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Expert Ear, Nose and Throat Care in Northeast Ohio

Medical and surgical expertise from our caring team of providers in the treatment of ear, nose, & throat disorders and common head & neck issues.

To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

OTOLARYNGOLOGY-doctor-examining-little-girl-ear

Ear Care

Ear problems can be painful and bothersome. Sometimes, different parts of the ear are affected. Sometimes, the difficulty starts in just one part of the ear. Sometimes, medications can solve the problem, and sometimes medicine isn't the answer.

No matter the problem, MetroHealth doctors can help. Our ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors are extensively trained in evaluating and treating medical and surgical problems related to the ear.

To schedule an appointment, call 216-778-5791.

Ear Infection Diagnosis and Treatment

Common infections include:

  • Outer ear infections (otitis externa) occur in the outer ear or ear canal and can start with redness, itching and then sometimes pain. The skin inside the ear canal swells and the ear becomes tender. As the swelling in the ear canal increases, the pain may increase. Treatment may involve a thorough and gentle cleaning of the ears and may be followed by medication.
  • Middle ear infections (otitis media) occur in the air space between the eardrum and the inner ear. They are common in children but also occur in adults. Infections usually start as a rapid onset of ear pain with muffled hearing. The pain can accelerate over just a few hours, and in some cases, the pressure may cause the eardrum to rupture with a sudden discharge of mucous, pus or blood. Medications may be prescribed.
  • Inner ear infections are usually not infections at all. Most conditions diagnosed as inner ear infections are inflammations or irritations of the balance centers located in the inner ear. These episodes of inflammation can start with a very abrupt onset of severe room-spinning and can be sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Antibiotics are usually not necessary for these episodes, since very few are actually caused by bacteria.

Ear tubes may be one treatment option for persistent ear infections. Learn more about ear tubes.

Help For Tinnitus

Tinnitus is another word for "ringing in the ears," but some people hear other noises, including hissing, roaring, whistling, chirping or clicking. Common sources of tinnitus could be:

  • Caffeine
  • Ear or sinus infection
  • Hearing loss
  • Jaw misalignment
  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Wax buildup in the ear canal

Tinnitus is the most common side effect of hearing loss, but it can also be a sign of other medical conditions. Your doctor will help you understand how lifestyle choices, such as drinking too much alcohol, spending time in noisy places or smoking could contribute to tinnitus. Many times, the source of tinnitus is unknown. Sometimes tinnitus just happens.

If you have tinnitus, your doctor will ask about your symptoms and give you a physical exam. Your doctor may refer you for tests, including a hearing evaluation or x-rays. Your MetroHealth ENT doctor may refer you to other specialists.

Most people find that tinnitus often decreases or goes away with time. Sometimes, acknowledging the tinnitus and redirecting your attention to something else will lessen the ringing. Hearing aids often help tinnitus if you have hearing loss.

Help For Dizziness

Several systems control our balance, including:

  • Inner ear
  • Central nervous system
  • Eyes
  • Skeletal system
  • Sense of touch

All of them work together to help a person feel stable. Any problem that impacts one of these systems can cause a feeling of imbalance.

Special testing can help your doctor determine if your dizziness is related to your ear. Our doctors may also order special x-rays to determine if something structural is causing the dizziness.

With a proper diagnosis, your doctor can work on a solution for your dizziness. Your treatment plan may involve vestibular rehabilitation: a specialized physical therapy. If your dizziness is not caused by an ear problem, your ENT doctor can refer you to a different specialist who can help.