Author: ENT and Audiology


May is Better Hearing & Speech Month

Leisure Activities Rife With Loud Noise

With more than half of Americans who experience noise-induced hearing loss not working in noisy jobs, the spotlight turns to what Americans are doing in their leisure time. May 1 marks the beginning of Better Hearing & Speech Month—a time to assess lifestyle habits that may be contributing to hearing loss as well as schedule a hearing evaluation for anyone with concerns about their hearing.

About 40 million U.S. adults aged 20–69 years have noise-induced hearing loss, a form of hearing damage that results from exposure to loud noise. This could be cumulative harm that developed from exposure over time, or it could occur from one severe episode. Although completely preventable, once it occurs, it is irreversible. Far from simply being an annoyance, hearing loss can affect almost all aspects of life, including physical health, mental health, employment status and success, social functioning and satisfaction, and much more. Hearing loss can be treated through various technologies and techniques under the care of a certified audiologist, but hearing is never fully restored.

In addition to the dangers posed by listening to ear buds or headphones at too-loud volumes and for too long, noisy settings are commonplace in today’s society, including in Raleigh. Many restaurants are specifically designed to elevate noise levels to make establishments feel more energetic. Similarly, some sports stadiums have been built with sound elevation in mind, thought to improve the fan experience and serve as a home-team advantage. Coffee shops, fitness classes, and more all make modern society a collectively loud place.

“Although many people report concern about noisy environments, not nearly enough take protective steps,” said Raleigh-based audiologist Lena Kyman, AuD. She offers some simple ways that the public can take charge of their hearing health—this month and always:

• Wear hearing protection. Earplugs and earmuffs are cheap, portable, and (with a good fit) offer excellent hearing protection. Bring them along when you know you’ll be in a noisy setting. Better yet, keep them on you at all times!

• Reduce exposure. Take steps to reduce your exposure to noisy settings. Visit noisy establishments during off times, consider quieter settings, and talk to managers if you find the noise level uncomfortable.

• See a certified audiologist for a hearing evaluation. A recent government report stated that 1 in 4 U.S. adults who report excellent to good hearing already have hearing damage. Many adults don’t routinely get their hearing checked, and even those who are concerned often delay treatment for years. Postponing treatment can have serious medical and mental health repercussions in addition to reducing a person’s quality of life, so visit a certified audiologist if you have any concerns.

“This advice about hearing protection goes for just about everyone, from the youngest of children to older adults, from those with excellent hearing who want to maintain it, to those who already have some hearing loss and don’t want to make it worse,” notes Lena Kyman, AuD. “As a society, everyone needs to prioritize hearing protection.”

World Hearing Day 2017

Every year on March 3, the World Health Organization (WHO) celebrates World Hearing Day. This day was created to help raise awareness and draw attention to the importance of prevention, screening and rehabilitation of hearing loss. The theme for this year’s World Hearing Day is ‘Action for hearing loss: make a sound investment’.
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Sublingual Immunotherapy – Alternative to Allergy Shots

Less than five percent of US allergy sufferers receive immunotherapy. The other 95% take medications to temporarily reduce symptoms, try to avoid their allergens, or just continue to suffer.

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James T.

Ear, Nose & Throat patient testimonial from James T. as he discusses his treatment experience with Dr. Douglas K. Holmes at ENT & Audiology. Dr. Holmes is a prominent Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat) located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR)

auditory-brainstem-response
What is an Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) Test?

The Auditory Brainstem Response (ABR) test provides both quantitative and qualitative data for doctors who want to assess the status of a patient’s brainstem pathways and auditory nerves.

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Tinnitus Evaluations

tinnitus-evaluationWhat is a Tinnitus Evaluation?

It is important to have your tinnitus evaluated by a professional who can help you manage the irksome symptoms. Primary Tinnitus is a medical symptom that is characterized by persistent noise in one or both ears that can only be heard by the affected individual.

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We’re Excited to Announce Our New Partnership with Puro Sound Labs

ENT & Audiology Associates is proud to announce that we are officially one of the first ENT & Audiology groups in the United States to partner with Puro Sound Labs.

Puro’s Bluetooth headphones feature studio-grade audio quality, plus advanced volume monitoring and interactive reporting to guide users to safer listening. These headphones are packed with technology.

