Koss Hearing and Balance Center
The Koss Hearing and Balance Center provides the identification, evaluation, and treatment of hearing and balance disorders. It is our goal to improve communication and enhance quality of life through comprehensive evaluation, education, and individualized rehabilitative care. Audiologists are professionals who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of people with hearing loss and/or balance disorders.
Comprehensive Hearing and Balance Services
At The Koss Hearing and Balance Center we provide expert, professional and comprehensive evidence-based practice to patients of all ages. A wide range of diagnostic audiological services are available to assess hearing and balance, as well as rehabilitative services to provide hearing aids, assistive devices and aural rehabilitation.
We offer cutting edge hearing aid technology from a variety of manufacturers, to best meet individual needs. Digital hearing aid technology can provide additional improved communication through the use of wireless accessories for devices such as the telephone, television, personal music players, computers and more. The department also specializes in the fitting of other devices, such as osseo-integrated implants (bone-anchored hearing aids) and cochlear implants.
For patients with dizziness/imbalance, comprehensive assessment is available using the latest equipment including Videonystagmography (VNG), Rotary Chair, and Posturography.
Vestibular Rehabilitation is also available on-site by a physical therapist who has specialized knowledge and expertise in balance disorders. We are one of the only facilities in the state to offer such a comprehensive Vestibular Disorders Program.
Tinnitus Management Team
Over 40 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, or ringing/noises in the ears or head. Many patients seek help only to be advised that “there is nothing that can be done about it.” Extensive research and experience with tinnitus has provided a greater understanding of the nature of tinnitus and there is much that can be done to manage tinnitus.
For most patients, there are many options to help relieve tinnitus including sound therapy, relaxation techniques, sleep therapy, and a variety of others. Our approach is to educate each individual regarding the nature of their tinnitus and provide an individual plan that will address specific needs. We have a team devoted to tinnitus management who offer knowledgeable counsel and rehabilitative options.
Ototoxicity is damage to the hearing or balance functions of the inner ear caused by drugs or chemicals. Damage to these areas by ototoxic treatments may cause hearing loss, tinnitus (ringing or noise in the head or ears) and vertigo or sense of imbalance. The extent of ototoxicity varies with the drug, the dose, duration of exposure and other conditions. In some cases, there is full recovery of any acquired hearing loss, tinnitus, or balance disturbance after the drug has been stopped. In other cases, the extent of damage is limited but permanent.
Many drugs can cause ototoxicity. Patients receiving certain treatments known or suspected to have ototoxic side effects (such as cisplatin, carboplatin, radiation, loop diuretics, or aminoglycoside antibiotics) may experience hearing loss, tinnitus, and dizziness/vertigo. Other drugs and chemicals may also cause ototoxicity. Hundreds of prescription drugs and over the counter medications are recognized as having the potential to be ototoxic and can result in temporary or permanent changes in hearing and balance function.
Improving Quality of Life
Ultimately our goal is improved communication and enhanced quality of life. This is achieved by guiding each individual through the rehabilitation process beyond obtaining hearing aids. Our Aura Rehabilitation Program provides patients and family/communication partners with counsel and support as well as communication strategies to enhance listening and communication skills with or without hearing aids.
The Medical College of Wisconsin supports a strong academic and research foundation. This allows our audiologists to provide each patient with the most comprehensive, state-of-the-art hearing health care available. Our audiologists are licensed and certified professionals who actively participate in the community through providing lectures and stay up to date in audiology by attending conferences and workshops. It is our desire, that throughout every level of care, each patient will not only experience the highest quality of services but will also appreciate the passion which motivates our professionals.
For more information and resources on hearing loss please visit these websites:
Better Hearing Institute
American Academy of Audiology
American Speech-Language Hearing Association
Hearing Loss Association of America
Association of Late Deafened Adults