Ear and Hearing Disorders

The UAB Medicine Otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat, or ENT) Clinic provides complete management of allergy conditions involving the ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, and neck. We offer four main services: diagnostic testing, hearing aids, bone-anchored hearing aids, and cochlear implants. In addition, we are one of the few auditory brainstem implant programming centers in the nation. Each of our Audiologists is certified with the American Speech Language Hearing Association, and our patients have access to both the Audiology team as well as the full array of specialists within the Department of Otolaryngology.

Diagnostic testing includes both audiological assessments to determine a patient’s current hearing levels as well as inner-ear assessments to determine how a patient’s balance system is functioning. The results of these tests help determine what type of hearing aid may be needed and potential treatments for dizziness due to inner-ear imbalances.

We offer a variety of advanced hearing aids, in many styles and from many leading manufacturers. These styles include receiver in the canal (RIC), behind the ear (BTE), in the ear (ITE), completely in the canal (CIC), and contralateral routing of offside signal (CROS) hearing aids. Your audiologist will consider factors such as type and degree of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, and ear anatomy to determine which style of hearing aid will be most appropriate for you. Thanks to advancements in hearing aid technology, functionality and patient satisfaction are better than ever. Most recently, hearing aids have evolved to offer capabilities that can be controlled with an app on your smartphone.

A bone-anchored hearing aid, or BAHA, can be used for patients with either a conductive hearing loss or single-sided deafness. A BAHA works by stimulating the hearing nerve through vibrations. This allows the patient to hear by bypassing any damaged or malfunctioning part of the hearing system or by stimulating the opposite hearing nerve.

Patients with severe to profound hearing loss and who have seen little improvement with hearing aids may be candidates for cochlear implants. If testing demonstrates that a patient has severe to profound hearing loss, additional tests will determine if cochlear implants are right for you, taking into consideration any medical and surgical limitations you may have as well as diseases or conditions that may affect a successful implantation. After surgery for cochlear implantation, implant programming (or “mapping”) is performed during a series of visits to optimize the results of implant for you. This will occur over 18-24 months.The UAB Medicine Otolaryngology (ear, nose, and throat, or ENT) Clinic provides complete management of allergy conditions involving the ears, nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, and neck. Our staff includes some of the nation’s most skilled physicians and surgeons – many who are fellowship-trained – and our ENT program is consistently ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of the best of its kind in the country. In addition to allergy testing and treatment, the clinic offers a wide range of care options for conditions such as head and neck cancer; thyroid and parathyroid issues; ear disorders (including hearing and balance problems); voice, swallowing and airway disorders; sleep disorders such as disruptive snoring and obstructive sleep apnea; and sinus problems.

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