Surgical Techniques to Treat Hearing Conditions and Disorders
At Loyola Medicine, we understand that hearing loss has a dramatic impact on your quality of life and your relationships with the people around you. We provide testing, treatment and rehabilitation services for patients of all ages with hearing impairments and problems related to the ear.
Loyola’s audiologists aim to understand your hearing concerns, diagnose your condition and develop a treatment plan that meets your needs. Our team has vast experience treating patients with hearing issues, and all of Loyola’s audiologists have advanced degrees in audiology.
Loyola’s audiology team is focused on restoring your quality of life with the least invasive treatment possible. Many patients benefit greatly from conventional hearing aids. For some patients, a surgical approach is necessary to improve your condition. Loyola’s audiologists and otolaryngologists are experts in audiology surgery to screen and treat a range of hearing problems and recognized for providing the most advanced treatment options available.
Why Choose Loyola for Audiology Surgery?
Loyola provides truly integrated clinical care for audiology conditions, bringing together specialists in audiology, surgery and otolaryngology to provide adult and pediatric patients with advanced care in a compassionate environment. As part of an academic medical center, Loyola’s expert clinicians perform and teach the latest surgical techniques and medical treatments in numerous locations across the Chicago area. In addition, our nurses have earned Magnet status, which means they have been recognized for delivering the highest level of care.
What Conditions are Treated with Audiology Surgery?
When you come to Loyola for your first appointment with an audiologist, your hearing will be tested to determine the degree and nature of your hearing loss. Once your audiologist has a clear understanding of your condition and your treatment goals, your doctor will work with you to determine the best course of treatment.
Loyola’s hearing specialists offer a full range of services and progressive therapy to treat neonatal, pediatric and adult patients suffering from hearing loss. Our hearing loss specialists are highly experienced in treating all forms of hearing loss and disorders, which include the following conditions:
- Auditory neuropathy — For people with this condition, sound enters the ear but signal transmission from the inner ear to the brain is impaired. Patients with this condition have trouble understanding speech clearly and may have minimal to severe hearing loss.
- Conductive hearing loss — A serious problem with the middle or outer ear leads to this type of auditory loss where sound cannot travel through the ear canal to the eardrum and ossicles (tiny bones) of the middle ear. This type of hearing loss is usually marked by a reduction in sound level or the ability to hear faint sounds and can often be medically or surgically corrected. Conductive hearing loss may be caused by absence or malformation of the ear or ear canal, ear infections, head trauma, or a perforated eardrum.
- Sensorineural hearing loss — Problems with the hearing nerve or cochlea (part of the middle ear) lead to this type of hearing loss, where patients experience various levels of hearing impairment; it may also affect speech and understanding. While this type of hearing loss is usually permanent and cannot be surgically or medical treated, many patients benefit from hearing aids. However, sudden sensorineural hearing loss is an exception—if you experience sudden hearing loss over the course of a day or several days, don’t delay in seeing a hearing specialist. This condition may be caused by aging, birth injury, drugs that are toxic to the auditory system, genetic syndromes, head trauma and noise exposure.
- Mixed hearing loss — In some cases, hearing loss is a combination of both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Some patients may start out with sensorineural hearing loss and later develop conductive hearing loss.
What Types of Audiology Surgeries are Available?
Loyola’s audiologists, otologists and otolaryngologists specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and management of hearing loss, balance disorders and a full range of auditory conditions. Our team has received specialized training to diagnose complex conditions and provide the most advanced treatment options.
Your doctor will develop an individualized treatment plan for your condition, which may include:
- Cochlear implants — For patients with moderate to profound hearing loss who are no longer benefitting from hearing aids, your Loyola audiologist or otolaryngologist may recommend cochlear implant surgery. Unlike a traditional hearing aid, a cochlear implant does not make sound louder or clearer; rather, a cochlear implant bypasses the damaged parts of the auditory system and stimulates the nerve of hearing, allowing you to receive sound. Learn more about cochlear implants.
- Bone-anchored cochlear implants — Also called osseointegrated hearing implants, this treatment provides a hearing solution for several types of hearing loss, including malformations of the external ear, middle-ear hearing loss and deafness in one ear. Loyola performs more of these implantation surgeries than any other medical center in Illinois. Learn more about bone-anchored cochlear implants.
- Fully implanted hearing aids — Loyola is a leader in offering the newest generation of implantable hearing aids. For patients whose hearing loss is too significant to benefit from conventional hearing aids, an implanted hearing aid may be recommended by your Loyola audiologist or otolaryngologist.
This advanced device is surgically placed in the middle ear, with no visible parts, using the natural ear to pick up sound. A Loyola surgeon was among the first in the Chicago area to implant this type of device, and Loyola has provided more of these devices to patients than any other center in the Midwest. The device has had a profound, life-changing effect on patients. Learn more about fully implanted hearing aids.
Integrated, Clinical Programs to Improve Audiologic Conditions
Loyola’s Hearing Center offers diagnosis and treatment in outstanding, conveniently located facilities throughout Chicagoland. We offer multidisciplinary facilities at the Loyola University Medical Center campus, in addition to outpatient services at other locations. Our board-certified otolaryngologists, audiologists, skilled nurses and caring staff provide the most advanced and most comprehensive care available.
In addition, Loyola’s Balance Disorders Center provides a multidisciplinary approach to caring for patients with dizziness, unsteadiness, vertigo, buzzing in the ears and hearing loss. Otolaryngologists, otologists, neurologists, neurotologists and physical therapists offer specific expertise in balance disorders, which can be difficult to diagnose.
Loyola’s skilled and experienced audiologists also offer intratympanic therapy for sudden sensorineural hearing loss, management of chronic draining ear and tympanostomy with pressure-equalizing placement.
Ongoing Clinical Research to Improve Audiologic Treatments
Loyola’s expert audiology program is at the forefront of medicine and actively pursuing new research with a focus on patient-centered outcomes—including preventing ototoxicity, the effect of testosterone injections on sudden sensorineural hearing loss and cochlear implant extrusion secondary to keloid formation.
As an academic medical center, Loyola is dedicated to improving future treatments by conducting research on new diagnostics and treatments. Loyola’s patients benefit from research discoveries made here. Read about Loyola’s current clinical trials.