Ear & Hearing

Comprehensive Audiology for your Hearing disorders

Del Rey ENT Associates provides a wide range of services for the evaluation and remediation of hearing disorders for patients ranging in age from infants to geriatrics. Our services cover the following areas: Tympanometry, Otoacoustic emissions testing, Auditory processing disorder evaluations, Auditory brainstem response screenings, Hearing aid recommendations, and Rehabilitative recommendations for communication handicaps.

For those patients who would greatly benefit from hearing aids, we offer a broad selection to choose from:

  • ReSound LINX (the Smart hearing aid made for iPhone, iPod and iPad)
  • Lyric (the Invisible Hearing Aid)
  • Siemens
  • Phonak CROAS

Tympanic Membrane Perforation

Tympanic Membrane perforation or a perforated eardrum is a hole or rupture in the eardrum. The medical term for the eardrum is tympanic membrane. The middle ear is connected to the nose by the eustachian tube, which equalizes pressure in the middle ear. A perforated eardrum is often accompanied by decreased hearing and occasional discharge. The causes of perforated eardrum are usually trauma or infection. A perforated eardrum can occur from:

  • The ear is struck squarely with an open hand
  • Repeated ear infections
  • After a sudden explosion
  • If an object (such as a bobby pin, Q-tip, or stick) is pushed too far into the ear canal.
  • As a result of a PE tube placement

Most eardrum perforations heal spontaneously within weeks after rupture, although may take up to several months. During the healing process the ear must be protected from water and trauma. Those eardrum perforations, which do not heal on their own, may require surgery.

How is a Tympanic Membrane Perforation Treated?

Before attempting any correction of the perforation, a hearing test should be performed. The benefits of closing a perforation include prevention of water entering the ear while showering, bathing or swimming (which could cause ear infection), improved hearing, and diminished tinnitus. It may also prevent the development of cholesteatoma (skin cyst in the middle ear), which can cause chronic infection and destruction of ear structures. If the perforation is very small, Dr. Sigari may choose to observe the perforation over time to see if it will close spontaneously. He also may try to patch a cooperative patient’s eardrum in the office.

There is a variety of surgical techniques, but all basically will place tissue across the perforation to allow healing. The name of the procedure is called a tympanoplasty. Surgery is typically quite successful in closing the perforation permanently, and improving hearing. This is usually done on an outpatient basis.

Balance Disorders

What causes balance disorders?

Our body is able to maintain position through a complex balance system that integrates components of the inner ear, as well as the skeletal, visual, brain and nervous systems. Often times, balance orders go hand-in-hand with many hearing problems, but because the balance system relies on input from so many areas, there are literally hundreds of problems that may cause balance issues. This makes balance disorders particularly difficult to diagnose and treat.

How are hearing and balance disorders treated?

Treatment will depend on many factors, including the type, severity and cause for your condition. Treatment might include medications, surgery, hearing aids, and physical therapy to improve balance.