrill, P.A.-C.
Matthew Mors, D.O. 


Head and Neck

Thyroid Disorders
Thyroid nodules are common. In fact,  studies suggest that over 50% of the population have a thyroid nodule. Despite this large number, only 5% of these nodules are cancerous. With the use of ultrasound your physician will determine if your nodule requires further evaluation. The next step in evaluation is typically a small needle biopsy performed under ultrasound guidance. Depending on the results of this biopsy, the nodule can be followed with repeat ultrasound, may require further biopsy, or a recommendation for surgery will be made.  Source

Parathyroid Disorders
The parathyroid glands are closely associated with your thyroid gland. Most people have four parathyroid glands. The parathyroid gland plays a large role in regulating calcium levels in your blood by secreting parathyroid hormone (PTH). Sometimes, one gland can become enlarged and secrete too much PTH. Less commonly, more than one gland can be involved. The results of this are increased calcium levels and many different symptoms, including:  

  • Bone pain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue
  • Worsening memory and concentration
  • Depression
  • Kidney stones
  • Abdominal pain

Removing a parathyroid adenoma is an outpatient procedure and symptoms can improve rapidly. Your physician will typically order special imaging to locate the adenoma to aid in its removal.   

Salivary glands 
We have multiple salivary glands including the parotid (just in front of our ears), submandibular (just below the jaw), and minor salivary glands (found throughout our upper airway). There are multiple problems that can arise in the salivary glands including infections, masses, auto immune disorders, and even salivary stones. These issues can cause multiple symptoms including swelling, pain, dry mouth, and even dry eyes. Your physician can help diagnose the underlying cause of your salivary gland disorder and provide a treatment plan.  

Vocal Cord Malignancy
The most common vocal cord malignancy is squamous cell carcinoma. Typically this cancer will arise in individuals with a history of smoking.  The most common symptom is typically hoarseness/raspy voice. If this cancer is caught early enough it can be treated with surgical removal, typically using microsurgical techniques and a laser. Depending on the size of the lesion, voice quality can be well preserved. When the lesion is too large for safe resection, radiation therapy will often be recommended as treatment. If you have persistent hoarseness lasting over two weeks, it is recommended that a thorough evaluation be performed to rule out any possible malignancy.  

Head and Neck Cancer
The most common cancer in the head and neck is squamous cell carcinoma. Surprisingly, the most common cause for this cancer in the oropharynx is no longer tobacco and alcohol use.  Today we see more cancer caused by Human Papilloma Virus. Common symptoms are persistent throat pain, lump sensation in the throat, ear pain, pain with swallowing and unexplained weight loss. If you have any of these symptoms it is recommended to have a comprehensive head and neck examination, often accompanied by laryngoscopy (using a small camera to visualize your throat). If a suspicious area is found, typically a CT scan of the neck, needle biopsies, or an exam with biopsies (direct laryngoscopy) under anesthesia is recommended. Depending on the size and extent of the lesion surgery or radiation with chemotherapy may be recommended.  

Sinus and Nasal Disorders

The ability to breathe through your nose is a refreshing and pleasant feeling. Unfortunately there are a number of reasons why you may feel “plugged up”, have a runny nose, post nasal drainage, or facial pressure and pain. These reasons include:

  • Allergies
  • Swelling of nasal structures
  • Deviated nasal septum (the wall that divides the left and right side of the nose)
  • Nasal polyps
  • Obstruction of nasal sinuses

A thorough examination will often reveal one or several reasons for your symptoms. Oftentimes your provider will examine the openings of the sinuses and the back of the nose with a small camera. With the technology available in the office, you will also be able to see these images and we will help develop a plan on how to best relieve these symptoms.  

Voice Disorders

The human vocal cord can vibrate anywhere from 100-300 times per second. In order to produce your voice there is a complex interaction between air, pressure, tissue vibration, tension, resonance (to name a few). In order to coordinate this there are multiple structures, muscles and nerves involved.  Hoarseness is a result in the disruption of one or more of these processes. At times there is a lesion on the vocal cord itself that can alter vibratory capability, or you may have a problem with coordinating the many different processes involved in voice production. At our office we offer videostroboscopy which allows your physician to take a detailed view of your vocal cord movement and function. Depending on the issue, surgery, injections, or even voice therapy will be recommended in order to help restore your voice.  

Hearing and Balance Disorders

Hearing Loss
The ability to hear helps to connect us with the world. There are many different causes of hearing loss.  Depending on the cause of your hearing loss you physician can recommend the most appropriate intervention. He can also advise you on how to better manage the effects of hearing loss in your day to day life. If your hearing loss is worse on one side, often an MRI or CT scan will be obtained to rule out any other potential cause of your hearing loss.

Tinnitus is an abnormal ringing or noise with no external source. Commonly, hearing loss can cause tinnitus.  However, there are multiple other causes such as temporal mandibular joint disorder, certain medications, or even masses. It is important to identify the cause of your tinnitus, especially if it is correctable. Tinnitus can be disruptive to sleep and cause mental health problems such as depression and anxiety. If you are experiencing disruptions in your day to day life from tinnitus, cognitive behavioral therapy can be of benefit. This can be discussed further with your physician. 

Vertigo and Dizziness
Vertigo is typically described as a spinning sensation and often comes from a disorder of the inner ear. There are many causes of dizziness and vertigo. Our staff is experienced in determining the underling cause of your symptoms and can often help resolve the issue with vestibular therapy, medications, and lifestyle changes.  

Pediatric ENT

Our staff is able to diagnose and treat a wide variety of pediatric Ear, Nose, and Throat disorders including:

  • Recurrent tonsillitis
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Recurrent ear infections or chronic otitis media
  • Epistaxis (nose bleeds)
  • Neck Masses 

For more information or to make an appointment with Primary Health ENT Specialists, please call 208-947-1947 for our Boise clinic or 208-809-2895 for our Meridian clinic.

ENT Specialist Patient Reviews