Department of Otorhinolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery

McGovern Medical School

ORL Notes

ORL Notes (formerly ORL Progress Notes), our second on-line departmental newsletter, provides information about developments in the Department. The newsletter’s target audience includes physicians and health care professionals as well as patients and members of the general public.

Miriam’s Journey to Sound

“It was one of the best days of my life,” says Miriam Green in an emotionally charged voice. “I wish everyone could experience how I felt that day. I found myself again.”

The journey to that life-changing day began when Green was in middle school. A routine screening at the school revealed a hearing deficit. “I don’t think I noticed before that day that I was experiencing it,” explains Green. “I think I had just really gotten good about figuring out ways to adjust. I would lip read—or if I didn’t understand something the teacher said in class, I would look up additional information in the textbook.”

Myringotomy tubes (“ear tubes”) were surgically placed inside both of Green’s eardrums to improve her hearing, but her loss continued to progress. In 2017 as a college sophomore, Green consulted with M. Mackenzie Hill, AuD, a board-certified audiologist with the UT Physicians Otorhinolaryngology clinic in the Texas Medical Center.

Dr. Hill discovered that Green had a permanent hearing loss and that it was negatively impacting her ability to effectively communicate in social and academic settings. “I ran a full range of diagnostic evaluations of the peripheral auditory pathways to access the loss,” says Dr. Hill. “The last thing she wanted was for her academic studies and success to be compromised by her change in hearing, which I greatly admire and respect. She was motivated from the very beginning to do whatever it took to improve her hearing.”

As a vocalist major, Green had concerns about exploring hearing aids. “I was worried about the sound quality,” says Green. “Dr. Hill was very patient and spoke with me about which type of hearing aid would best fit my needs.”

“When people think of hearing aids, they picture them like they were decades ago,” says Dr. Hill. “They are discreet, they aren’t constantly squeaking—and they are very close to natural sound. Untreated hearing loss is more noticeable than the hearing aids available today.”

Green explains how her hearing aid connects directly to her smart phone. “I can answer calls with the audio sent directly to my hearing aid through Bluetooth,” Green says. “I use to be scared of taking phone calls because I couldn’t hear the entire conversation—or see the person talking to help figure out what they were saying. Now I can hear them and even control the settings of my hearing aids via an app.”

“We don’t want people to feel nervous about coming in to get their hearing checked,” says Dr. Hill. “Knowledge is very helpful. Often times, people don’t think there is any harm in letting hearing loss go unchecked. However, auditory deprivation is serious. Lack of meaningful auditory information to the brain causes atrophy. It is the old—if you don’t use it, you lose it. By getting it addressed, you can stop the loss from progressing—or slow it down.”

Green says for the most part, people don’t even realize she is wearing them. She also encourages people with a hearing deficit to lean on a support system. “It is important to speak with others who are experiencing similar challenges,” said Green. “It has made my life better.”

While Green’s hearing loss is not due to a physical reason, but most likely how sound is transmitted to her brain, Dr. Hill reminds everyone to be careful about hearing conservation. “Over the years, industries have improved hearing protection, but now we are seeing increased hearing deficits in children,” says Dr. Hill. “One in five teenagers are showing signs of high frequency hearing loss. Playing music or watching videos with the sound too loud is an overload of their auditory system. Hearing loss can’t be repaired. Parents should always monitor their child’s devices and headphones.”

While middle school marked the discovery of Green’s hearing loss, it also awakened her love for opera. “My mom says I have been keeping time since before I was born,” says Green with a smile in her voice. “My seventh grade choir teacher took us to an opera. I fell in love with it.”

With crystal clear sound, Green, a soprano, is planning a career directing operas. “Everything is just clicking for me. The day my hearing aid was turned on—I cried,” says Green. “I cried and then I called my mom. I could actually hear someone without having to look at them to try and read their lips. My life has been changed.”

“Miriam’s Journey to Sound,” by Melissa McDonald (UTPhysicians Media Relations), first appeared as a news post on the UT Physicians website.

