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USF Health Hearing and Balance Center

About Us

You want to hear it all and not a miss a thing. A hearing problem can get in the way of so many parts of life. With technology advancing every day to improve hearing, there’s no reason not to be a part of all the fun.

At the USF Health Hearing and Balance Center, we help our patients live the best lives they can with advanced hearing and balance care.  Our team of skilled otolaryngologists and audiologists are specially trained to help you with all aspects of ear health and disease.  This includes a wide range of conditions such as hearing loss, ear infections, dizziness, balance problems, and congenital (birth) disorders of the ear.  Our team of health care providers, including specialists in family medicine, preventive medicine, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, occupational medicine, sports medicine, pediatrics and other specialties.  As an academic medical center, USF Health is a regional leader in audiology services. 

Meet the Experts

Learn more about the USF Health Hearing and Balance Center Team, by clicking each provider below:


Services

Please read below to learn more about the portions of the ear involved with hearing and balance, as well as the many services offered at USF Health.


Your ear consists of three major areas: outer ear, middle ear, and inner ear. Sound waves pass through the outer ear and cause vibrations at the eardrum. The eardrum and three small bones of the middle ear amplify the vibrations as they travel to the inner ear. There, the vibrations pass through fluid in a snail-shaped structure in the inner ear (cochlea).  Attached to nerve cells in the cochlea are thousands of tiny hairs that help translate sound vibrations into electrical signals that are transmitted to your brain. Your brain turns these signals into sound.


Please click here to review: NIDCD: Journey of Sound to the Brain
NIDCD: Journey of Sound to the Brain

It all starts with a comprehensive hearing evaluation. Testing your hearing allows us to determine the level of your hearing loss and your ability to understand speech. We offer a variety of assessments to test your hearing:

  • Comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations
    • Otoscopy
    • Tympanometry
    • Ipsilateral & Contralateral Acoustic Reflexes
    • Otoacoustic Emissions
    • Air-Conduction & Bone Conduction Audiometry
    • Speech Quiet & in Noise Testing
  • Hearing tests for adults and school-aged children (7+ years old)
  • Evoked Potentials including Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR), ElectroCochleoGraphy (ECoG), & Auditory Steady State Response (ASSR)
  • Ototoxicity Monitoring of Hearing during Radiation & Chemotherapy treatments

Following the hearing test, we will meet with you and your family to discuss the solution that’s right for you.

Hearing Test results are displayed on a graph called an Audiogram. An audiogram is a graph that shows the softest sounds a person can hear at different pitches or frequencies.

To read this graph, loudness is measured on the vertical axis and low to high frequencies/pitches are measured on the horizontal axis. Normal hearing for an adult is 25dB HL or quieter (higher up) in the audiogram.

The hearing loss pictured can be described as: normal hearing 250-1000 Hz sloping to a mild to severe high frequency hearing loss

  • Types of Hearing Loss
    • Sensorineural Hearing Loss occurs when there is a problem within the cochlea (ear organ) or the neural pathway to the auditory cortex in the brain
    • Conductive Hearing Loss occurs when there is a problem within the external ear, middle ear, or both. For example, an ear infection with fluid buildup behind the eardrum.
    • Mixed Hearing Loss is a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss

Our center offers hearing solutions that are more powerful, precise, and user-friendly than ever before. We have expertise in providing state-of-the-art hearing aids to ensure that patients are receiving superior listening comfort and the most advanced technology.

Communication is critical in life. Your job and social interactions are all more rewarding when you can communicate confidently – and hearing is vital to that. Research shows that people who get hearing devices benefit from:

  • Fewer instances of confusion and disorientation
  • Increased ability to concentrate and multitask
  • Better memory skills and a greater ability to learn new tasks
  • Alertness and awareness of their personal safety
  • Increased earning power and more control over their lives

At the USF Health Hearing and Balance Center, we offer Adult Auditory Rehabilitation & Counseling in the form of:

  • Hearing Aid Evaluation & Consultation
    • Our center offers a $150 Hearing Aid Consultation (not covered by insurance). The consultation includes choosing the best style and technology based on your unique hearing needs, an overview of how to use and operate the devices, and ability to take home the devices for 2 weeks. 
  • Hearing Assistive Devices Evaluation & Consultation
  • Hearing Aid Orientation and Fitting with Real-Ear Verification
  • Hearing Aid & Assistive Devices Services, Repairs, and Follow-up Appointments
  • Osseointegrated Devices Evaluation, Consultation, Orientation, and Follow-Up Appointments (see tab below for more information)

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aids vs. Prescription Hearing Aids

  • Over the counter hearing aids are starting to be offered at Pharmacies and other retail stores. These are one size fits all devices mainly for mild hearing loss. We would be happy to educate you on the difference between over the counter devices and prescription hearing aids during your consultation. 

