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Minerva Medica 2010 December;101(6):439-43

language: English

Early management of hearing and balance disorders: a review of literature and a proposal to overcome possible uncertainties

Pirodda A. 1,2, Ferri G. G. 2, Borghi C. 3,4

1 Professor of Audiology, Head of the Audiology Program, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy;
2 Department of Specialist Surgical and Anesthesiological Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;
3 Internal Medicine Service, S. Orsola-Malpighi University Hospital, Bologna, Italy;
4 Department of Internal Medicine, “D. Campanacci”, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy


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The lack of a correct diagnostic and therapeutic planning of vestibular diseases is still often observed, and some difficulties are still to deal with in clinical practice, even when treating acute hearing problems, although the needed competence is more easily identified as otologic. A review of the international literature confirms the existence of such a problem, and permits to underline the scarcity of connections between otology and neurotology, on one hand, and principles of basic sciences and general and internal medicine, on the other hand: this can explain some therapeutic contradictions in treating inner ear disorders, their frequent labelling as idiopathic and the persisting uncertainties concerning a correct diagnostic and therapeutic management. In order to overcome the difficulties deriving to insufficient interdisciplinary cooperation, the institution of hospital audiovestibular services with a strictly linked net of cooperation with internal medicine units could represent a progress. This could help prevent clinically and economically inadequate management, contributing to minimize the possibility of expensive and/or health-threatening mistakes; moreover, it could represent an example to easily improve the practical aspects of both pre graduate and postgraduate curricula, and to form more open-minded clinicians, starting both from an ear. Nose and throat (ENT)/audiological and from an Internal Medicine extraction.

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giangaetano.ferri@unibo.it