Ear And Hearing Care

ear and hearing care in austin & houston tx

Ear and Hearing Care in Austin, TX

Dr. Slaughter offers comprehensive treatments for all ear disorders as well as Hearing Testing and Hearing Aid Services.

As a Board Certified Otolaryngologist in Austin, TX he has extensive training and more than 20 years of experience in the medical and surgical treatment of ear disorders.

Advanced technology available in our office including binocular microscopic ear evaluation, mini-cat scan imaging of the middle ear, and hearing testing and balance testing labs offer our patients all the services needed to obtain the best in ear care.

If you suffer form one of these common ear conditions make an appointment to see Dr. Slaughter today!

Recurring ear infections (otitis media)

Recurring ear infections in kids and adults are a common problem. Painful and sometimes associated with fever these infections often require recurring antibiotics. Dr. Slaughter will thoroughly evaluate the possible causes including allergies, chronic sinusitis, nasal blockage, and adenoid enlargement to help resolve this issue medically if possible. When medical therapy fails, “tubes” can be place in the ear drum to relieve this condition. This is a simple procedure that can be performed safely in children and in the office in adults.

Middle ear pressure and popping (Eustachian tube dysfunction)

The Eustachian tube leads from the back of your nose to the ear and provides ventilation to the ear with each swallow. Many conditions will cause inflammation of this area and cause a build up of negative pressure behind the ear drum. This causes pressure, hearing loss, and popping. It may also cause dizziness. With a comprehensive allergy, sinus, and nasal evaluation, Dr. Slaughter can identify and correct the underlying issue.

Our Allergy Center and Sinus and Nasal Center can offer state of the art care for these conditions. In some cases an injection of a steroid into the middle ear (trans-tympanic dexamethasone therapy) may be necessary. This is a simple office procedure and it may “wake up” the Eustachian tube. Occasionally “tubes” may need to be placed as an office procedure to relieve this pressure.

Hearing loss and ringing (tinnitus)

Many of us will lose some of our hearing from noise exposure or aging. Communication difficulty can be quite a problem for the patient and their family or coworkers.

Dr. Slaughter and his audiologist offer the state of the art in hearing testing for all ages.

Tinnitus (some form of ringing or buzzing in the ear) is a big problem for some patients. Often coming on suddenly and sometimes associated with sudden hearing loss. Dr. Slaughter will perform a microscopic ear exam to identify correctable causes of hearing loss. Conditions such as wax, eustachian tube dysfunction, and middle ear fluid can all cause tinnitus. Comprehensive hearing testing will also be performed to evaluate the inner ear function.

Sudden hearing loss and tinnitus are considered an emergency as this viral infection can permanently damage your hearing. A simple office procedure, trans-tympanic dexamethasone perfusion, has the potential to reverse this hearing loss and treat the ringing.

Many other causes of ringing also need to be evaluated including medicines, Ménière’s disease, and increased CSF pressure. Dr. Slaughter provides a thorough evaluation and has many options for therapy including medical therapy and the Serenade device.

The Serenade device uses a unique form of sound therapy to reduce or eliminate the patient’s tinnitus.

Hearing Aid Services

Seems like there is a hearing aid available for purchase on every corner. The difference is in the detailed evaluation by a Board Certified ear, nose, and throat physician at the time of your hearing aid appointment.

Is there a medical or structural issue that can be corrected? Ear wax, middle ear fluid, allergy issues can all mask as traditional hearing loss. If it is nerve hearing loss are there treatments that can restore the nerve hearing? Leaving this evaluation to a hearing aid sales shop can leave you with inadequate care.

Dr. Slaughter will thoroughly evaluate all the medical issues in combination with his audiologist performing the most sophisticated hearing testing.

For those that can benefit with a hearing aid, we offer the latest in digital hearing aid technology for the best hearing performance for our patients. We provide a patient centered approach that allows us to tailor the device to your lifestyle needs. We also provide the best follow-up care to make sure your hearing healthcare needs are taken care of properly.

Ear Wax

It’s the simple things that can mean so much to patients. Having a blocked ear canal from wax can cause pain, hearing loss, outer ear infections, tinnitus, and dizziness. Dr. Slaughter personally treats this condition with gentle removal using an operating microscope to safely remove the wax on the day of your visit.

Swimmers ear (otitis externa)

Infection of the ear canal is a frequent problem often coming from water exposure or canal manipulation. This condition can be extremely painful and is associated with ear drainage and facial swelling. Dr. Slaughter can gently clean the canal and identify the type of infection. After cleaning, special ear drops are used to resolve the infection.

Hole in the ear drum (tympanic membrane perforation)

Adults and kids may develop a hole in the ear drum after recurring ear infections, trauma, or from small tumors called cholesteatoma. Tympanoplasty (repair of ear drum) is a simple outpatient procedure that Dr. Slaughter can perform to repair the drum and restore the hearing.

Mastoidectomy

Cholesteatoma (a small benign skin tumor) in the middle ear can erode the middle ear bones and cause a hole in the ear drum. Dr. Slaughter can perform mastoidectomy to remove this tumor and also can repair the middle ear bones (ossiculoplasty) to improve the hearing.

Dizziness, vertigo, and Ménière’s disease

Patients with dizziness have many causes but one complaint. I feel dizzy. Dr. Slaughter and his staff provide comprehensive evaluation of this complaint to offer the right treatment. Our advanced balance lab with VNG (videonystagmogram) testing, hearing testing services, office CT scanner, and microscopic ear evaluation can help Dr. Slaughter determine the exact cause of your dizziness.

BPPV  (benign paroxysmal positional vertigo). This common condition causes brief rotational spinning sensation with head position change. It is a condition where the inner ear crystals become loose and free floating. The Epley maneuver can be performed in our office to correct this condition on the day of your visit.

Ménière’s disease and viral labrynthitis are also common causes. Fortunately, medical therapy and trans-tympanic dexamethasone perfusion as an office procedure can be very successful to relieve the symptoms in these conditions. Most importantly, evaluation soon after the complaint begins is critical in many cases for successful treatment.

Pre-auricular pits and prominent ears

As a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dr. Slaughter has the expertise and experience to deal with common outer ear issues.

Tiny pores that occur during ear development called pre-auricular pits cause frequent reoccurring infection and drainage. These can be removed as a simple outpatient procedure.

Prominent ears are also a frequent complaint. Dr. Slaughter can perform Otoplasty to establish a natural fold to the prominent ears to allow them to blend into the natural facial features.

Schedule a consultation

If you are interested in learning more about our ear and hearing care treatments, call (512) 601-0303 to schedule a consultation at our office in Austin, TX.

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