Hearing loss can cause a lot of discouragement. You may feel isolated because you can’t interact with family and friends like you used to. You may start hearing ringing in your ears that irritates you. Or maybe you want to try hearing aids but you have hesitations. At Andros ENT & Sleep Center, we provide caring, individualized care for patients in the Twin Cities area who are struggling with hearing loss. Our team of experienced, educated audiologists will work with you to diagnose you and figure out a solution that is right for you.
At Andros ENT & Sleep Center, we offer ear and mastoid cleanings as well as hearing evaluations for all ages, including worker’s compensation or work-related hearing assessments.
We treat the following ear and hearing-related conditions:
- Hearing Loss
- Tinnitus (Ear Ringing)
- Cerumen Impaction
- Middle Ear Otitis Media
- Speech Delay
- Outer Ear Canal/ Swimmer’s Ear Infection
- Benign Positional Vertigo (BPPV)
- Meniere’s Disease
- TM Rupture/ TM Perforation
- Vertigo/ Dizziness, Hematoma
- Torn Earlobe
- Skin Cancer
- Auricular Deformity/ Prominent or “Cup” Ears
We offer patients a wide variety of brands and versions of hearing aids, so we can ensure that we find a set that is comfortable, functional and effective for your needs. Our audiologists will perform hearing tests that will determine your level of hearing loss and your current hearing ability, which will help us decide which set of hearing aids is the right solution for you.
We can provide you with the following hearing aid brands:
Until now, ear tube options were limited to young children and always involved an operating room visit and general anesthesia for a routine procedure. With the Hummingbird, your physician is now able to safely place ear tubes in less steps, while enabling parents the option to be present for these routine office procedures.
The Hummingbird is FDA 510(k) approved for in-office use in children 6-24 months. Contact Andros ENT and Sleep Center to determine if the Hummingbird is right for your child!
The Hummingbrid eliminates risk and stress associated with general anesthesia during your child’s ear tube procedure. Parents may also be present throughout the procedure.
The in-office procedure eliminates the need for fasting and the operating room, allowing for your child to return immediately to normal activities following the procedure.
The overall costs associated with the Hummingbird procedure are often significantly less than the operating room.
Otitis Media is a middle-ear infection, the most common type of ear infection. It occurs when tissues in the middle ear become inflamed because of either a viral or bacterial infection, and often there is a buildup of fluid and inflammation behind the ear drum that causes pain and pressure. Symptoms include ear pain, hearing loss, balance issues, fever, irritability and problems with speech.
Antibiotics can usually successfully get rid of an ear infection. Surgery is sometimes needed if there are multiple infections or the fluid in the middle ear space is persisting. Ear tube surgery is a method used to treat chronic ear infections. During an ear tube surgery, a tiny tube is inserted into the tympanic membrane (ear drum) so that the middle ear space and mastoid (bone behind the ear) are ventilated, drainage of any fluid that accumulates is facilitated and as well allows for direct, topical treatment of ear infections.
Swimmer’s Ear/ Otitis Externa
Swimmer’s Ear, often caused by water in the ear canal, especially if not chlorinated such as well or lake water, frequent Q-tip use , or skin conditions such as dermatitis or psoriasis. Diabetics are particularly vulnerable to this type of ear infection and should be evaluated as soon as symptoms begin. Mild symptoms include itchiness, redness and some drainage, while moderate symptoms include more severe itchiness and pain, decreased hearing, drainage of fluid and/or pus or pain when chewing. Swimmer’s Ear is severe when you experience immense pain, fever, loss of hearing, and swelling of lymph nodes and the side of your face.
Treatment usually includes prescription antibiotic ear drops, after a thorough cleaning out of the ear canal. Sometimes a wick is placed which acts like a funnel to get the medication deep in the ear canal and maintain it in constant contact with the ear canal. Depending on the severity of symptoms and if diabetic or immunocompromised, oral antibiotics are also prescribed.
Hearing Assessments & Treatments
Adult Hearing Evaluations
The doctor will use an otoscope to look at and assess your ear canal and ear drum.
Pure Tone Measures
This test reveals a patient’s hearing levels, which can give details as to their type and extent of hearing loss. It involves having the patient raise their hand or push a button when they hear a tone.
The patient will hear a set of words and have to repeat them.
This test evaluates the middle ear, eardrum and conduction bones by making different levels of air pressure in the ear canal.
Pediatric Hearing Evaluations
Visual Reinforcement Audiometry (VRA)
This test helps evaluate children ages six months to three years, too young for adult testing. It trains children to use lighted toys and animations in response to sounds they hear.
Conditioned Play Audiometry (CPA)
This evaluation, used for children ages three to five years old, has children use play habits, such as moving blocks, to respond to sounds they hear.
Patients five years old and older will be asked to raise their hand or push a button when they hear a tone, or repeat back a set of words that they hear.
Infant and Newborn Hearing Evaluations
Otoacoustic Emissions (OAEs)
The cochlea is the organ located in the inner ear that promotes hearing. It contains hair cells that move in response to sound, and this movement is known as OAEs. They can be traced through a microphone placed into the ear canal. The patient will hear various tones that produce OAEs in the ear, and therefore it is important for the infant to be quiet. It is best to complete this test when the child is asleep or falling asleep.
Tinnitus, often known as ringing in the ears, occurs when a patient hears sounds that aren’t externally present, as in only the patient can hear them. The sound can take on many different forms, such as buzzing or roaring, and is a response to hearing loss. For some people, it can cause lack of sleep, decrease in cognition, difficulty concentrating, strained relationships, anxiety and depression or difficulty in keeping a job.
As of right now, there isn’t a cure for tinnitus, but it can be reduced with sound therapy. This involves using another sound to decrease the noticeability of tinnitus. This can involve turning up the amplification on hearing aids or using the new Tinnitus Treatment Solution from Starkey Hearing Technologies, which we offer at Andros ENT & Sleep Center.
Hearing Protection & Molds
We can create earplugs that are perfect for:
- Aquatic athletes
- Workers in loud environments
- Motor Sport participants
- Race Drivers
- Medical professionals
Hearing Aid Options
Hearing aids can take a little time to get used to, but with practice, they can make a drastic difference in your life. To decrease the adjustment period, wear hearing aids anytime you are awake and expose yourself to sounds often to test your hearing.
We offer the following hearing aid brands:
Hearing Aid Styles
Invisible-in-The-Canal Hearing Aids (IIC)
These hearing aids are placed in the ear canal’s second bend, which means no one can see them.
Completely-In-Canal Hearing Aids (CIC)
With these aids, only a tiny bit of plastic is visible in the ear.
Behind-The-Ear Hearing Aids (BTE)
These are the most common hearing aids, and come in regular, mini or power options.
Receiver-In-Canal Hearing Aids (RIC)
These hearing aids are small, easy to fit into the ear and are very subtle. They are a great option for those picking out their first pair.
In-The-Ear Hearing Aids (ITE)
These molds are custom-made to sit comfortably in the outer part of the ear.
In-The-Canal Hearing Aids (ITC)
This option is also custom-made and sits in the ear canal, and only a small amount is visible in the outer ear.
Hearing Aid Accessories
There are many options for accessories that make your hearing aids more effective and easier to use. For example, they can allow you to increase or decrease the level of sound coming through your hearing aids.
Modern technology, such as Starkey’s Halo hearing aid and TruLink application, allows you to adjust your hearing aids using a smartphone, tablet or computer. This option, which uses a free app, makes it possible to use your phone to stream music, calls and other audio right through your hearing aids as well as use your phone as a remote to increase or decrease the volume and other settings in your hearing aids.