UT ORL Notes Archives

  1. Miriam’s Journey to Sound
  2. Save the Date: Dr. Steven Zeitels to Speak at ORL Frontiers Next Month
  3. Amber Luong, MD, PhD Recognized as Trailblazer
  4. Norman Theeck Makes a Comeback from Invasive Fungal Rhinosinusitis
  5. Dr. Douglas Stanley Joins UTHealth and Memorial Hermann
  6. Audiology Open House a Success
  7. Texas Hill Country ENT Symposium Scheduled for April 2018
  8. Branchial Cleft Cyst Resection: A Pediatric Patient Benefits from Texas Medical Center Expertise and the Convenience of Follow-up ENT Care in Southeast Houston
  9. Dr. Michael Byrd Named 2017 Physician of the Year at Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital
  10. 2017 Lone Star Rhinology Course Recap
  11. Small, Smart Technology Opens a World of Sound for Kaci Mueller
  12. Citardi and Luong Named to Best Doctors List for Otorhinolaryngology
  13. UT Physicians Otolaryngology at Texas Medical Center Clinic Redesign Improves the Patient Experience
  14. Revision Sinus Surgery Sets the Stage for a Successful Outcome
  15. Under Pressure: On Call During Hurricane Harvey
  16. Dissolvable Steroid Implant May Improve Sinus Surgery Outcomes
  17. Dr. Martin Citardi Recognized with AAO-HNS Distinguished Service Award
  18. Non-Pharmacologic Relaxation Therapy for In-office ENT Procedures
  19. Houston Otolaryngologist Battles Hurricane Harvey
  20. Reversing Hearing Loss: A Fresh Start for Gail Abeita
  21. UTHealth ORL is the First in the U.S. to Use New Sinus Navigation System
  22. Virtual Presurgical Planning Optimizes the Outcome for a Patient with Ameloblastoma
  23. Dr. Amber Luong Recognized for Clinical Excellence by UTHealth’s Women Faculty Forum
  24. Dr. William Yao Selected Faculty Member of the Year by ORL Residents
  25. Dr. Soham Roy, Dr. William Yao and Dr. Ibrahim Alava Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards
  26. Save the Date! Lone Star Rhinology and Rhinoplasty Course Scheduled for November
  27. Dr. Amber Luong Receives 2017 Helen F. Krause, MD Memorial Trailblazer Award
  28. ORL Frontiers 2017 Recap
  29. Ossicular Chain Reconstruction: A Home Run for Leslie Horne After a Devastating Auto Accident
  30. Eulice Vial’s Christmas Miracle: A Singer Regains Her Voice
  31. Three ORL Specialists Named to H Texas Magazine Top Doctors List for 2017
  32. Samantha Wild: Making the Difference in Patient Care
  33. Otorhinolaryngology and Neurosurgery Team Up to Maximize the Outcome for a Patient with Pituitary Tumor
  34. UT Physicians Otorhinolaryngology Holds Annual Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  35. Audiology Open House
  36. Stanford Professor Peter Koltai to Speak at ORL Frontiers 2017
  37. Laryngotracheal Reconstruction: A Long-awaited Resolution for Jayda Hector
  38. Dr. Michael Byrd Named Chief of Surgery
  39. Dr. Ibrahim Alava Recognized as a Texas Super Doctors Rising Star
  40. Introducing ORL Notes
  41. Beyond Septoplasty and Turbinate Reduction: Correction of Nasal Valve Stenosis Adds Synergy to the Mix
  42. Ishaan Pavuluri Makes a Comeback
  43. Supraglottoplasty for Neonatal Laryngomalacia
  44. Eight ORL Specialists Named to Top Doctors Lists for 2016
  45. 2016 International Presentations
  46. ORL Department Announces Faculty Promotions
  47. Dr. Yuksel and Dr. Ho Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Awards
  48. Resident Wins Award for Research at Houston Society of Otolaryngology Meeting
  49. Dr. Byrd Recognized by Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital for Quality and Patient Safety
  50. Dr. Conderman Elected Houston Society of Otolaryngology Officer
  51. Texas Hill Country ENT Symposium Recap
  52. A Drug-eluting Stent Offers a Young Man a Small-but-Mighty Solution to a Chronic Problem
  53. Around and Around: What’s Happening When the Spinning Just Won’t Stop?
  54. The Petty Case: Setting a Good Course Through the Perfect Storm of Allergens
  55. A Novel Lymphatic Imaging System and a Disease-focused Treatment Team Improve Survivorship in Head and Neck Cancer
  56. Granulomatosis with Polyangiitis: A Patient Benefits from Multidisciplinary Care
  57. Behind the Scenes with the Surgery Schedulers
  58. On a Mission: Pitching in to Help Children Abroad
  59. AAO-HNS President Speaks at Otorhinolaryngology Frontiers 2015
  60. Seven ORL Specialists Named to Top Doctors Lists for 2015
  61. ORL’s 360 Research Program Translates New Laboratory Discoveries to Patient Care
  62. ECMO Improves Care for a Critical Tracheostomy Patient
  63. Ibrahim Alava, MD, Named a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  64. Ronda Alexander, MD, Invited to Speak at STEM Symposium
  65. With a Bone-anchored Hearing Aid, One Good Ear Helps the Other
  66. Department of Otorhinolaryngology Extends Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Expertise to The Woodlands
  67. Rapid Response and Multidisciplinary Teamwork Save a Young Man’s Life
