Our practice is designed to meet your every need, with specialists who are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of hearing loss and other hearing disorders. If you’re experiencing problems with your ears, visit West River Ear, Nose & Throat, where both our otolaryngologists and audiologists can help to relieve your symptoms and create a treatment plan that’s right for you. Below are some of the more common ear conditions that we assist patients with:
Dr. Kennedy is licensed through the state of South Dakota to dispense hearing aids. She can provide patients with hearing aids that are adequately fit to the patient’s loss, giving them the most benefit. West River Audiology provides different tiers of technology for hearing aids, ranging in price. From in-the-ear hearing aids to behind-the-ear hearing aids, we can determine the best treatment options for you and your loved one.
“If you are a hearing aid user and purchased hearing aids from a different clinic, but would like to establish audiology care at West River ENT, please contact our office to see how we can be of assistance.”
Similar in several ways to an ear infection, swimmer’s ear occurs when bacteria grow inside of the ear canal and causes an infection. It’s often experienced by individuals who swim and have water that remains in their ears, creating the ideal conditions for the bacteria to flourish. However, other actions can cause swimmer’s ear, including putting cotton swabs or other objects into the ear canal and damaging the skin inside. At first, the symptoms of swimmer’s ear aren’t extreme, but can worsen over time if left untreated. You may notice a bit of itching or drainage accompanied by a slight redness inside of the ear. Sometimes mild pain is also present when pressing on your ear. These symptoms could continue to become more noticeable as the infection progresses, so be sure to visit our office for the relief you need.
Dr. Schleiffarth is trained in the surgical procedures and rehabilitation services for cochlear implants for those patients who experience severe to profound hearing loss. Dr. Stout contributes in the candidacy, surgery, and post-op therapy sessions for cochlear implant patients. West River ENT offers the latest in implant technology from Advanced Bionics and Cochlear Americas.
Dizziness and Imbalance
Patients who have had bouts of dizziness may be surprised to learn that the bodily systems responsible for our balance are located inside of our ears. Regulated by a structure called the semicircular canals, it’s an elaborate set of parts that work with our visual and skeletal system. Together, these processes allow us to maintain balance and the position of our bodies in space, especially when the head is moving. The causes for dizziness or balance issues can vary considerably, so it’s best to visit an audiologist for a thorough evaluation. In some cases, rehabilitative exercises are enough to improve the patient’s condition, whereas in other instances, additional care from other physicians might be required, as the dizziness is caused by another medical condition.
Over 50 million Americans are thought to have tinnitus according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, with many individuals not knowing how to get relief from this plaguing condition. Tinnitus occurs when the auditory system picks up the presence of noise without there actually being any outside sounds. This noise can take the form of roaring, ringing, or whistling, and might be loud or soft. Many times, tinnitus is most noticeable and frustrating before bed when an individual’s environment is quiet and calm.
Causes of tinnitus include: fluid behind the eardrum, head and neck trauma, earwax buildup, hearing loss, and medications Unfortunately, there is no known cause of tinnitus and no cure. However, relief is possible through a variety of treatment plans that often include the use of hearing devices, medication, counseling, or external sound generators. You don’t have to live with the frustration of tinnitus – our audiologists can help you find relief!
Our eardrums are thin membranes that separate our ear canal and our middle ear. They are delicate and if exposed to trauma or chronic infection, they could rip or tear. In many cases, a perforated eardrum can be coupled with hearing loss, discharge, and possibly pain if it becomes infected. Perforated eardrums generally heal on their own, although it can take several months to do so. During this time, the ear should be protected from water and any further trauma. Instances where the eardrum does not repair itself could require surgery.