EAR CONDITIONS AND TREATMENT
An ear infection is never something we want to deal with. However, it’s important to realize the symptoms of this common condition and available treatment options.
Symptoms & Causes: You might have an infection if you’re suffering an earache, difficulty or muffled hearing, high temperature or a liquid/puss draining from the ear. There are typically three types of ear infections: otitis externa, otitis media and labyrinthitis.
1. Otitis externa, or outer ear infection, are infections and/or inflammation of the outer ear, which is the ear canal to the tympanic membrane.
2. Otitis media, or middle ear infection, are infections, fluid and/or inflammation of the middle ear space behind the tympanic membrane, and can include the mastoid region.
3. Labyrinthitis, irritation or inflammation of the inner ear, exhibits a wide range of symptoms including sudden onset of dizziness and vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss, and tinnitus.
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded can be an unsettling feeling but it’s common and treatable. It’s important to remember that dizziness and vertigo are two separate conditions often confused. Dizziness is more of a general faintness while vertigo is the sensation of the environment around you spinning. We offer the very latest and proven diagnostic techniques evaluate your balance function and pinpoint the source of your problem. These highly accurate diagnostic tools lay the groundwork for your custom-tailored medical treatment by our skilled specialists. The inner ear serves two purposes: hearing and balance. There are mechanisms in the ear that inform the brain about your position, orientation in space and movement and all times – to keep you in balance. A false sensation of spinning or whirling, known as vertigo, can occur when the signal to the brain is blocked or misfires. In addition to the sensation of dizziness, symptoms may include headache, nausea, and sensitivity to bright light, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, ear pain, facial numbness, eye pain, motion sickness, confused thinking, fainting and clumsiness. Dizziness can also be a symptom of a more serious medical problem, such as high or low blood pressure, heart problems, stroke, tumor, medication side effect or metabolic disorders. Therefore you should always seek medical attention if you experience ongoing or repetitive dizziness.
Symptoms & Causes There are many symptoms that can be related to dizziness such as weakness, confusion, dry mouth, pain in your chest, eyes, or head, tiredness, and lack of balance. The symptoms of vertigo are similar but the sensation is more akin to stepping off a merry-go-round after spinning for a while. See a doctor as soon as possible at the first signs of dizziness or vertigo as they might be a sign of a serious heart condition or other health problem.
Common causes of dizziness:
Acoustic Neuroma: An acoustic neuroma is a benign growth on the Auditory or hearing nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV): BPPV occurs when tiny calcium crystals in the ears loosen and begin moving about the wrong part of the ear. It is characterized by sudden, short bursts of dizziness that happen most often as a result of head movement. There is no known cause for BPPV. It usually resolves itself in a matter of days or can be successfully treated using the Canalith Repositioning Maneuver or Gans Procedure.
Inflammation of the Inner Ear Dizziness may be one symptom of an inner ear infection.
HEARING LOSS & AUDIOLOGY
Hearing can be complex, but we can help. If you have noticed a change in your hearing or if you have been struggling to understand people in day to day situations, schedule an evaluation with one of our physicians.
Our ENT Physicians work with our in house audiologists to provide comprehensive hearing health care for our patients. Therefore, if the we determines that you need a hearing aid, after your initial exam we can help determine the best hearing aid for your needs. We take a complete and collaborative approach to ensure a complete evaluation and optimal path to hearing health and the highest standard of care.
LEARN MORE ABOUT AUDIOLOGY
CERUMEN AND/OR FOREIGN BODY REMOVAL
Blockage of the ear canal from excessive wax build up or a foreign body can cause ear fullness, hearing loss and otitis externa. Our physicians use a microscope to visualize the ear canal and clean out debris.
MYRINGOTOMY & TYMPANOSTOMY TUBE PLACEMENT
Tympanostomy tube placement is recommended to treat persistent fluid in the middle ear and/or frequent ear infections. Tube placement may also be recommended as treatment for a thinning and retracted eardrum. A myringotomy and tympanostomy tube placement can usually be performed in the office on adults. Children, however, usually require general anesthesia administered in an outpatient surgery center setting for these procedures.