Coughing? Sneezing and wheezing? You’re not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from sinus, ear,
throat or voice problems. If you’ve been unable to find long-term relief for your sinus pain or other
ear, nose and throat problems, our team of experts at The South Texas Sinus Institute is here to help.
Our board certified Otolaryngologists – more commonly called ENTs (Ear, Nose and Throat doctors)
– are leaders in the medical and surgical treatment of sinus, ear, nose and throat problems. As
experts, they are all highly skilled and trained to diagnose, treat and manage symptoms in both
adults and children. Using the latest technology and treatments, we provide you with the highest
level of care and successful outcomes.
Here at South Texas Sinus Institute, we treat a variety of inner and outer ear problems including, but
not limited to:
• Hearing Loss
• Vertigo & balance disorders
• Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
• Ringing in ears (Tinnitus)
• Fluid/recurrent infections
• Ear tubes
• Ear drum perforations
• Disorders of the hearing bones
• Congenital deformities (lop ear, pits )
• Cysts and tumors
• Skin cancers
• Ear wax
• External ear canal problems
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
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In Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) dizziness is thought to be due to debris which has collected within a part of the inner ear. This debris can be thought of as “ear rocks”, although the formal name is “otoconia”. Ear rocks are small crystals of calcium carbonate derived from a structure in the ear called the “utricle” (figure1 ). While the saccule also contains otoconia, they are not able to migrate into the canal system. The utricle may have been damaged by head injury, infection, or other disorder of the inner ear, or may have degenerated because of advanced age. Normally otoconia appear to have a slow turnover. They are probably dissolved naturally as well as actively reabsorbed by the “dark cells” of the labyrinth (Lim, 1973, 1984), which are found adjacent to the utricle and the crista, although this idea is not accepted by all (see Zucca, 1998, and Buckingham, 1999).
BPPV is a common cause of dizziness. About 20% of all dizziness is due to BPPV. The older you are, the more likely it is that your dizziness is due to BPPV, as about 50% of all dizziness in older people is due to BPPV. In a recent study, 9% of a group of urban dwelling elders were found to have undiagnosed BPPV (Oghalai, J. S., et al., 2000).The symptoms of BPPV include dizziness or vertigo, lightheadedness, imbalance, and nausea. Activities which bring on symptoms will vary among persons, but symptoms are almost always precipitated by a change of position of the head with respect to gravity.
Is the Ringing in my ears Normal?
Not at all. Tinnitus is the name for these head noises, and they are very common. Nearly 36 million Americans suffer from this discomfort. Tinnitus may come and go, or you may be aware of continuous sound. It can vary in pitch from a low roar to a high squeal or whine, and you may hear it in one or both ears. When the ringing is constant, it can be annoying and distracting. More then seven million people are afflicted so severely that they cannot lead normal lives.
Can other people hear the noise in my ears?
Not usually, but sometimes they are able to hear a certain type of tinnitus. This is called “objective tinnitus”, and it is caused either by abnormalities in blood vessels around the outside of the ear or by muscle spasms, which may sound like clicks or crackling inside the middle ear.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Most tinnitus comes from damage to the microscopic endings of the hearing nerve in the inner ear. The health of these nerve ending is important for acute hearing, and injury to them brings on hearing loss and often tinnitus. If you are older, advancing age is generally accompanied by a certain amount of hearing nerve impairment and tinnitus. If you are younger, exposure to loud noise is probably the leading cause of tinnitus, and often damages hearing as well. There are many causes for “subjective tinnitus”, the noise only you can hear. Some causes are not serious (a small plug of wax in the ear canal might cause temporary tinnitus). Tinnitus can also be a symptom of stiffening of the middle ear bones (otosclerosis).
Tinnitus may also be caused by allergies, high or low blood pressure