With the Volume Monitoring Bluetooth headphones, we put you in control of protecting one of your most valuable senses – hearing. These headphones are uniquely engineered to continuously monitor volume levels as you listen, and deliver that information to you through the LED indicator on the ear cup. No more wondering, “How loud is too loud?” To boot, the 82% noise-isolation and studio grade audio quality ensure that your listening experience is never compromised, even in noisy environments.

If you are interested in purchasing a pair for yourself or a loved one, visit: http://bit.ly/BuyPuroSound

Are Your Headaches Normal?

With so many types of headaches out there and the information overload Google provides, identifying what type of headache you have can be a challenge.
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Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

If It looks like a cold, it feels like a cold, and it sounds like a cold, then you should avoid it like a cold, right?
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Quick Read: Babies Don’t Need Smartphones

Since May is Better Speech and Hearing month, we’ll be posting interesting articles and relevant facts throughout the month. Although the story is a year old, the USA Today article written by The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association 2015 President, Judith L. Page is even more relevant in 2016.

With an increase in technology use being observed at younger and younger ages, children are beginning to show signs of suffering from delayed speech and social development. Click here to read more

Top 3 Tips for Surviving Allergy Season

Congested noses, sore throats, and itchy eyes are some of the telltale signs you may be suffering from seasonal allergies.
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What Causes People to Snore?

Weak muscles in the throat and/or enlarged tongue base

When muscles are too relaxed the tongue may fall back into the airway and pull in air from the sides of the throat. This can also happen if you are sedated by alcohol or medications.
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Patient, Kay D. Discusses Her Experience with Balloon Sinuplasty

Patient Kay D. discusses her experience with In-Office Balloon Sinuplasty performed by Dr. Douglas K. Holmes. Dr. Douglas K. Holmes is a prominent Otolaryngologist (Ear, Nose & Throat) located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

Bob & Sharon C.

Audiology patient Bob C. and his wife Sharon discuss their audiology experience with Dr. Jenny Davies Head at ENT & Audiology Associates. Dr. Jenny Davies Head  is a prominent audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

2015 – A Year In Review

2015-a-year-in-review

The end of December is a natural time for reflection.

2015 has been such a great year at ENT & Audiology Associates.  Our practice has grown in size, and we have grown together as a team.

Dr. Holmes began performing in-office balloon sinuplasty surgeries, effectively turning our office into a fully functional operating room with his expert nurses, Andrea, Cheryl, and Amanda.  This has meant collaborating with new clinicians (mobile anesthesiologists and nurses), in addition to reformatting how our office runs on those days.  The audiology team has started working with new technologies, and we completely restructured our billing procedures for hearing aids gearing up for 2016.  We are looking forward to working in an “unbundled” pricing model, offering our patients instrument pricing and service transparency and lower cost hearing aids, with the hope of improving the lives of more people.

On a personal level, 2015 has brought great happiness to our employees.  Amanda had her third child, a beautiful baby girl named Elliotte Grace.  Julayne’s daughter, Natalie, finished her first year in college and returned as a very helpful summer intern for the office.  Our medical assistant, Marla, added a new puppy, Mazy, to her family.  Dr. Kyman was selected by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation to travel to Brazil to spend two weeks at a rural clinic fitting donated hearing aids.  And just a week ago, Carrie got engaged and will officially be the third Gee in our office.  Dr. Holmes’ mother moved up to North Carolina from her home in Florida, and his RN daughter, who is enrolled in a nurse practitioner program in TN, has been observing Dr. Holmes in the ENT clinic during her winter break.

The family connections are so strong in our office.  Randi and Dr. Holmes are so amazing to work for and with, and they really set the tone for a family environment.  Laura, her daughter Stacy, and future daughter-in-law, Carrie, always bring fun and flare to the office.  Tanya’s daughter, Dejah, has recently been providing much appreciated help at our front desk on her winter break from her senior year at Barton College.  Marcia, Dr. Quiller’s mother, has been a lovely addition to the front desk team.  Dr. Head’s daughter, Jessica, came in to help us out a few times last summer, and Dr. Kyman’s partner, Navarre, did some photography work for a dinner presentation Dr. Holmes gave.  We are all so blessed to work in such a friendly, family-oriented environment.

In conclusion, we want to wrap up 2015 with a huge thank you to our patients, our staff, our families, and our friends.  There is something special about our practice that is hard to put into words, but it keeps getting better and better; and we are looking forward to a great 2016!  Things to keep an eye out for: increased expansion of in-office sinus surgeries, unbundled hearing aid prices, HyperSound demo set up in our waiting room, and continuously evolving technology and improvements in patient care.