Hearing Conditions and Treatments
The ears are incredibly intricate organs that are essential to hearing, balance and communication. Our physician ear specialists deal with everything from ear infections to hearing loss, balance problems and tumors that affect the ear and ear canal.
Koss Hearing and Balance Center
Approximately 36 million American adults have some degree of hearing loss. About 25 million Americans have experienced tinnitus, or ringing in the ears. And 70 percent of the population will experience balance problems at some point.
Experts at the Koss Hearing and Balance Center work with individuals and families to identify the exact cause of hearing and balance problems – and to find solutions. Our specialists perform comprehensive testing before prescribing a treatment plan that will improve your ability to function. Hearing aid testing is also available.
Our experts frequently care for people with:
Tinnitus. If the ringing in your ears is starting to affect your quality of life, schedule an appointment with the Koss Hearing and Balance Center. Tinnitus can often be an early sign of hearing loss, and medical therapies may be appropriate. Hearing aids can often help some people with tinnitus.
Balance problems. Disturbances in the inner ear are just one cause of dysfunctional dizziness. Our experts will determine if your ears are contributing to your balance issues and address any underlying ear problems. Patients may also work with our vestibular therapists, physical therapists specially trained to deal with dizziness and imbalance issues.
Hearing loss. There’s no need to miss the conversation. There are many causes for hearing loss and many options for reversing the condition or improving hearing. Maybe sound energy is being blocked from reaching the inner ear. Or, there may be damage to the inner ear (cochlea) or to the hearing nerve. Expert diagnosis will help determine why hearing is impaired and lead to the best treatment.
Koss Cochlear Implant Program
For adults and children of all ages with deafness or profound hearing loss, cochlear implants can help them regain the ability to perceive sounds and understand speech. The specialists at the Koss Cochlear Implant Program at Froedtert & the Medical College use a soft-surgical approach that preserves the health of the cochlea and inner ear as much as possible. This approach is not widely available, but our surgeons use it to perform nearly 100 cochlear implants a year.
An acoustic neuroma is a non-cancerous tumor that originates from one of the balance nerves in the ear canal. As the tumor grows, it can create pressure and affect hearing, balance and facial movement and sensation. The fellowship-trained physicians who are part of our Acoustic Neuroma Program have extensive experience in the diagnosis and treatment of these rare tumors and provide the best possible care for patients with this disorder.
Ototoxicity – When Chemicals or Drugs Affect the Ears
As cancer patients often learn, some chemicals and drugs, such as those used for chemotherapy, can damage the hearing and cause tinnitus or balance problems. This condition, called “ototoxicity,” is best treated by specialists such as those at the Medical College of Wisconsin who can work with other physicians involved in the patient’s care to collaborate on the best treatment approaches. For instance, with cancer patients, ear, nose and throat specialists (otolaryngologists) will evaluate their hearing both before and after chemotherapy. Then they will relay the results to the patient’s cancer specialist for possible adjustments to chemotherapy that will help preserve hearing.
Other Ear-Related Concerns
Chronic ear infections? Problems with your ear drum? Trouble with fluid in your ears? Our otolaryngologists can help. They evaluate, diagnose and treat the full-range of ear-related concerns, and are happy to provide second opinions. Adult patients are seen at Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin, while children are treated at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.