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

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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.

Danielle S.

Patient Danielle S. 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.

America must confront hearing loss: Column

Hearing loss is a larger problem than one may think. It’s not just about not being able to hear noise at certain levels but how it impacts the daily life of an individual. Hearing loss is associated with depression, lower incomes for adults, and learning difficulties for children, yet the Center for Disease Control doesn’t recognize it as a disability with the hardship it causes someone. Read the article from USA Today to learn more about how Americans must confront this issue.

The United States is approaching a tipping point in terms of hearing loss and how it is treated under current policy.

10 Tips to Preserve Your Child’s Hearing during the Holidays

Children’s ears are very sensitive to loud noises and even the most innocent toy can cause hearing loss. Monitor the level of noise that occurs during the holidays around children and how closely they hold toys and devices to their ears. Following these ten easy steps can keep your children’s little ears safe from harm.

https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/ear-nose-throat/Pages/Tips-Preserve-Childs-Hearing-Holidays.aspx

Holiday Hearing Loss Gift Guide

From baby to adults with hearing loss, we have a holiday gift guide with some clever gift ideas to bring a smile to their face. They’ll be filled with joy, knowing you thought of their needs.

Holiday Hearing Loss Gift Guide

Kay D.

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.

What is Sleep Apnea?

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Over the past decade, Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) has become more well-known due to the associated health risks and deaths associated with untreated sleep apnea. Almost fifty percent of healthy adults snore occasionally, while half of them are habitual snorers. Many times, the problem afflicts individuals who are overweight. If the problem is not treated it typically gets worse with age. Douglas Holmes, MD, founder and medical director of ENT and Audiology Associates in Raleigh has been helping treat patients who suffer from snoring and sleep apnea for the past 15 years.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder that causes affected individuals to stop breathing for short periods of time while asleep. While the effects are the same, there are two primary varieties of the condition: obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and central sleep apnea (CSA), which differentiate in their root causes. Regardless of the type of sleep apnea from which you suffer, it is important to be professionally diagnosed and treated to avoid further complications.

What happens when you fall asleep?

When you fall asleep your body undergoes many physiological changes during your sleep cycle including changes that affect your breathing. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) occurs when the soft palate sags and the tongue relaxes while sliding back, which can partially obstruct the upper airway. When the obstruction is severe enough to decrease the amount of air obstructing the lungs, it is called hypopnea. If the upper airway collapses, blocking the airflow by 80% or more, it is called an apnea. Hypopnea and apneas last 10 seconds or more and can greatly reduce the amount of oxygen in your blood despite your continued efforts to breath.

What are some symptoms of sleep apnea?

The most noticeable symptom of OSA is loud, chronic snoring. During an apneic episode, there is an increase in the level of carbon dioxide in the blood. This build up triggers a defense mechanism in the brain which jolts the body into resuming normal breathing. In mild sleep apnea, the number of apneas is 10 per hour on average. In severe sleep apnea, it can be 40 or more per hour.

Are there any risks to not treating sleep apnea?

Sleep disorders, like sleep apnea, have become a significant health issue in the United States. It is estimated that 22 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, with 80 percent of the cases of moderate and severe obstructive sleep apnea undiagnosed.

If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to a higher risk of life-threatening conditions such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. and is a factor in many traffic accidents and accidents with heavy machinery, owing to the persistent drowsiness suffered by many sleep apnea patients before the disease is recognized and treated.

What treatment options are available for snoring and sleep apnea sufferers?

Until recently, treatment options have been limited to painful and invasive nose and throat surgeries and bulky CPAP and oral appliances which require patients to wear every time they sleep. At ENT and Audiology Associates, Douglas Holmes, MD will meet with you to individualize a treatment plan that is right for you and your condition. At ENT and Audiology Associates, we believe in finding the least invasive ways to help improve a patient’s quality of life. One procedure, Radiofrequency Ablation of the Tongue Base, has been found to be superior to any other treatment for sleep apnea. The procedure was developed 10 years ago and continues to be performed with great success.

