Hearing and Dizziness Services
The Audiology Division of the Maryland ENT Center has the most advanced technology for evaluating hearing loss, tinnitus, and equilibrium disorders. We offer a full range of diagnostic audiologic services and hearing aids both for adults and children. Our Audiology division works in close conjunction with our ENT physicians to provide thorough, comprehensive care for our patients. We are located at the Union Memorial Hospital in Suite 631 of the 33rd Professional building and supervised by Dr. Shannon Hahn.
Shannon Hahn, Au.D.
Doctor of Audiology
Audiology Services Offered
MDENT's Audiology Department offers a complete range of audiological services including:
- Comprehensive hearing examinations and consultations
- Tests for dizziness and tinnitus (i.e. ringing, buzzing, rushing noises etc.)
- Treatment for BPPV (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo) using Epley and other forms of canaliths repositioning maneuvers
- Dispensing, adjusting, programming, and repairing of traditional and digital hearing aids
- Custom ear plugs
- Swim Plugs
- Noise Protection Plugs
- Musician's Earplugs
- Hearing Aid Accessories
- Cleaning Tools
- Wax protection inserts
Understanding Your Hearing Loss
According to the Better Hearing Institute, nearly 40 million Americans suffer from some degree of hearing loss. The signs of hearing loss can be subtle and emerge slowly, or early signs of hearing loss can be significant and come about suddenly. Some early indications of hearing loss include:
- Requiring frequent repetition
- Experience difficulty following conversations involving more than 2 people
- Thinking that other people sound muffled or like they're mumbling
- Difficulty hearing in noisy situations, like conferences, restaurants, malls, or crowded meeting rooms
- Difficulty hearing children and women
- Listening to television at a high volume
- Ringing in your ears
Audiology Diagnostic Testing
At Maryland ENT our audiologist offer a wide range of state-of-the-art diagnostic testing. Below is a list of the main testing procedures performed at our offices:
The audiogram determines hearing levels and type of hearing loss.
Audiometric pure tone and speech testing is performed. Tympanometry evaluates mobility of the eardrum and status of the middle ear. Otoacoustic Emission (OAE) testing evaluates the function of the outer hair cells in the cochlea (the hearing organ). The audiologist will discuss the results of the hearing evaluation with the individual and determine what treatment is necessary, such as hearing aids or a medical referral to our ENT physicians.
Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR): Evaluates how well sound travels from the auditory nerve to the lower brainstem. An ABR is recommended to rule out any lesion along the hearing nerve that may cause asymmetric hearing loss, ringing in the ears, and/or dizziness. To complete the ABR test, electrodes are placed on the forehead and soft earplugs are inserted into the ear canals. The individual will hear moderate to loud clicking sounds. The individual is instructed to be still, quiet, and relaxed during this test. This test takes approximately 30 minutes.
Eletrocochleography (EcoG): Evaluates the inner ear in suspected cases of Meniere's disease and other disorders of the inner ear. This test is completed on individuals complaining of spontaneous episodes of vertigo or dizziness, which may or may not be accompanied by tinnitus (ringing/humming/buzzing in the ear/s) and fluctuating hearing loss. To complete the EcoG test, electrodes are placed on the forehead and soft earplugs are inserted into the ear canals. The individual will hear moderate to loud clicking sounds. The individual is instructed to be still, quiet, and relaxed during this test. This test takes approximately 30 minutes.
Electronystagmography (ENG): Evaluates the status of the vestibular (balance) system in the inner ear. Eye movements are recorded and used to determine the status of the inner ear. This test is completed on individuals complaining of vertigo, dizziness, lightheadedness, or loss of balance. There are many types of medical conditions that can cause these symptoms. Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV) is a common cause of vertigo. Individuals with BPPV often complain of dizziness when they rotate their head. This type of positional vertigo is usually treated in one or two visits by the audiologist.
The ENG consists of a series of non-invasive tests in which electrodes are placed on the patients face (forehead and next to the eyes). There are pre-test instructions that must be followed 48 hours prior to ENG testing. This test takes approximately 1 hour.
The appropriately selected hearing aid is often the most effective therapeutic measure for an individual with hearing loss. Research by the National Council on the Aging on more than 2,000 people with hearing loss as well as their significant others demonstrated that hearing aids clearly are associated with impressive improvements in the social, emotional, psychological, and physical well-being of people with hearing loss in all hearing loss categories from mild to severe.
Specifically, hearing aid usage is positively related to the following quality of life issues. Hearing loss treatment was shown to improve:
- Earning power
- Communication in relationships
- Intimacy and warmth in family relationships
- Ease in communication
- Emotional stability
- Sense of control over life events
- Perception of mental functioning
- Physical health
There are many factors to consider when determining the best type of hearing aid for you, including your type of hearing loss, lifestyle needs, budget and desired features. Dr. Hahn will work with you to determine which type of hearing aid will best suit your needs.
Hearing Aid Styles:
Receiver in the Canal (RIC): The speaker/receiver of the instrument is attached to a wire and placed in the ear canal and the main body of the hearing aid fits discretely behind the ear. This style reduces the "plugged up" feeling and allows for more natural sound quality. It has become very popular for its cosmetic appeal.
Behind the Ear (BTE): Hearing aids that rest behind and over your ear with a clear tube that connects them to a custom ear mold that fits in your ear canal. This is an ideal option if dexterity or power is a concern.
Completely in the Canal (CIC): This is the smallest of the hearing aid styles. It sits completely in the ear canal. It's customized from a deep mold of the ear taken by the audiologist. It fits mild to moderate hearing losses.
In the Ear (ITE): This hearing aid sits totally in the ear and fills up the entire bowl of the ear. Because of the larger size, this style also allows for more controls, such as a volume control or a program change button. This is the ideal style for patient's with dexterity issues.
Maryland ENT offers financing options through Care Credit to qualified patients. See if you qualify for pre-approval by completing the Care Credit application. No interest payment plans are available with approved credit. A Care Credit application can be found here.