Your balance organ is located within the 3 rings, semicircular canals, attached to your hearing organ (cochlea).

Dizziness can be described in a variety of ways: as if the room is spinning, you feel unsteady, or you are lightheaded. You might feel that you're going to fall down. These feelings can happen whether you're lying down, sitting, or standing.

Your eyes, ears, and proprioception must work normally for you to have normal balance. When any of these systems are not functioning well, you can experience dizziness and balance problems.

We offer several assessments to assess your dizziness and imbalance:

  • Cervical Vertigo Screening and Vertebral Artery Screening
  • Sensory Organization Performance Test
  • Videonystagmography (VNG) testing
    • Oculomotors
    • Optokinetics
    • High Frequency Headshake
    • Positional and Positioning Maneuvers, including Dix-Hallpike
  • Rotary Chair Assessment
  • Bithermal Caloric Testing
  • Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials (cVEMPs and oVEMPs)
  • Treatment of BPPV
  • Treatment options will further be discussed with your referring ENT or a referral will be placed for you to see one.
  • The most common rehabilitation for dizziness and balance disorders is Vestibular Rehabilitation Therapy

Osseointegrated implant devices (OID), also known as bone anchored hearing systems, are hearing solutions for patients with conductive hearing loss, mixed hearing loss, or single-sided deafness.

For these patients, sound is transmitted to the cochlea through vibration via bone conduction using an implanted device.

Evaluation and Implant Process:

  • Our USF Health neurotologists and otologists have specialized training with osseointegrated implantable devices.  As a team, our otologists and audiologists provide pre-operation and post-operation testing, programming of the device, orientation to using the device, counseling regarding expectations, and maximizing hearing outcomes.
  • Evaluation starts with a comprehensive audiological assessment where we determine the degree and type of hearing loss, which determines the appropriate treatment. Next, you will meet with our Otologist, Dr. Boyev, for further discussion of the surgery and obtain medical clearance. His assistant will reach out to you to schedule the surgery. Post- surgery, Dr. Boyev will clear you for activation of the device typically around 6 weeks.

We offer Oticon Medical and Cochlear Americas Osseointegrated devices.

USF Audiology Section also works with TGH in their Westshore Outpatient Clinic.

Diagnostic Services:

  • Hearing tests for adults and all-ages of children
  • Comprehensive diagnostic audiological evaluations
    • Otoscopy
    • Tympanometry
    • Ipsilateral & Contralateral Acoustic Reflexes
    • Otoacoustic Emissions
    • Air-Conduction & Bone Conduction Audiometry
    • Speech in Quiet & in Noise Testing
  • Evoked Potentials including Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) for Newborn Hearing Assessments
  • Ototoxicity Monitoring of Hearing during Radiation & Chemotherapy treatments
  • Visual Reinforcement Audiometry
  • Conditioned Play Audiometry

Hearing Rehabilitation Services 

  • Only offered to employees of Tampa General Hospital
    • Adult Auditory Rehabilitation & Counseling
    • Hearing Aid Evaluation & Consultation
    • Hearing Assistive Devices Evaluation & Consultation
    • Hearing Aid Orientation and Fitting with Real-Ear Verification
    • Hearing Aid & Assistive Devices Services, Repairs, and Follow-up Appointments

Contact:

  • 1411 N West Shore Blvd Tampa, FL 33607
  • (813) 844-7719 Option 5

The Auditory Rehabilitation and Clinical Trials (ARCT) Lab conducts studies in the areas of diagnostics, hearing health disparities, speech perception, cognition, and hearing rehabilitation through hearing aids and investigational medications. Our mission is to advance knowledge through interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service that improves the capacity of individuals, families, and diverse communities to promote productive, satisfying, healthy, and safe lives across the lifespan.

Contact Us:

arctlab@usf.edu
(813) 974-1262
Auditory Rehabilitation & Clinical Trials Laboratory Facebook Page

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