Meet a Specialist: Donald Keamy, Jr., M.D., MPH
A life-changing experience can impact a person in many ways. In the case of Donald Keamy, Jr., M.D., MPH, undergoing sinus surgery at Mass. Eye and Ear in his teens drove him toward a career in medicine and eventually a specialty in pediatric otolaryngology. Dr. Keamy recalls, “The sinus surgery absolutely changed my quality of life. At that point, I knew I wanted to dedicate myself to medicine and help change patients’ lives.”
A board-certified member of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Pediatric Otolaryngology Service, Dr. Keamy is also certified in Sleep Medicine. He specializes in general ENT, sleep medicine, pediatric otology and sino-nasal disorders. He treats pediatric patients for a variety of diseases and disorders, ranging from sleep apnea, to ear infections, to chronic sinusitis. Dr. Keamy explains, “Sleep disorders in children are not uncommon. About 40% of the patients I see have a sleep disorder. Other patients I treat may be suffering from hearing loss, ear and sinus infections, or other disorders of the head and neck.”
Sleep disorders in children can be related to a variety of factors. A child’s environment can play a role, as well as his or her anatomy. “Obstructive sleep apnea is common in children, but luckily it’s very treatable,” Dr. Keamy notes. He stresses the positive outcomes that result once a child has been treated for a sleep disorder. “Parents are universally thrilled when their child begins sleeping through the night and stops snoring and gasping. Positive outcomes result quickly from treating pediatric sleep disorders. Kids and parents are happy with the results; it doesn’t get much better than that.”
Interpreting sleep studies is a significant part of Dr. Keamy’s work. Pediatric sleep studies measure a variety of factors, such as breathing, oxygen levels, heart rate, brain activity, snoring and leg movements while sleeping. Once Dr. Keamy analyzes sleep data, he recommends treatment. “Periodic leg movements during sleep can be a sign of iron deficiencies in children,” Dr. Keamy explains. “By conducting a sleep study, we can help identify the cause of sleep disruption, whether it is related to obstruction or something as simple as iron deficiency.” Dr. Keamy adds, “Sometimes, the results from a study provide reassurance. While sleep apnea has very clear physiologic and cognitive consequences, snoring without sleep apnea does not have such clear consequences. When the study does not show sleep apnea, the parent can be reassured that surgery is not absolutely necessary.”
Dr. Keamy participates in community outreach to increase awareness of his specialties. He has spoken at local conferences to inform other physicians outside his specialties, and has given lectures and grand rounds at Mass. Eye and Ear to Boston-area ear, nose and throat physicians. Dr. Keamy also notes, “Many of my referrals result from parents telling other parents about their experience at Mass. Eye and Ear. My practice is based on new patients, because luckily, once a child has been treated for sleep apnea, he or she does not often need to return for further treatment.”
Dr. Keamy concludes, “Mass. Eye and Ear provides such a warm and personal experience from start to finish. The child life specialist is wonderful. Our nurses provide superb care and help our patients feel at home. The overall patient satisfaction rate helps us continue our tradition of excellence year after year.”
Contact Dr. Keamy’s office at 617-573-4208.
View Dr. Keamy’s online bio for more information.