Physicians

Patients with Hearing Loss Problems

A person’s hearing ability plays an important role in both the emotional and physical well being of the patient.  A physician should start by asking their patients hearing related questions and by performing a proper hearing screening. Physicians should be knowledgeable and should provide their patients with any Information about Hearing Loss.  The more you know about the Types of Hearing Loss and how it affects your patients’ lives, the better you will be able to assist them in making the best decisions that will enhance their quality of life regardless of their hearing loss problems.

What is Audiology?

Audiology is the branch of science that studies hearing, balance, and other hearing related disorders. The doctors who treat those with hearing loss, balance problems, and prevent hearing related damage are audiologists.

Let the Hearing Care Professionals Help

Audiologists are hearing care professionals who identify, assess, and manage disorders of the auditory system. They select, fit, program, and dispense hearing aids and other assistive listening devices to help patients who suffer from hearing loss. An audiologist provides hearing care services including: Hearing Diagnostic Services, Hearing Aid Services, Tinnitus Treatments, and Auditory Processing Services that provide hearing care solutions that offer better hearing for patients that have hearing loss problems.

Audiologists use various testing strategies in order to diagnose a patient’s hearing loss problem including: Hearing Tests and Evaluations, Otoacoustic Emission Measurements, Videonystagmography, and Electrophysiologic Tests. All these test help determine whether someone can hear within the normal range, and if not, which portions of their hearing are affected and to what degree. If an audiologist determines that a hearing loss or vestibular abnormality is present he or she will provide recommendations to a patient as to what options are available whether it would be getting a set of hearing aids, cochlear implants, or surgery. Audiologists will also provide appropriate medical referrals for the patient.

Thank you for considering the HearFlorida Audiology Group for your patients.  At HearFlorida, we sincerely believe that each of your patients deserve to enjoy the best hearing possible. We feel that no patient should be subjected to the stress, embarrassment, reduced income, social isolation, or emotional/psychological disorders associated with Untreated Hearing Loss or Balance/Dizziness Problems. We believe that it is our responsibility to do all we can to help prevent hearing loss problems and other disorders related to hearing and balance. Below you will find some helpful information for you regarding Hearing Loss and Balance Disorders.

Hearing Test and Evaluations

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

An auditory brainstem response (ABR) test gives information about the inner ear (cochlea) and brain pathways for hearing. This test is also sometimes referred to as auditory evoked potential (AEP). The test can be used with children or others who have a difficult time with conventional behavioral methods of hearing screening. The ABR is usually designated for a person with signs, symptoms, or complaints suggesting a type of hearing loss in the brain or a brain pathway.

The ABR is performed by pasting electrodes on the head—similar to electrodes placed around the heart when an electrocardiogram is run—and recording brain wave activity in response to sound. The person being tested rests quietly or sleeps while the test is performed. No response is necessary. ABR can also be used as a screening test in newborn hearing screening programs. When used as a screening test, only one intensity or loudness level is checked, and the baby either passes or fails the screen.
The results are provided to the physician, so he or she can determine the need for further medical evaluation.

Cerumen (Earwax) Removal

It is recommended that you refer your patients for cerumen management if they experience a progressive hearing loss over several weeks, their ears feel full, plugged, or achy, or if they hear constant or occasional ringing noises.

When a patient is referred to the HearFlorida Audiology Group for earwax removal, a certified audiologist performs a thorough video otoscopic evaluation of the ear canal. If there are no contraindications such as recent otalgia, ear drainage, family history of diabetes, medical history of acquired immune deficiency syndrome, mastoid or extensive middle ear surgery, or the use of anti-coagulant medications, cerumen is extracted utilizing instrumentation or suction, depending on the extent of wax buildup.

Electronystagmography (ENG)

An ENG is generally performed on patients who have episodes of dizziness or balance problems. It is an electronic measuring instrument that charts a patient’s eye movements during a vestibular evaluation.

Evaluation of Vestibular Problems

Most people at one time or another in their lives have experienced some type of “dizziness” associated with lightheadedness, an imbalance disorder, or true spinning sensation commonly known as vertigo. In fact dizziness is a common complaint physicians hear from their elderly patients. There is a close relationship between the hearing and balance systems because they share the same space called “the inner ear.” The inner ear is comprised of two parts, the cochlea that houses the sensory organs responsible for our hearing and the semicircular canals that contain the structure, which help us maintain our balance. We call the semicircular canals and the nerve that innervates from the brain the “vestibular system.” This system works in conjunction with other important systems such as visual and sensory to maintain balance as well.

Symptoms of peripheral vestibular dysfunction include:

  • Severe nausea and vomiting
  • Mild imbalance
  • Hearing loss
  • Feeling fullness in the ears

Causes of dizziness disorders include:

  • Viral or bacterial infections of the inner ear
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Tumors of the vestibular nerve
  • Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV):  BPPV is a common type of dizziness associated with brief episodes of vertigo when the head is moving up or down, or rolling over in bed. Typically, the episode lasts 10-60 seconds then goes away. BPPV affects more men than women. Sometimes BPPV resolves itself.

Treatments of dizziness disorders include:

  • Screening for hearing loss
  • Repositioning therapy
  • Surgery

 

Thank you for considering the HearFlorida Audiology Group for your patients. We look forward to assisting your hearing loss patients.  To learn more about the Insurances Accepted by HearFlorida Audiology Group, please visit our Insurances Accepted page.