Comprehensive Hearing Testing
Our in house licensed Audiologist, Dave Gager, brings years of experience as well as his great bedside manner to the task of diagnosing hearing problems with sophisticated audiometric testing for ages 4-104.
Let's make it official right up front: Q Tips are bad for your ears! (that's why it says not to put them in your ear on the package!) For many, ear wax is a recurrent and bothersome problem. Fewer primary care doctors are caring for this nowadays. This is something we do and we do it all day and do it well.
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Hearing Conditions Which Can Respond to Medication
We see more hearing loss than anything else. Many patients, such as those with ear wax, leave the office with their hearing restored. Why would anyone with a hearing problem see a hearing professional other than a doctor? Hearing loss due to ear infections may respond to antibiotics. Some loses affecting the inner ear, once thought to be hopeless, may respond to steroids if caught early enough. Fluid in the middle ear may respond to treatment with steroids.
Hearing Conditions Which Can Respond to Minor Surgery
Fluid in the middle ear, which can occur in adults as well as children, can be relieved in minutes by the insertion of a small tube in the ear, a procedure which can be done in the office for adults.
Balloons for Hearing Loss
Fluid in the ears, which can be caused by sinus trouble, colds, or allergies, can be relieved by the use of balloons used to blow air into the nose during a swallow!
Microsurgery for Hearing Loss
The ear drum may develop holes, known as perforations. The delicate bones of hearing may get stiff, or may separate from one another. Dr Mann is trained and experienced in performing the delicate surgery required to repair these problems, having performed hundreds in his career.
Certain conditions, such as Meniere's disease, can be reated with diuretic therapy. Dizziness associated with Migraines (more common than you mihgt think!) can be treated with medicine that helps to prevent migraines.
Minor Office Surgical Treatment
Meniere's disease that does not respond to oral medication can be treated with medicines delivered directly to the middle ear through a small tube placed into the ear. Steroids are usually the first choice. Gentamicin, though it carries additional risks, can have more permanent benefits.
Physical Therapy for Vertigo
How many cures in modern medicine involve no drugs and no surgery. People who suffer from spinning vertigo with changes in position can be treated, often in a single session at the first visit. Some causes of vertigo or dizziness can be greatly improved by therapy from specially trained physical therapists.
Surgery for Dizziness
Rarely a case of vertigo that will not respond to all the above treatments can be relieved by surgery. A leak from the inner ear may be sealed by surgery. Some cases of Meniere's disease that do not respond to other treatments may be treated by decompression of the endolymphatic sac.
Ear Infections - Middle Ear
Middle ear infections are very common in children, especially if the children are in day care situations. A couple of ear infections in a typical year are considered normal. When ear infections recur in spite of good medical treatment, the insertion of PE tubes can be a great benefit in decreasing the number of infections. (Animation of PE tube)
Ear Infections - Outer Ear (swimmer's ear)
Infections in the outer ear can be very painful. Treatment with a small sponge placed in the ear and ear drops can be very successful. Usually within a couple of days. Sometimes, fungus causes outer ear infections. These usually cause more itch and ear blockage. Cleaning of the ear by an ear doctor is very imprtant, as well as prescription of specially prepared antifungal drops that can give the relief one needs.
TMJ stand for Temporo Mandibular Joint. This is the joint that is the hinge for your jaw. Tooth clenching, gum chewing, eating big sub sandwiches, chewing on ice cubes and other trauma to the jaw can cause this. The pain seems as if it is coming right from the ear. Treatment usually includes resting the jaw (which means not chewing) anti-inflammatory antibiotics.
“Referred" Ear Pain
A referred pain is one that comes from a problem away from the ear but which is felt in the ear nonetheless. This is just like the situation in which a heart attack victim may feel pain in the left arm. It's not an arm attack. The pain was referred from the heart to the arm. The diagnosis is in the heart. In the same way conditions in the back of the neck, the throat, the tonsil, the voicebox, and even the esophagus can cause pain in the ear. Tumors in the throat must be ruled out in otherwise unexplained ear pain.