Care for Conditions Causing Dizziness, Vertigo and Hearing Issues

The Penn State Health Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery team evaluates and treats otology (middle ear) and neurotology (inner ear, including the skull base) disorders in children and adults. We offer expert care for conditions resulting in loss of hearing and balance, including:

  • Balance disorders (vestibular neuritis and Meniere’s disease)
  • Hearing loss (otosclerosis, ossicular chain damage or discontinuity)
  • Tympanic membrane perforations
  • Chronic ear infections
  • Cholesteatomas
  • Benign and malignant tumors of the temporal bone and skull base

Our otology and neurotology specialists offer the most advanced medical and surgical therapies, backed by industry leaders in clinical care, research and education. Our program is one of the few in central Pennsylvania offering cochlear implantation surgery. We also provide office-based interventions and surgeries for balance disorders.

Symptoms, Diagnosis and Outlook

Symptoms depend upon a person’s health condition, but generally include hearing issues, vertigo (spinning sensation) and facial weakness. The Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery offers a full spectrum of diagnosis and treatment options, including:

  • Acoustic neuroma surgery
  • Cholesteatoma
  • Chronic infections of the ear and temporal bone
  • Cochlear implantation
  • Facial nerve disorders, including Bell’s palsy
  • Facial nerve repair surgery
  • Glomus tumor surgery
  • Implantable hearing aid surgery (such as the Baha® system)
  • Lateral temporal bone surgery
  • Meniere’s disease and other balance disorders
  • Ossicular chain problems, including otosclerosis
  • Skull base surgery
  • Stapedectomy
  • Tumors of the temporal bone, including ear canal tumors

Why Choose Penn State Health for Care

Advanced Testing and Treatment Options for Hearing Loss

The Penn State Health Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery has a full range of audiologic, medical and surgical capabilities to treat both conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. We offer hearing testing and treatment for children and adults at the following locations:

Testing

Diagnostic comprehensive hearing assessments are available for people of all ages through our audiology services. While traditional hearing testing is used for most patients, more complex electrophysiologic and sedated measurements may be used for infants or people who are unable to be evaluated by standard testing

Hearing aids

Our audiology experts provide a variety of technologies and perform ear verification for each fitting. This type of measurement maximizes audibility by ensuring hearing aids fit properly based on the level of hearing loss and structure of the ear canal. Our team also offers bone-anchored hearing devices to people who can’t wear traditional hearing aids.

Surgical Treatment

When indicated, our otologist provides tailored surgical care for conductive and sensorineural hearing loss. Conductive hearing loss caused by cholesteatoma, otosclerosis, tympanic membrane perforation and other disorders is often addressed directly with surgery. We also perform reconstructive surgery, such as stapes surgery, tympanoplasty and ossicular chain reconstruction.

Cochlear implants are used to treat sensorineural hearing loss caused by hearing nerve or cochlea damage, as well as for children who are born with severe to profound hearing loss. Bone anchored hearing aids are used to treat conductive or mixed hearing loss that cannot be successfully treated with hearing aids. Our implant team includes highly educated surgeons, audiologists, social workers, surgical schedulers and developmental pediatricians. They work together to provide the best possible outcomes for patients, from infants to adults.

Treatment Options for Vertigo and Dizziness

Our team of physicians, audiologists and physical therapists treat the symptoms of vertigo and dizziness with medications, physical therapy or surgery, helping people find relief. We also provide subspecialty care for people with vertigo caused by Meniere’s disease, offering surgical options to improve or cure spinning attacks and other symptoms.

In addition, we evaluate dizziness and balance disorders in children and adults using modern, evidenced-based vestibular testing, including:

  • Electrocochleography (ECoG) tests
  • Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP)
  • Videonystagmography (VNG)

Commitment to clinical trials

Our team is committed to furthering ear, nose and throat research and clinical trials in partnership with Penn State College of Medicine. To learn more about clinical trials available at Penn State Health, visit our StudyFinder.

Support Groups

Support groups provide an opportunity to share your feelings and connect with other patients and caregivers who are experiencing similar struggles.

Learn more about support groups offered

Convenient Locations

Find the care your family needs, close to home, at one of our many locations throughout central Pennsylvania.

Find a location near you