While ear infections are quite common, frequently patients simply have difficulty with hearing but do not have infection. A wide variety of hearing disorders are treated at Eastern Carolina ENT Head and Neck Surgery. Some of the more common disorders seen are noise-related hearing loss, age-related hearing loss and other types of hearing loss. Age and noise-related hearing loss, as well as many types of hereditary hearing loss, are due to reduced function of the inner ear. This is generally not something that can be improved with surgery. However, severe hearing loss that is not significantly improved with hearing aids is sometimes treated with a Cochlear Implant. Hearing aids are often considered for these types of hearing loss. Some types of hearing loss, congenital hearing loss such as otosclerosis may be surgically improved.
Otosclerosis is a disorder of the bones behind the eardrum which conduct the sound from the eardrum to the inner ear. There is abnormal bone formation which interferes with the normal vibration of these hearing bones. This is not a disease that causes any threat to the patient’s general health but causes generally slow progressive hearing loss. One of the treatments for otosclerosis is stapedectomy. Surgery for hearing loss may include making a new ear canal for a patient who doesn’t have an ear canal, or for patients with problems with the hearing bones, simply lifting the eardrum and repairing the hearing bones.
Less common disorders of the ear include various types of tumors. The vast majority of tumors which grow in and around the ear are benign; however, some of these tumor can enlarge and cause problems such a shearing loss or facial paralysis or in rare instances, significant pressure on the brain. Not all such tumors necessarily require surgery but it is important to make the diagnosis. In the case of diagnosis of cancer, patients will usually select some form of treatment and consultation with a physician. In the case of benign tumors, the treatment options range from simple observation to surgery or other treatments.
Call Eastern Carolina ENT Head & Neck Surgery at 252-752-5227 for more information or to schedule an appointment.