The Midwest Ear Institute provides complete care for patients with hearing loss. Our physicians and audiologists work together in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing related problems to provide comprehensive, expert care for both adults and children.

Our expert team works to provide you with the best possible hearing improvement through the use of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and other assistive technologies. Our Master’s and Doctoral trained audiologists dispense and service hearing aids of the finest quality through our in-office affiliate, Medical Hearing Aids, LLC, while our physicians perform Cochlear Implantations for patients with advanced hearing loss. Read on to learn more about the various hearing conditions we treat.

 

Many people have hearing loss and are either not aware of it or do not want to admit they have a problem. People of all ages experience gradual hearing loss, often due to the natural aging process or long exposure to loud noise. Other causes of hearing loss include viruses or bacteria, heart conditions or stroke, head injuries, tumors, and certain medications. Treatment for hearing loss will depend on your diagnosis. Our physicians and audiologists are experts at diagnosing and treating your specific type of hearing loss.

The ear is a sophisticated organ that transmits the sounds we hear into electrical impulses that are interpreted by the brain. The process of hearing and interpreting sound is accomplished at a fantastic speed. To achieve this remarkable feat, each part of the ear – outer, middle and inner ear – fulfills a specific function.

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Conductive hearing loss is one of two main categories of hearing loss, the other being sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss may result from diseases that affect the external ear or middle ear structures.

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More than three million American children have hearing loss, and an estimated 1.3 million of them are under three years of age. Most children with hearing loss are diagnosed in a screening prior to their hospital discharge as a newborn. In others, parents and grandparents are usually the first to discover hearing loss in a baby because they spend the most time with them. If at any time you suspect your baby has hearing loss, discuss it with your doctor.

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A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing in individuals with severe to profound hearing loss who do not benefit from a conventional hearing aid. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of the auditory system and directly stimulates the nerve of hearing, allowing individuals who are profoundly hearing impaired to receive sound.

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The Baha or Ponto is a hearing system which offers an advance in hearing technology and is designed for certain people with conductive or mixed hearing loss and for people with single-sided deafness- deaf in one ear.

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Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from tinnitus or head noises. It may be an intermittent sound or an annoying continuous sound in one or both ears. Its pitch can go from a low roar to a high squeal or whine. Prior to any treatment, it is important to undergo a thorough examination and evaluation by your otologist and audiologist. An essential part of the treatment will be understanding tinnitus and its causes.

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Autoimmune inner ear disease (AIED) is an inflammatory condition of the inner ear. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks cells in the inner ear that are mistaken for a virus or bacteria. Prompt medical diagnosis is essential to ensure the most favorable prognosis. Therefore, recognizing the symptoms of AIED is important: Sudden hearing loss in one ear progressing rapidly to the second and continued loss of hearing over weeks or months, a feeling of ear fullness, vertigo, and tinnitus. Treatments primarily include medications but hearing aids and cochlear implants are helpful to some.

Hyperacusis is a condition that arises from a problem in the way the brain’s central auditory processing center perceives noise. It can often lead to pain and discomfort. Individuals with hyperacusis have difficulty tolerating sounds which do not seem loud to others, such as the noise from running faucet water, riding in a car, walking on leaves, dishwasher, fan on the refrigerator, and shuffling papers. Although all sounds may be perceived as too loud, high frequency sounds may be particularly troublesome.

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Otosclerosis is an inherited disease in which the bone around the stapes (the third hearing bone) hardens and then fails to vibrate effectively. This can cause a significant conductive hearing loss. The great thing about this cause of hearing loss is that it is often solved by an outpatient surgery.

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One in 10 Americans suffers from hearing loss that affects his or her ability to understand normal speech. While age-related hearing loss is the most common cause, loss due to noise continues to be a significant problem. Unlike the natural process of aging, limiting nerve damage from noise is avoidable.

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Ear problems are the most common medical complaint of airplane travelers, and while they are usually simple, minor annoyances, they may result in temporary pain and hearing loss. Make air travel comfortable by learning how to equalize the pressure in the ears instead of suffering from an uncomfortable feeling of fullness or pressure.

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Travel is an important part of our lives. Whether for business or vacation, traveling can be as stressful as it is enjoyable, and for more than 20 million people in the U.S. with hearing loss, travel can be especially difficult. There are many things that hearing-impaired people can do to help make their travels safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Don’t avoid travelling because of hearing loss. Planning ahead and informing your fellow travelers, transportation hosts, and hotel clerks that you are hearing-impaired are a few suggestions to help your trip run smoothly. Lastly, obtain any necessary devices—and enjoy yourself!

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