Hearing & Balance Overview
Conditions that affect ear function can be as minor as wax buildup or as serious as congenital deafness. Ear problems can present in a variety of ways, including fullness, pain, itching, and noise in the ears, hearing loss, and episodic spinning sensations (vertigo). Many of these symptoms indicate a problem with the outer, middle or inner ear structures; however, ear symptoms can also be an indicator of other problems, such as jaw-joint inflammation or even certain head and neck cancers. Along with physical examination performed by our medical providers, we also offer diagnostic tests, such as videonystagmograms (VNG) and audiograms (hearing tests), to aid in the identification of certain ear conditions.
Our audiologists have extensive knowledge in these areas, and can recommend certain treatment options such as digital hearing aids, custom fittings and adjustments, swim molds and custom earplugs.
Hearing loss is extremely common, with one-third of all adults over the age of 60 experiencing it in some form. Hearing loss can result from various medical ailments, as well as a variety of environmental factors. In children with untreated hearing loss, there is potential to see significant delays in speech/language development, socialization, and self-esteem. Adults with untreated hearing loss are significantly more at risk for social isolation, depression, and rapid cognitive decline. At Atlantic ENT, we offer a variety of services to evaluate and treat many causes of hearing loss, including tube placement, cerumen removal, audiometry, and hearing aid evaluation and fittings.
Hearing aids are not what they used to be. They are smarter, work faster, and are better-sounding than ever before. Today’s models of hearing aids are compatible with smartphones and other devices, and help provide us with better hearing and clear streaming audio whenever we need them to. Our audiologists work hand-in-hand with our providers to provide patients with comprehensive medical care. If you are a candidate for hearing aids, an audiologist will evaluate your individual needs and preferences. Our audiologists will make recommendations to help you select the style, technology level, and brand that works best for you and your hearing needs. Our audiologists will fit the hearing aids to your individual hearing loss so that you receive maximum benefit from the devices.
Tinnitus is sometimes referred to as “ringing” or “buzzing” in the ears; it can come and go, or it can be a constant sound. Tinnitus is a symptom most commonly associated with hearing loss, earwax blockage, and head injuries. Approaches to manage and treat your tinnitus depend on identifying the underlying issue(s) causing the tinnitus. The providers at Atlantic ENT may perform a variety of specific, necessary tests to fully evaluate and identify the cause of the tinnitus. From there, we work together with you to manage and provide relief of your tinnitus.
Dizziness is a broad term for a symptom that may describe several different sensations. Typically, these sensations are subjective, and depend on the individual who is experiencing and explaining them. There are many causes of dizziness, and more specifically, many causes of vertigo. Atlantic ENT utilizes a team approach in the diagnosis and treatment of balance disorders, such as vertigo. Our team works closely together to determine the cause of your symptoms, and the ways in which we can treat them.
Balance Testing (VNG)
Videonystagmography (VNG) is a non-invasive exam which assesses the vestibular, or balance, system. It is administered by an audiologist. The VNG provides us with a great deal of useful information about your vestibular system. After the VNG, our providers analyze your results to determine and diagnose the overall health and function of your vestibular system. Our providers will also use your VNG results to help determine an appropriate treatment approach.