Whether you’re having problems with an ear infection that just won’t heal or finding it harder to hear your favorite television show, you can trust Ernest M. Myers, M.D., F.A.C.S. at Silver Spring ENT & Laser Center to help. Combining medical expertise with compassion and patience, this talented ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist offers outstanding care to the Silver Spring and Washington, DC, Maryland, and Virginia communities. Contact the office today for an appointment.

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What is otolaryngology?

Otolaryngology refers to the branch of medicine that focuses on the ears, nose, throat, and related areas of the head and neck. An otolaryngologist, commonly called an ENT physician or ENT, treats conditions of the ears, nose, and throat with medications or conservative remedies such as ear drops and ear plugs for those who frequently develop swimmer’s ear.

ENTs are also skilled head and neck surgeons who manage diseases, tumors, trauma, and deformities of the head, neck, and face with surgery that may include:

  • Tonsillectomy
  • Myringotomy tube placement
  • Surgical correction of congenital external ear malformations
  • Reconstructive surgery following trauma

For what ear problems should I see an ENT?

ENTs manage essentially any medical issue pertaining to the external, middle, and inner ear. Common conditions an ENT physician treats include:

  • Hearing loss
  • Ear infections
  • Balance problems
  • Tinnitus or ringing in the ears
  • Perforated ear drums
  • Dizziness
  • Congenital disorders causing malformation of the external, middle, or inner ear
  • Significant wax buildup

What is hearing loss?

Hearing loss is a decrease in the perception of speech and environmental sounds. It can be caused by a variety conditions of the external, middle, and/or inner ear. Many types of hearing loss can be addressed medically, surgically, and/or through the use of hearing aids and/or other amplification devices.

What is a myringotomy tube?

Also known as a tympanostomy tube or P.E., it is a tiny tube inserted into the eardrum that allows accumulated middle ear fluid to drain. Such fluid build-up can affect hearing and is often related to middle ear infections or otitis media in both children and adults. Myringotomy tubes are ordinarily recommended for children under four years who are experiencing frequent middle ear infections and for some adults.

What is swimmer’s ear?

Swimmer’s ear occurs in the eardrum in the canal leading to the outer ear. Also known as otitis externa, it is often caused by water remaining in the ear after swimming or showering and can  lead to a bacterial infection. Scratching the skin in the ear canal with cotton tipped swabs or other foreign objects can also lead to otitis externa. Treatment often includes antibiotic eardrops.

What is tinnitus?

Often called “ringing in the ears,” tinnitus refers to the sensation of sound in the ear that can include ringing. Some patients report buzzing, chirping, whistling, and a variety of other noises. The sound may come and go or persist throughout the day and night.

Tinnitus is sometimes related to prolonged exposure to loud noises but also occurs with wax buildup, natural aging process, or as a medication side effect. Sometimes no underlying cause is identified. Tinnitus is a fairly common condition that affects more than 50 million Americans, and many successful treatments exist for this sometimes debilitating condition.