  68. Transoral Robotic Surgery for Airway Obstruction in Pediatric Patients
  69. Kunal Jain, MD joins the Department’s Head and Neck Surgery Program
  70. Zi Yang Jiang, MD joins UTHealth Pediatric ENT Service
  71. Surgeon-performed Ultrasound Provides X-Marks-the-Spot Accuracy for Parathyroid Adenoma
  72. The Watson Case: An “Impossible” Surgery Makes a Night-and-Day Difference for a Patient with Proteus Syndrome
  73. Christian Conderman, MD joins UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology at its New Woodlands Location
  74. James Owusu, MD joins UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology at its New Woodlands Location
  75. New Clinical Learning Guidelines Transform How Medical Residency Programs Prepare Future Physicians
  76. TORS-L Eliminates the Need for Adjuvant Therapies in an Oropharyngeal Cancer Patient
  77. William Yao, MD joins Texas Sinus Institute and Texas Skull Base Physicians
  78. AAO-HNS President-elect to Speaks at 2015 Otorhinolaryngology Frontiers
  79. Surgical Fire Prevention in Laser Laryngeal Surgery
  80. The Story Behind the MicroSeismic Donation
  81. A Gift of Hearing
  82. Breath of Fresh Air
  83. Current Pediatric Guidelines for Tonsillectomy
  84. Profile in Caring: José Elías, RN, CORLN
  85. Amber Luong, MD, PhD, Awarded CCTS Grant in Support of Continued Chronic Rhinosinusitis Investigations
  86. Two ORL Faculty Members Named to Top Doctor Lists
  87. Sialendoscopy: An Innovative Minimally Invasive Approach to the Treatment of Sialolithiasis
  88. Physicians’ Mission Satisfied
  89. A Second Pair of Ears
  90. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  91. More Than 100 People Participate in UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology’s Annual Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  92. Etan Weinstock, MD, Selected Faculty Member of the Year
  93. Amber Luong, MD, PhD, Named Fellow of American College of Surgeons and Promoted to Associate Professor
  94. Memorial Hermann and UTHealth Welcome New Team Members
  95. Texas Hill Country ENT Symposium Recap
  96. Internationally Renowned Expert in Facial Cosmetic Surgery Speaks at 2014 ORL Frontiers
  97. Congratulations to Graduating Residents and Fellows
  98. Samer Fakhri, MD, Chairs Rhinology Program at Middle East Conference in Dubai, Serves as Invited Faculty in Tehran
  99. TORS-L: Transoral Robotic Surgery with CO2 Laser Offers Greater Precision for Surgeons and De-intensification of Adjuvant Therapies for Patients
  100. Reevaluating Anaplastic Thyroid Cancer: Aggressive Treatment May Extend Life and Improve Its Quality
  101. UTHealth Audiology Offers Widex Zen Therapy for Tinnitus Management
  102. MicroSeismic, Inc. Gives Pediatric Patients the Gift of Hearing
  103. In Memoriam: Robert Jahrsdoerfer, MD
  104. Simultaneous Bilateral Cochlear Implants in an Infant After Meningitis
  105. Laryngotracheal Reconstruction Using Anterior Cricoid Suspension in a Three Year Old
  106. Single-Incision Minimally Invasive Parathyroidectomy
  107. Advanced Technology and a Strong Focus on Convenience Improve the Patient Experience
  108. Multidisciplinary Virtual Pre-surgical Planning Optimizes the Outcome for an Ameloblastoma Patient
  109. Dr. Fakhri Receives Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award
  110. IL-33-responsive Innate Lymphoid Cells Are an Important Source of IL-13 in Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps
  111. Randomized, Double-Blind, Controlled Trial of Oral Antifungal for the Treatment of Fungal-sensitive Chronic Rhinosinusitis with Nasal Polyps
  112. Dr. Fakhri Promoted to Professor of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
  113. TLR4 Signaling in the Pathophysiology of Allergic Fungal Rhinosinusitis
  114. Two ORL Faculty Members Named to Texas Super Doctors 2013 List
  115. Transoral Robotic Surgery for the Treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea
  116. Lone Star Rhinology Course Attracts a National Audience
  117. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2013 ORL Frontiers
  118. ORL Welcomes New Recruits
  119. UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology Holds Free Cancer Screening Clinic
  120. Two ORL Team Members Named Fellows of the American College of Surgeons
  121. Faculty Named Among Texas Super Doctors Rising Stars
  122. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  123. Translational Science Program Working to Identify Therapeutic Targets in Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  124. Preventing Surgical Fires: UTHealth Otolaryngologist Provides Expert Advice for a New FDA Safety Initiative
  125. Improving Survivorship in Head and Neck Cancer: UTHealth Department of Otorhinolaryngology and Institute of Molecular Medicine Partner on CPRIT Research Award
  126. Using Intraoperative Staining to Identify the Parathyroid Adenoma
