Ears, Hearing and Balance
The anatomy of the ear can be a little confusing as it is responsible for not only hearing but also balance. GKENT provides exceptional patient care and expertise to ensure advanced and effective care plans for each patient. A sampling of common Ear and Balance Disorders include the following:
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.
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 are most common in children and occur when the Eustachian tube becomes blocked resulting in fluid buildup.
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 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.
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 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, 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:
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.
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.
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 are tiny cylinders surgically inserted into the eardrum to help ventilate the middle ear and prevent fluid accumulation from behind the eardrum.
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.
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