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Conditions

Acoustic Reflex Testing

Acoustic reflex testing evaluates the eardrum's flexibility & the middle ear muscles response to a loud sound.

Migraine

Migrainous Vertigo

Periodic headaches with other symptoms, including dizziness. In some patient’s dizziness may be the only symptom.

What causes Tinnitus?

We have made tremendous advances through research, based on what is known about the auditory (hearing) system - sound is detected by the ear and processed by the brain. On the other hand, the exact physiological cause or causes of tinnitus are not known. There are, however, several likely sources, all of which are known to trigger or worsen tinnitus.

  • Noise exposure - Exposure to loud noises can damage and even destroy hair cells, called cilia, in the inner ear. Once damaged, these hair cells cannot be renewed or replaced.
  • Head and neck trauma - Physical trauma to the head and neck can induce tinnitus. Other symptoms include headaches, vertigo, and memory loss.
  • Certain disorders, such as hypo- or hyperthyroidism, Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, and thoracic outlet syndrome, can have tinnitus as a symptom. When tinnitus is a symptom of another disorder, treating the disorder can help alleviate the tinnitus.
  • Certain types of tumors
  • Wax build-up
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Ototoxicity - Some medications are ototoxic, that is, the medications are toxic to the ear. Other medications will produce tinnitus as a side effect without damaging the inner ear. Effects, which can depend on the dosage of the medication, can be temporary or permanent. Before taking any medication, make sure that your prescribing physician is aware of your tinnitus, and discuss alternative medications that may be available. There are some websites that provide information on drug interactions. Two popular resources for this are Drugwatch.com and the Physicians Desktop Reference websites.
  • Pulsatile tinnitus - Rare type of tinnitus that sounds like a rhythmic pulsing in the ear, typically in time with one's heartbeat. This kind of tinnitus can be caused by abnormal blood flow in arteries or veins close to the inner ear, brain tumors or irregularities in brain structure.

What causes Vertigo/Dizziness?

Dizziness can have many causes. One of our medical doctors will rule out serious health problems first. If they suspect you may have an inner ear problem, they will refer you to our department for additional testing. Below are some inner ear problems that cause vertigo and/or dizziness.

Orthostatic Hypotension

A sudden decrease in blood pressure as a result of changing positions (i.e. rising from a sitting to standing position), which may result in a sensation of lightheaded or dizziness.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is categorized by which part of the auditory system is damaged. A hearing loss can affect one ear (unilateral) or both ears (bilateral), and it can be present at birth (congenital) or acquired after birth. A congenital hearing loss is often caused by maternal infections, genetics, and premature birth. Hearing loss occurring after birth is typically caused by infections, trauma, noise exposure, and aging. An individual's hearing loss is described by degree and type. The degrees of hearing loss are mild, moderate, severe, and profound. The degree of hearing loss is determined from an audiogram (hearing test). The three types of HL are:

  • Conductive Hearing Loss
  • Sensorineural Hearing Loss
  • Mixed Hearing Loss

Conductive Hearing Loss (CHL)

CHL is caused by an abnormality in either the outer or middle ear. Examples of CHL include: middle ear fluid, wax impactions, excessive middle ear pressure, a hole in the eardrum, and problems with the middle ear bones (i.e. otosclerosis). CHLs are often temporary and treated medically.

Sensorineural Hearing Loss (SNHL)

SNHL is caused by an abnormality in the inner ear (cochlea and/or the auditory nerve). A SNHL is often permanent and is usually managed with hearing aids. SNHLs can be caused by aging, trauma, noise-exposure, and ototoxic medications.

Mixed Hearing Loss

A mixed hearing loss is a combination between CHL and SNHL. Mixed hearing losses are often managed with medical treatment and hearing aids.

About

Acadian Hearing & Balance Center

Our audiology team consists of Dr. Tia Castille, who has earned a doctorate degree in audiology with over 20 years of experience; Dr. Meagan McClure, who earned her doctorate degree in audiology in 2010; and Dr. Katherine Duhon, who earned her doctorate degree in audiology in 2012. Acadian Hearing & Balance Center in Lafayette, LA has the advantage of having five medical doctors and a physician's assistant on-site in case medical intervention is necessary.

Acadian Hearing & Balance Center Articles

Michelle Fontenot

Meet Michelle Fontenot! Michelle is the coordinator of our Audiology department here at Acadian ENT & Facial Plastic Surgery Center and has been with us for 3 years. Michelle received her degr .. Read More