Ears, Hearing & Balance

Ears, Hearing & Balance

The anatomy of the ear can be a little confusing, as it is responsible for not only hearing, but also balance.

Our unique multidisciplinary team at GKENT is specially trained to treat a variety of disorders that affect the ears. With expertise in the treatment of common conditions like earaches and ear infections, to more complicated concerns hearing loss and balance disorders, our team is equipped to provide exceptional patient care to ensure advanced, personalized, and effective care plans for each patient. View a sampling of common ear and balance disorders below.

 

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Balance Disorders

A balance disorder can lead to unsteadiness making it difficult to maintain an upright position. Symptoms of a balance disorder include lightheadedness, disorientation, or a sensation of movement, spinning, or floating.

Dizziness

One of the most common reasons for doctor visits in adults is dizziness. Dizziness is an all-encompassing term including everything from feeling faint, lightheaded, weak, or unsteady.

Ear Infections

Ear Infections are most common in children and occur when the Eustachian tube becomes blocked resulting in fluid buildup.

Ear Trauma

Ear Trauma encompasses damage done to the outer, middle and inner ear as a result of injury, object intrusion, or listening to loud music.

Ear Wax

Ear wax is supposed to trap dust and dirt particles to prevent them from reaching the eardrum. There are home treatments to soften ear wax but a GKENT physician should be consulted if there is indication of a hole in the eardrum. Mistreatment of or the lack of treatment for earwax can lead to blockage.

Earache

An earache is a sharp, dull, or burning pain in one or both ears. Earaches can be a symptom of many things ranging from an ear or sinus infection to Arthritis to an injury.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus is a continuous or intermittent ringing in the ears. Most tinnitus comes from damage to microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. Other causes include allergies, high or low blood pressure, tumor, diabetes, thyroid problems, head or neck injuries, and medications.

Vertigo

Vertigo, a disorder of the vestibular system in the inner ear, is a dizziness sensation where one feels motion when in fact they are stationary. Symptoms often include nausea, vomiting, and difficulty being upright.

Evaluations and Treatments

The physicians and specialists at GKENT provide the following evaluations and treatments for Ear and Balance Disorders:

Balance Evaluation

A Balance Evaluation includes stimulation of the vestibular, or balance, system which might include following lights with one’s eyes or measuring balance while standing on unsteady platforms. A personal history is also included in a Balance Evaluation in an effort to identify triggers leading to unsteadiness.

Custom Earplugs

An earplug is a device inserted into the ear canal to protect the ear from loud noises, excessive wind or the intrusion of foreign bodies including water. Custom earplugs help reduce discomfort and improve protection and performance from the generic “one size fits all” earplug.

Ear Wax Removal

There are ear wax removal home treatments available; however, in office procedures include the use of irrigation or a small plastic spoon called a curette.

Ear Tubes

Ear Tubes are tiny cylinders surgically inserted into the eardrum to help ventilate the middle ear and prevent fluid accumulation from behind the eardrum.

Tympanoplasty

Tympanoplasty is a procedure to reconstruct the eardrum and/or small bones in the middle ear and can be done through the ear canal or through an incision behind the ear.