  127. Otorhinolaryngologists Named to 2012 Best Doctors in America List
  128. Four Studies Evaluate the Effectiveness of Optical Rhinometry
  129. A Collaborative Approach Offers Patients a Less Invasive Alternative for Surgical Excision of Pituitary Tumors
  130. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2012 ORL Frontiers
  131. Ron Karni, MD, Selected Faculty Member of the Year by Graduating Residents
  132. Samer Fakhri, M.D., Receives AAO Foundation Honor Award
  133. Two Audiologists Join UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology
  134. 2012 Residency and Fellowship Update
  135. Five UTHealth Medical Students Matched to Top Choice Otorhinolaryngology Residency Programs
  136. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  137. Chair of Otorhinolaryngology Named to Texas Super Doctors 2012 List
  138. Minimally Invasive Surgery for Skull Base Cancer
  139. UTHealth/Memorial Hermann Physician Joins a Medical Mission to Honduras
  140. Online Patient Access Library Offers Medical Information About ENT Diseases & Conditions to Patients
  141. Facial Reanimation Surgery Brightens a Young Boy’s Future
  142. Morphoproteomics: Driving a Shift to Personalized Care for Sinonasal Undifferentiated Carcinoma
  143. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist to Speak at 2012 ORL Frontiers
  144. UTHealth Otorhinolaryngology Department Exceeds the National Averages in Quality and Safety
  145. Rhinologist Invited to Serve as Board Examiner in the Middle East
  146. Dr. Citardi Named to the 2011 Texas Super Doctors List
  147. Make Your Voice Count!
  148. Research Update
  149. Advanced Rhinology Concepts CME Attracts a National and International Audience of Otolaryngologists
  150. Outside the Box with Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  151. The Vargas Case: Excision of a Large Benign Goiter
  152. The Reverend Williams Regains His Voice
  153. Nihal Uddin’s Journey to 360-Degree Hearing
  154. Residents Receive Research Grants
  155. Two ORL Faculty Members Receive Dean’s Teaching Excellence Award
  156. Otorhinolaryngologists Named to Best Doctors in America List
  157. Russell Kridel, MD, Reelected to AMA Council Position
  158. From Bench to Bedside: Physician Researcher Amber Luong, MD, PhD Blends Basic Science with Clinical Care
  159. 2011 Advanced Rhinology Concepts Scheduled for November
  160. Internationally Renowned Otolaryngologist Speaks at 2011 ORL Frontiers
  161. Michael Byrd, MD Recruited to UTHealth and Memorial Hermann
  162. UT Physicians Opens Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic in Southwest Houston
  163. UTHealth Audiology Program Expands
  164. 9 UTHealth Medical Students Match in Otorhinolaryngology
  165. Residency and Fellowship Update
  166. Ron Karni, MD Invited to Speak in Panama
  167. Finding the Unknown Primary in Head & Neck Cancer
  168. A Meta-Analysis of Topical Amphotericin B for the Treatment of Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  169. Cytokine Profile Comparison Between Inflamed Sinus Mucosa and Sinonasal Polyps from Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  170. The Distribution of Normal Saline Delivered by Large-Particle Nasal Nebulizer versus Large-Volume/Low-Pressure Squeeze Bottle
  171. Averting the "Limping Larynx" with a Multidisciplinary Approach
  172. Repair of Nasal Obstruction with Functional Septorhinoplasty
  173. Definitive Endoscopic Resection of Inverted Papilloma
  174. Facial Reanimation and Facelift for Facial Paralysis
  175. Mometasone Furoate Gel: A Novel In-Office Treatment of Recalcitrant Postoperative Chronic Rhinosinusitis
  176. Rhinologic Applications of Radiofrequency Coblation
  177. Rhinoplasty for Nasal Obstruction
  178. Producing Quality Outcomes in Thyroid Surgery
  179. Functional Rhinoplasty: Repairing Nasal Valve Obstruction
  180. A Cancer Patient Regains His Voice
  181. Soham Roy, M.D., Named Director of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
  182. From Bench to Bedside with New Treatments for Chronic Sinus Disease
  183. Comprehensive Rhinology Program Offers State-of-the-Art Care for Patients with Chronic Rhinosinusitis Refractory to Standard Treatments
  184. Rhinology Update: Advanced Rhinology Concepts CME Scheduled for November
  185. The Comprehensive Voice Program: From Advanced Office-Based Procedures to Community Outreach
  186. Designing the Future: ORL’s New Office Space Features High-Tech Tools
  187. Welcome!

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ORL Update UT ORL Update, our first on-line departmental newsletter, summarizes current topics in otorhinolaryngology. The newsletter’s target audience includes both physicians and other healthcare providers, although subscriptions are not limited to members of these groups.

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