If you sense that you are not hearing as well as you have in the past, we can provide detailed ear exams and hearing testing (audiograms) to further investigate. If you feel like your hearing loss is sudden, this is an urgent matter, which should be evaluated as soon as possible. Longstanding hearing loss may be amenable to hearing aids, which we dispense in our office with the assistance of our Audiologists.
Tinnitus (Ringing in The Ears)
There are several causes of tinnitus, ranging from hearing loss to jaw and dental issues. Please contact us to schedule an in-person examination with an ENT and a hearing test (audiogram) with one of our audiologists to further investigate (See Tinnitus on Audiology page).
Excessive earwax can cause pain, hearing loss, or both. Although many methods have been described for earwax removal, the safest and most effective option is with use of a microscope or endoscope by an ENT.
Dizziness and vertigo are common problems that affect people of all ages. True vertigo (room spinning sensation) can potentially be due to an issue with the inner ear balance system, which can be diagnosed by an ENT (see Dizziness on Audiology page).
Ear pain can be caused by a myriad of conditions, ranging from infections to pressure behind the eardrum to muscle aches. A detailed examination by a trained ENT is the best way to determine the cause of your ear discomfort.
This can potentially be caused by a condition called Eustachian tube dysfunction, in which the pressure equalization mechanism of the ear is congested or narrowed. A special type of hearing test called a tympanogram can help measure the pressure behind the eardrum and determine if this is the case. If so, your ENT can discuss further treatment plans with you, including both surgical and non-surgical options.
Ear Tube Placement
This procedure can be performed in both adults and children to help with fluid and/or pressure trapped behind the eardrum. This can help with recurrent ear infections as well as hearing loss (and speech delay in children). In adults, this can even be performed in the office under local anesthesia.
This procedure is typically performed to repair a hole in the eardrum. This can be done using a microscope or endoscope. Sometimes this procedure can also be combined with replacement of the small hearing bones behind the eardrum (ossicles) if those have been damaged due to trauma or infection.
If you have an infection in the bone behind the ear, a mastoidectomy may be indicated to help clear the infection or fluid. This involves a small incision behind the ear and drilling out the partially hollow bone behind the ear called the mastoid bone.
Implantable Hearing Devices
Patients with certain types of hearing loss that cannot be helped with traditional methods (hearing aids) may be eligible for a surgically implanted hearing device. This includes bone anchored hearing aids, which vibrate the bone directly to the inner ear, and cochlear implants, which directly stimulate the inner ear with an electrode to overcome hearing loss (See Implantable Hearing Devices on Audiology page).
We can perform ear piercing safely for patients of all ages, using the latest techniques to make the process as pain-free as possible. We also frequently repair damage to the earlobes from heavy earrings or trauma, usually in the office with only local anesthesia.
Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation
Balloon dilation of the Eustachian tubes is a minimally invasive procedure performed in the office to help relieve pressure behind the eardrums. Using an endoscope to help see inside the nose, a small (6 mm) balloon is inserted into the Eustachian tube openings in the back of the nose. Over about 6-8 weeks, this will permanently increase the diameter of the internal drainage pathways, which eventually helps to equalize pressure behind the eardrums. This can help negate the need for more traditional ear surgery, such as ear tube placement and tympanoplasty.