Neurotology and Otology

Expert care for conditions that affect hearing and balance.

Hearing loss, chronic ear conditions, vestibular diseases and related conditions can significantly reduce your quality of life. At the Henry Ford Department of Otolaryngology, our Neurotology and Otology team is trained to provide the most advanced medical and surgical therapies to treat conditions that affect hearing and balance.

Our multidisciplinary team uses a comprehensive approach to manage your specific condition. These specialists deliver the skill and expertise associated with academic medical centers, along with a commitment to provide care that meets your needs.

Conditions requiring neurotology and otology care

We treat all conditions that affect hearing and balance, including the most complex cases:

  • Ear and hearing disorders
    • Progressive, profound and sudden hearing loss, including deafness in one ear
    • Tinnitus
    • Chronic ear infections and disease such as cholesteatoma
    • Inflammatory disease of the ear
    • Otosclerosis
    • Tympanic membrane perforations
    • Tumors of the ear canal or middle ear
  • Balance disorders
    • Vertigo
    • Benign Paroxysmal Positional vertigo (BPPV)
    • Meniere’s disease
    • Labyrinthitis and vestibular neuritis
    • Superior semicircular canal dehiscence
    • Other causes of imbalance or dizziness
  • Lateral skull base tumors
    • Acoustic neuromas (vestibular schwannomas)
    • Meningiomas
    • Glomus tumors
    • All other tumors affecting the ear, temporal bone, or posterior fossa

Symptoms

For many otologic and neurotologic disorders, common symptoms include hearing loss in one or both ears, an impaired sense of balance and, in some cases, dizziness or a spinning sensation. Other symptoms may include:

  • Clear, pus-filled or bloody drainage from your ear
  • Facial weakness
  • Ear pain
  • Tinnitus on one side

Diagnosis

Our program features the latest diagnostic tools and techniques to evaluate the ears, parts of the brain and nervous system, as necessary. For each patient case, our neurotology and otology specialists collaborate with doctorate-level (Au.D.) Henry Ford audiologists. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to provide a much higher level of care, make the most accurate diagnosis and manage more complex disease processes. Evaluation may include:

  • Hearing tests or specialized audiometric testing
  • Balance function testing
  • Imaging (CT and MRI scans)
  • Blood work
  • Otomicroscopy

Depending on your specific condition, your personalized care plan may include observation, medication by mouth or by injection into the ear, an assistive listening device for hearing loss, or an advanced procedure performed by a neurotology or otology specialist.

Hearing loss treatment

We offer a range of assistive listening devices, including:

  • Hearing aids: Our audiologists can recommend and fit you for custom hearing aids best suited to your specific needs.
  • Cochlear implantation: For severe hearing loss that can no longer be treated with hearing aids.
  • BAHA: Bone anchored hearing aid implants treat deafness in one ear, conductive and mixed hearing losses.

Neurotological and otological procedures

We have expertise in the latest surgical and minimally invasive procedures, including:

  • Advanced otologic procedures:
    • Microsurgery
    • Endoscopic ear surgery for chronic ear disease
    • Stapedectomy for treatment of otosclerosis
    • Tympanoplasty and mastoidectomy to repair a hole in the eardrum
    • Removal of cholesteatoma
  • Middle ear reconstruction: One or more middle ear bones are replaced with a prosthesis to improve hearing.
  • Skull base surgery: We are one of few centers that offer treatment for complex skull base tumors and related diseases.

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Henry Ford Health System is committed to ensuring our Deaf or hard-of-hearing patients and visitors have equal access to all services. We provide the appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified sign language interpreters, TTYs and other assistive listening devices, at no cost. To request assistance, call 313-916-1896 or email CommunicationAccess@hfhs.org.

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