Have you ever stopped going to a favorite restaurant or social gathering because you can't hear? It could be something as simple as ear wax or you could have a hearing loss. Why would you want to miss out on the subtle sounds that life has to offer?
Don't like the thought of using a hearing aid? You wouldn't believe how discreet, comfortable, efficient and affordable today's instruments can be. Our office staff will be more than happy to schedule an appointment with our Audiologists to discuss your options with you.
About the Ear
Your ear has three main parts: outer, middle and inner. You use all of them when hearing. Sound waves come in through your outer ear. They reach your middle ear, where they make your eardrum vibrate. The vibrations are transmitted through three tiny bones in your middle ear called ossicles. The vibrations travel to your inner ear, a snail-shaped organ. The inner ear makes the nerve impulses that are sent to the brain where your brain recognizes them as sounds. The inner ear also serves to control your balance.
A variety of conditions may affect your hearing or balance. Ear infections are the most common illness in infants and young children. Tinnitus, a roaring in your ears, can be the result of loud noises, medicines, or a variety of other causes. Meniere's disease may be the result of fluid problems in your inner ear and its symptoms include tinnitus and dizziness. Some ear disorders can result in hearing disorders and deafness.
Ear Infections Also called: Otitis media
When an ear infection affects the middle ear and is called otitis media. The tubes inside the ears become clogged with fluid and mucus. This can affect the hearing because sound cannot get through all that excess fluid.
Ear infections are the most common illnesses in babies and young children. Here are some of the sings and symptoms you should watch for if you think you or your child may have an ear infection.
- Tugging at the ears
- Crying more than usual
- Ear drainage
- Trouble sleeping
- Balance difficulties
- Hearing problems
Often, ear infections go away on their own, but your health care provider may recommend pain relievers. Severe infections and infections in young babies may require antibiotics. Children who get frequent infections may require surgery to place small tubes inside their ears. These tubes relieve pressure in the ears so that the child can hear again.
Do you hear a ringing, roaring, clicking or hissing sound in your ears? Do you hear this sound often or all the time? Does the sound bother you? If you answer is yes, you might have tinnitus.
Millions of people in the U.S. have tinnitus. People with severe tinnitus may have trouble hearing, working or even sleeping. Causes of tinnitus include hearing loss, exposure to loud noises or medicines you may be taking for a different problem. Tinnitus may also be a symptom of other health problems, such as allergies, high or low blood pressure, tumors and problems in the heart, blood vessels, jaw and neck.
Treatments for tinnitus depend on the cause. Treatments may include hearing aids, sound-masking devices, medicines and when a cure may not be forthcoming, there are ways to learn how to cope with the noise.
Meniere's disease can cause severe dizziness, a roaring sound in your ears (tinnitus), hearing loss that comes and goes and the feeling of ear pressure or pain. It usually affects just one ear. This disease is a common cause of hearing loss.
Scientists don't yet know the cause. They think that it has to do with the fluid levels or the mixing of fluids in the canals of your inner ear. Symptoms occur suddenly and can happen as often as every day or as seldom as once a year. An attack can be a combination of severe dizziness or vertigo, tinnitus and hearing loss lasting several hours. There is no cure. However, you may be able to control symptoms by changing your diet or taking medicine so that your body retains less fluid. Severe cases may require surgery.
Dizziness and Vertigo
When you're dizzy, you may feel lightheaded or lose your balance. If you feel that the room is spinning, you may have vertigo.
A sudden drop in blood pressure or being dehydrated can make you dizzy. Many people feel lightheaded if they get up too quickly from sitting or lying down. Dizziness usually gets better by itself or is easily treated. However, it can be a symptom of other disorders. Medicines may cause dizziness or problems with your ear. Motion sickness can also make you dizzy. There are many other causes as well.
Dr Grillo will fully evaluate patients with vertigo and balance disorders. The vestibular system consists of the inner ears and the brain stem along with inputs from the eyes and ankles. This system helps us maintain our center of gravity. Dysfunction of the vestibular system causes symptoms of vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness, as well as balance problems.
All patients with vestibular complaints undergo a full examination by Dr. Grillo. Appropriate audiological testing is performed. When indicated, vestibular testing called video electronystagmography or VNG is preformed at our office. These tests help indicate the location and severity of vestibular dysfunction. This helps guide therapy, which frequently includes vestibular rehabilitation.
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