The human ear is one of the most multifaceted and useful organs in the body, involving a series of actions and reactions to successfully function. The internal structure of the ear operates much like a mini labyrinth, with several parts working together to convert vibrations into discernable sounds the brain can easily understand and interpret as information. When one loses the ability to detect those sounds, this is what we refer to as “hearing loss.” This occurs when one or more sections of the ear and/or the sections of the brain that comprise the hearing pathway function abnormally. That’s where an otologist comes in. |
What is an Otologist?
While otolaryngology is quite the mouthful, most are familiar with what it entails. Also known as ENT physicians, otolaryngologists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with diseases related to the ear, nose and throat, as well as associated structures of the head and neck. Partaking in the oldest medical specialty in the United States, otolaryngologists are uniquely qualified to detect and treat anything from ear infections to throat cancer. However, within the field of otolaryngology are a number of subbranches, including otology. Otologists are board-certified otolaryngologists with supplementary training in various types of ear care, including:
• Ear Canal Disorders: External ear canal disorders such as contracting of the ear canal (which can lead to wax accumulation and frequent infections), otitis externa (swimmer’s ear), and growths or tumors. • Facial Nerve Disorders: This nerve controls your facial muscles and moves through the temporal bone and the ear. • Dizziness and Vertigo: Several different health issues can result in poor balance, including vertigo, or dizziness.
Can They Help with Hearing Loss?
Absolutely! Otologists not only have the capability to help diagnose a specific type of hearing loss, but they can also offer suggestions for improvement. Here at Ress Hearing, we offer a variety of resources and solutions to help you or your loved one combat hearing loss. The process happens in a series of three stages. First, the patient will undergo an evaluation, the first being audiological. During the one-hour audiological evaluation, the patient’s hearing ability will be measured by utilizing pure-tone air and bone conduction audiometry, speech audiometry, and acoustic impedance measurements. From there, the test results will dictate the next course of action. If the otologist decides that it’s time for you to be fitted with hearing aids, you will discuss the best options available together. You will be shown an assortment of hearing aids that are suitable for you and the pros and cons of each product will be explained to you.
The fitting itself typically takes one hour. During this time, the patient is instructed in how to use and care for their new hearing instruments. And because Ress’ experienced otologists understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to hearing loss, we work with a variety of manufacturers so we can ensure that you receive as many customized recommendations as possible. Here are some of the hearing aid manufacturers we offer: Oticon, Widex, Siemens, Starkey, ReSound, and Phonak.
If hearing loss is causing you discomfort and affecting your well-being, it may be time to see an otologist. And like any medical condition, the sooner you consult a professional, the better. Contact us to schedule an appointment in our Boca Raton, FL office today!
Related Articles -