Hearing And Balance Center Of Miami Valley Hospital

The Hearing and Balance Center of Miami Valley Hospital performs a wide variety of tests designed to diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders.

Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is very common, affecting approximately 10 percent of the U.S. population. Hearing loss is the third most common chronic condition in older Americans after arthritis and high blood pressure. It can often go unnoticed because it occurs gradually. Many people are aware their hearing has deteriorated but are reluctant to seek help.

Signs Of Hearing Loss

Signs of hearing loss could include:

  • Requiring frequent repetition
  • Having difficulty following conversations involving two or more people
  • Feeling as though others sound muffled or that they’re mumbling
  • Consistently turning up the TV or radio to a high volume
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy situations
  • Trouble hearing children or women
  • Answering or responding inappropriately in conversations
  • Experiencing ringing in the ears
  • Reading lips or intently watching people’s faces when they speak

Conditions That Affect Hearing And Balance

The specialists at the Hearing and Balance Center diagnose and treat these common conditions:

  • Nerve-based hearing loss
  • Fluid in the ears
  • Chronic ear disease
  • Congenital hearing loss and trauma
  • Motion sickness
  • Vertigo that feels as if you are moving or spinning
  • Viral balance disorders
  • Meniere’s disease – an inner-ear disorder that causes dizziness, ringing in the ears (tinnitus) hearing loss, and a feeling of fullness in the ear

Hearing Aids And Assistive Listening Devices

Most people with a hearing impairment can benefit from the use of hearing aids or other assistive listening devices. An assessment regarding the level of amplification that would best suit you is generally completed following a comprehensive hearing evaluation by a qualified audiologist.

At Miami Valley Hospital, we work with a variety of hearing aid manufacturers to find the most appropriate solution for each patient. We will explain the styles and technology available and will help determine which is right for you. We will walk you through the process for obtaining a hearing aid, including related costs, and will take impressions of your ear canal for custom-fit hearing aids.

All hearing aids have a 30-day adjustment (trial) period and at least a one-year warranty for repairs, as well as lost or stolen damage insurance. Follow-up care for all hearing aids is provided to ensure fit and function are appropriate.

An assistive listening device (ALD) is any device or product, including hearing aids, that improves or assists hearing. All individuals can benefit from ALDs, not just persons with hearing impairment. Assistive listening devices are typically used for specific listening environments. They are commonly used in theaters, at church, in conference rooms during meetings, in schools, or with televisions and radios. Some ALDs work together with hearing aids, but many can be used without hearing aids.

Balance Issues

Do you feel dizzy? Off balance? Is the room spinning? Do you feel like you are falling to one side? Dizziness is more common than ever, and falling is one of the leading health concerns for persons over 60 years old. Being able to move about freely is an important factor in the quality of life of both younger and older people, and a healthy vestibular system is vitally important to freedom of movement. Our center is designed to evaluate and treat patients who suffer from dizziness (vertigo), unsteadiness, falls, or motion intolerance.

Many people do not realize that dizziness is a symptom, not a disease. Balance in walking and standing is dependent on many factors. Reduced vision and neuropathy in hands and feet can more greatly influence balance. So can medications, balance, gait, and blood pressure. The symptoms of dizziness very from person to person. It may or may not be accompanied by hearing loss.

Dizziness can be described as a:

  • Sensation of unsteadiness
  • Feeling of imbalance
  • Disorientation in relation to your surroundings
  • Whirling sensation (vertigo)

Helpful Services

The Hearing and Balance Center of Miami Valley Hospital offers the following services:

  • Hearing aids and assistive listening devices (ALDs). We offer a wide selection of styles and types of hearing aids from different manufacturers. Many are digital to allow the hearing aids to be set more precisely for an individual’s specific hearing loss. We also offer cosmetically appealing hearing aids, such as the completely-in-the-canal type, and assistive listening devices for the telephone, television, and other listening situations
  • Audiological evaluation (adults). This comprehensive evaluation assesses your hearing status from the outer to inner parts of the ear. The exam includes a complete history of your symptoms, as well as other factors contributing to the hearing issue. Specific diagnostic tests can include an otoscopic examination, pure tone audiometry, speech audiometry, middle ear studies, and otoacoustic emissions studies of the inner ear.
  • Middle ear assessment: The middle ear assessment tests the integrity of the middle ear system. It can assess the presence or absence of fluid in the middle ear space or perforation of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) and looks at reflexes of muscles to loud sounds.
  • Pure tone and speech testing. This testing is performed in a sound treated room. Testing is done to assess the quietest level of hearing, comfortable levels of hearing as well as speech understanding in each ear.
  • Otoacoustic emissions. This non-invasive procedure assesses the status of the inner ear (cochlea) at the hair cells level, where hearing takes place.
  • Videonystagmography (VNG) or electronystagmography (ENG). This test evaluates the inner ear balance function to determine if dizziness is due to inner ear disease. The ENG test is the “gold standard” to identify if the presence of dizziness or imbalance is due to unequal neural messages to the vestibular system.
  • Platform posturography. Normal balance requires correct information from the balance center portion of the inner ears (vestibular structures), the eyes (vision) and the pressure sensors in the feet, ankles, muscles, and joints (somatosensory systems). This test evaluates your postural stability. This is a good evaluation for patients who may be experiencing falls or gait instability.
  • Auditory brainstem response (ABR). This examination tests the hearing nerve from the inner ear to the brain stem. It assesses the pathway’s function to transmit sound.
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potential. This test assesses whether a specific part of the inner ear nerve, the saccule, and central connections are intact and working normally.

Contact Us

You’ll need a physician referral to be seen at the Hearing and Balance Center.

The Hearing and Balance Center
Wright Health Building
1222 S. Patterson Blvd., Suite 391
Dayton, OH 45402

(937) 208-2548(937) 208-2548
(937) 641-2532 fax