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Neuroscience Institute

Diagnosis and Treatment

What do we treat?

 

Ear/Hearing disorders

  • Progressive hearing loss (from early hearing loss to profound deafness)
  • Sudden hearing losses
  • Otosclerosis
  • Chronic ear infections (draining, cholesteatoma, ear canal infections)
  • Tumors of the ear canal or middle ear

 

Balance Disorders

  • Positional Vertigo
  • Meniere’s disease
  • Vestibular neuronitis
  • Migraine associated dizziness
  • Superior canal dehiscence
  • All other causes of imbalance and dizziness

 

Facial Nerve Disorders

  • Facial nerve paralysis
  • Bell’s palsy
  • Ramsay-Hunt syndrome

 

Skull Base Tumors

  • Acoustic tumors (Vestibular schwannomas)
  • Meningiomas
  • All tumors affecting the ear, temporal bone, or posterior fossa

 

Associated Treatments

 

Surgery for the Chronically Infected Ear

Our division’s expertise ranges from the management of recurrent ear infections to multi-stage tympanoplasty with mastoidectomy for the eradication of cholesteatoma. Surgery for perforated eardrums can be performed at AGH with a variety of techniques, tailored to the situation. Middle ear reconstruction is performed after the eradication of infection to optimize hearing.

Vertigo/ Imbalance Treatment

The most common treatments provided are the canalolith repositioning maneuvers used to treat benign positional vertigo and similar conditions. Occasionally posterior canal occlusion is necessary for difficult cases.

Meniere’s disease is treated successfully with medical management in most cases, but a variety of surgical options are available for those that have refractory disease. Endolymphatic sac surgery, intratympanic gentamycin, and vestibular nerve section are all effective treatments depending on patients’ desires and pre-intervention hearing levels.

Constant imbalance often requires the expertise of a physical therapist trained in vestibular rehabilitation techniques. AGH offers these services with highly trained physical therapists that can analyze patients’ balance strategies and suggest appropriate methods to get their balance back to normal.

Cochlear Implants

Most nerve hearing loss actually involves degeneration of hair cells that act to translate sound energy into an electric signal the brain can then interpret. Cochlear implants are a computer processor attached to an electrode which when inserted into the cochlea bypasses the hair cells and stimulates the cochlear nerve directly. Patients even with profound deafness can often hear at normal levels and when properly trained can in most cases talk on a telephone again. We have the surgical expertise for cochlear implant candidate screening and surgical insertion and the audiology expertise for proper programming and rehabilitation.

Hearing Amplification

Hearing amplification devices (hearing aids) have made great strides in the past years with new noise canceling technologies, directional microphones, and strategies to eliminate occlusion effect. These devices remain an important tool for the treatment of neural hearing loss.

Skull Base Surgery/Radiosurgery

Our surgeons specialize in the treatment of complex lesions of the temporal bone. This includes expertise in various approaches to acoustic tumors, meningiomas, and all other tumors affecting this complex anatomic area. Our surgeons are also certified in stereotactic irradiation protocols and work collaboratively with our radiation oncologists at AGH to provide patients with a comprehensive and balanced approach to these complex tumors.

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