The ENT Physicians and Audiologist at Sonoran Ear, Nose and Throat work as a team to diagnose and treat various conditions of the ear. Hearing loss is a very common condition affecting 20% of the US population. It is important to determine the cause of hearing loss as it can become worse over time. There are some types of hearing loss that should be medically evaluated and treated. Hearing services include diagnostic testing, tinnitus evaluation and treatment, hearing aids, cochlear implant evaluations and mapping, Baha/Ponto implantable hearing devices, and custom hearing protection.
Hearing Evaluations include a thorough work-up of all parts of the ear. We begin with an otoscopic examination of the external ear. Otoscopy allows us to determine if there is ear wax or other obstructions in the ear canal, and we can also see problems with the eardrum. Tympanometry and acoustic reflex thresholds are tests that measure the status and function of the eardrum and middle ear bones and muscles. Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs) are responses that can be measured from the healthy hair cells within the cochlea (inner ear). OAE testing is quick and easy, but can provide information on the status and function of these very important sensory cells in the cochlea. Hearing testing, or diagnostic audiogram, measures hearing thresholds; the softest sounds a person can hear at various frequencies. We measure hearing through air conduction (via earphones) and bone conduction (via vibration) to determine the type of hearing loss (conductive vs sensorineural), and the degree of hearing loss. Included in the audiogram are tests of word understanding. These are important tests because they provide functional assessment of the entire auditory system from the eardrum to the brain. It is important to know not just how well you can hear, but how you process the sounds you hear. All of these tests combine give the ENT Physicians and Audiologist a complete assessment of all the parts of the ear and auditory system.
The evaluation for tinnitus begins with taking a case history on the presentation of your symptoms, then conducting a thorough diagnostic audiogram to evaluate the auditory system. Because there are so many causes and contributing factors for tinnitus, a team approach works well to identify the possible source and implement a plan to help manage your symptoms. Treatment may include removal of ear wax, treatment of middle ear fluid, treatment options for TMJ, medications, and masking or sound therapy. See more in the patient education section.
Read more about Tinnitus