Ears & Hearing
A comprehensive audiogram is testing which is done to see how well a person hears and it's usually performed using a sound proof booth and some equipment which will allow us to measure different types of hearing loss and at what frequencies the loss may be. It also helps the provider better diagnose certain problems in certain patients as well as it can also inform us if a hearing aid will be beneficial.
BVVP Testing & Treatments
Episodes of dizziness that last for a short period at a time, it starts suddenly and can be first noticed when rolling over in bed to get up or the patient moves their head from side to side. This vertigo / dizziness is usually described by the patient as a sensation where the room is spinning. What causes BPPV? BVVP is usually caused by the dislodging of small calcium crystals in the ear called Otoconia which become trapped in the fluid space of the ear canal located in the inner ear. These crystals remain stuck in this fluid area causing vertigo when one moves or changes head movements. BPPV can be diagnosed in a regular routine office visit and the physician or physician assistant can do several repositioning maneuvers which have been known to be highly effective in shifting the ear crystals back to where they belong.
Myringotomy / Tube Insertion
Myringotomy is an outpatient surgical procedure where the physician makes a tiny incision in the ear drum to allow drainage of fluid which has remained in the middle portion of the ear. This is usually done using a surgical microscope. If the incision (myringotomy) is done alone it will heal up on is own in a few days. To prevent this, the physician decides to place a tiny tube in the incision to keep it open and allow proper ventilation. These tubes are usually very tiny and made of plastic. Some tubes may be shaped as a cylinder while others may look like a T. Also known as a T-tube. After the procedure the patient is monitored in a recovery room for a short period of time.
Otitis Media "Ear Infection"
Otitis Media, also known as an ear infection, occurs when there is not enough fresh air ventilating the middle ear and the area becomes damp and warm welcoming germs. An ear infection is often accompanied with the common cold, flu or respiratory infections. Frequently an antibiotic will be needed if the fluid does not resolve on its own. Placing a warm flannel or washcloth over the affected ear can help relieve pain.
Otitis Externa "Swimmers Ear"
Otitis externa, also known as swimmers ear, is an infection, inflammation, or pain in the ear caused by water trapped in the ear canal.The main cause of swimmer's ear is a break in the skin lining of the outer ear or ear canal that allows bacteria or fungi to invade the outer ear. Symptoms of swimmer's ear include pain, itching, redness, swelling, draining fluid, difficulty hearing, ringing in the ear, dizziness or vertigo. The main treatment for otitis externa is topical antibiotic drops placed in the ear canal and depending on the severity, oral antibiotics may also be prescribed.
Eardrum perforation is a hole or rupture in the eardrum, a thin membrane that separates the ear canal and the middle ear and is often accompanied by decreased hearing and sometimes liquid discharge. The perforation may be accompanied by pain, if it is caused by an injury or becomes infected. Before treatment a hearing test should be performed. The benefits of closing a perforation include prevention of water entering the middle ear while showering, bathing, or swimming (which could cause ear infection), improved hearing, and lessened tinnitus. If the perforation is very small you may choose to observe the perforation over time to see if it will close on its own. Your doctor might try to patch the eardrum in the office using a microscope, your doctor may touch the edges of the eardrum with a chemical to stimulate growth and then place a thin paper patch on the eardrum. Usually with closure of the ear drum, hearing is improved. Several patches may be required before the perforation closes completely. There are a variety of options for treatment, but most involve placing a patch across the perforation to allow healing. The name of the procedure is tympanoplasty.