Author: ENT and Audiology


What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus can be diagnosed as hearing noise when there is no external noise present. It commonly affects 1 out of every 10 adults aged 60 and above. It is generally a symptom to an underlying ear complication, most likely a damaged cochlea.

The noise manifests as buzzing, whistling, roaring, clicking, hissing, or other noises that vary in pitch and frequency from one person to another. Continuous tinnitus can be very bothersome and cause stress for the patient.

Tinnitus is divided into two categories

Subjective Tinnitus: This is the most common form of tinnitus in which only the patient can hear the noises.


It has several causes including:

  • An affected inner, middle, or outer ear
  • The auditory nerves or pathways

 

Objective Tinnitus: Objective tinnitus can be heard by the patient and their medical doctor during check up. This form of tinnitus is not as common as subjective tinnitus.

This can be caused by:

  • A problem with a blood vessel
  • Muscle contraction

Some Common Causes of Tinnitus are

  • Aging accompanied by damage to the inner ear
  • Continuous exposure to noise
  • Injuries to the head or neck
  • Infections inside the ear
  • Change to the ear bone structure
  • Blockage of the ear by excess earwax

 Effects of Tinnitus

Those suffering from tinnitus can experience symptoms of:

  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of concentration
  • Irritability

Treatment of Tinnitus

Tinnitus currently has no cure, however, there are some new treatments available to help control tinnitus and drastically improve a patient’s life.

Some tinnitus management tips include:

  • Avoiding medications like aspirin or ibuprofen that are known to damage the inner ear.
  • Address conditions linked to tinnitus such as insomnia, depression, and anxiety.
  • Coping with the noise if the tinnitus is caused by age.

When is it time to see the doctor?

  • If tinnitus is causing symptoms of anxiety or depression.
  • If tinnitus is noticeable after an infection, particularly ENT related.
  • If the noise causes hearing loss.

Some of the causes of tinnitus can easily be prevented, like smoking or exposure to loud noise. It is better to address risk factors early before they cause permanent damage.

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.