America Must Confront Hearing Loss

america-must-confront-hearing-loss

Hearing loss is a larger problem than one may think. It’s not just about not being able to hear noise at certain levels but how it impacts the daily life of an individual. Hearing loss is associated with depression, lower incomes for adults, and learning difficulties for children, yet the Center for Disease Control doesn’t recognize it as a disability with the hardship it causes someone. Read the article from USA Today to learn more about how Americans must confront this issue.

The United States is approaching a tipping point in terms of hearing loss and how it is treated under current policy.

Hal B.

Audiology patient Hal B. discusses his experience with being fitted for Hearing Aids at ENT & Audiology Associates located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

What is Ear Wax?

what-is-ear-wax

Ear wax is not really a “wax” but a water-soluble mixture of secretions, plus hair and dead skin. Most of the time the ear canals are self-cleaning; that is, there is a slow and orderly migration of ear wax and skin cells from the eardrum to the ear opening. Old ear wax is constantly being transported, assisted by chewing and jaw motion, from the ear canal to the ear opening where it usually dries, flakes, and falls out.

Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that ear wax should be routinely removed for personal hygiene. This is not so. In fact, attempting to remove ear wax with cotton-tipped swabs or other probing devices can result in damage to the ear, including trauma, impaction of the ear wax, or even temporary deafness. These objects only push the wax in deeper, and can block the ear canal entirely.

Under ideal circumstances, the ear canals should never have to be cleaned. However, that isn’t always the case. The ears should be cleaned when enough ear wax accumulates to cause symptoms or to prevent a needed assessment of the ear by your doctor. This condition is called cerumen impaction, and may cause one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Earache, fullness in the ear, or a sensation the ear is plugged
  • Partial hearing loss, which may be progressive
  • Tinnitus, ringing, or noises in the ear
  • Itching, odor, or discharge
  • Coughing

 

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these ear wax symptoms, please call the ENT & Audiology Associates in Raleigh at 919-782-9003 to confirm that ear wax is the cause. Do not attempt to remove the wax yourself.

Breaking the Stigma of Hearing Loss – The Who, What, Why and How

hearing loss patient

It’s unfortunate that hearing loss has such a bad stigma when it affects so many people both old and young. It doesn’t seem to be a major concern to health insurance providers, that it makes the person suffering less inclined to take action to better their hearing. The lack of action tends to lead to depression and surprisingly many other health concerns. This article will open to your eyes to who suffers from hearing loss, what other major health issues they many have, and the steps you can take to not let hearing loss define your life.

Breaking the Stigma of Hearing Loss – The Who, What, Why and How

Caroline A.

Audiology patient Caroline A. discusses her audiology experience at ENT & Audiology Associates located in the Raleigh, North Carolina area.

A Safer Way To Listen: Addressing The Teen Hearing Loss Epidemic

The numbers are staggering. According to the CDC, as many as 16% of teens have reported some degree of hearing loss that could have been caused by loud noise. The Journal of Pediatrics reports that 12.5 % of kids between ages 6 and 19 suffer from hearing loss as a result of using earphones/earbuds turned to a high volume. This is millions of teenagers.

how loud too loud

How? How is it that so many of are youth are able to damage their hearing right in front of us? Because it’s easy. The average MP3 player has a potential output of 105 decibels. The risk of noise-induced hearing loss starts at 85dB, with long and repeated exposure.

What can be done? Education! Our kids and teens need to learn the value of our sense of hearing, and how noise-induced hearing loss occurs. Noise-induced hearing loss is permanent, but completely preventable. This is the first step. But how do you know if your volume is too loud? Get Puro Sound headphones that will not let the sound reach a dangerous level.puro phones

These new headphones are stylish, sleek, high quality, and SAFE. They connect wirelessly to any Bluetooth capable device, (with a wired option for non-Bluetooth devices), they are noise attenuating (reducing the need to increase the volume), and they have a limited output. Sounds will not exceed a safe listening level.

These headphones are perfect for any kid who listens to music, watches movies on a mobile device, etc. They are very high quality, reasonably priced, and acceptable for standards of hearing health. We now have these in our office, so please call or stop by for a free demonstration, and to pick up a pair today. We have two colors, and are expecting adult sizes by the end of the year!

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