Cholesteatoma is a skin growth that occurs in the middle ear behind the eardrum. The patient may experience ear pain, fullness of the ear, dizziness or weakness on the effected side of the face. Depending on the size of the cholesteatoma, treatment can include antibiotics and eardrops or surgery may be necessary to remove the growth. Various tests may be needed such as, hearing and balance testing or CT scans.
Mastoiditis is a bacterial infection of the mastoid bone; the bone sits behind the ear and consists of air spaces that help drain the middle ear. This can occur due to unresolved middle ear infection (Otitis Media). Symptoms may include fever, swelling of the earlobe, redness or tenderness behind the ear, drainage from the ear or bulging and drooping of the ear. A full examination of the ear would be conducted along with possible blood tests, CT scans or an ear culture. Treatment may include oral antibiotics, ear drops or regular ear cleanings by Drs. Mendians and Hengy. In chronic cases mastoid surgery may be necessary.
Eustachian Tube Disorder
Eustachian Tube Disorder (ETD) is the blockage of the tube that connects the middle ear to the back of the throat. Symptoms may include feeling of fullness in the ears, ringing or popping in the ears, decreased hearing and dizziness. Common causes of ETD may include allergies, colds, or sinus infections. Drs. Mendians and Hengy will conduct a full ear, nose and throat exam to determine the underlying cause of ETD. Other testing may be necessary such as hearing testing or allergy testing. Treatments such as antibiotics or insertion of Pressure Equalization (PE) tubes in the eardrums to drain any fluid behind the eardrum and equalize the pressure would be considered, or Myringotomy or Tympanostomy with insertion of Ventilating Tube.
Ear Perforations (Hole in the Eardrum)
Ear Perforations (hole in the eardrum) is a tear in the thin membrane (tympanic membrane) that separates the outer ear from the middle ear. It can be caused by an ear infection, trauma to the ear such as inserting a Q-tip too far into the ear or head trauma. A person with a ruptured eardrum may experience ear pain, drainage from the ear, buzzing in the ear or hearing loss. Drs. Hengy and Mendians will conduct a physical examination of the ear and may order additional testing such as a hearing examination and tympanogram. The eardrum can heal itself over time; however antibiotics may be recommended. In some cases, Drs. Hengy and Mendians may need to surgically patch or repair the eardrum - Paper Patch repair or Myringoplasty.
Cerumen (Ear Wax)
Cerumen (ear wax) is normal. Everyone produces ear wax but those patients who produce an excessive amount may experience a blockage in one or both ears causing some hearing loss, ear pain ringing in the ear (tinnitus) or dizziness. The use of Q-tips can cause more harm than good by pushing the earwax farther in the ear canal. Make an appointment to visit Drs. Mendians or Hengy for cerumen removal if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms.
Otitis Media (Infection of the Middle Ear)
Otitis Media (infections of the middle ear) is the most common cause of earaches. The infection in the middle ear may be accompanied by a common cold, flu or other respiratory infections. It can affect anyone from infants to adults. Patients may experience ear pain, draining from the ear and decrease in hearing. A full examination of the ears, nose and throat is conducted along with other testing such as a hearing test to determine the proper treatment. Patients may be treated with antibiotics or Pressure Equalization (PE) tubes.
Otitis Externa (Infection of the Outer Ear)
Otitis Externa is the inflammation or infection of the outer ear. Symptoms can include ear pain, itchy or fullness in the ear and possibly drainage. Drs. Mendians and Hengy will conduct a physical examination of the ear and may order further testing such a hearing test and tympanogram to determine if any hearing loss is present. Treatment can include eardrops and avoidance of water in the ear when swimming or showering and Tympanostomy with insertion of Ventilating Tube.
Vertigo (Dizziness and Balance)
Vertigo (dizziness and balance) patients may experience lightheadedness, spinning sensation, unsteadiness and changes in hearing. Dizziness can be caused by many factors including but not limited to, allergies, illness such as a cold or flu, Meniere’s disease, benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV), vestibular neuritis, injury to ear or head, blood pressure changes, or medication side effects. Drs. Hengy and Mendians will do a full examination that may include ordering other tests including an audiogram, MRI, Electronystagmography (ENG) to determine the cause of the vertigo. Once the underlying cause of the vertigo is determined appropriate treatment can take place, which may include medication or physical therapy.
Tinnitus (Ringing in the Ears)
Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is the sensation of hearing ringing, buzzing, humming, chirping, etc in the ear. It can be constant or come and go and vary in loudness. Tinnitus is very common. It can be associated with hearing loss but not always. It can range from a slight annoyance to causing trouble sleeping or difficulty concentrating. It can be caused by many factors; prolonged exposure to loud sounds, build up of ear wax, medication side effects, injury to head or neck, allergies, high blood pressure or natural aging process. Treatment varies depending on the underlying cause of the tinnitus. A full examination of the ears, nose and throat are conducted along with possible additional testing such as a hearing test, auditory brainstem response (ABR) test, allergy testing, MRI or CT scans.
Bell’s Palsy is a paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. It commonly occurs overnight and usually gets better within a few weeks. The cause of Bell’s Palsy is not clear but could be due to a viral infection. Symptoms may include sudden weakness on one side of the face, drooling, eye problems, loss of taste, pain behind ear and numbness on affected side of face. It is important to see a doctor for a physical and neurological exam to determine facial nerve function. Other testing may include blood tests, MRI or CT scan. Treatment may include antibiotics for the inflammation, facial exercises, and eye and mouth care.
Skin Cancers and Lesions
Drs. Mendians and Hengy can remove (excise) cancerous and non-cancerous growth present on a patient’s ear.