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?

what-is-sleep-apnea

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!

collage-fodder1

The Real Problem With Hearing Aids Being Portrayed In The Media

UP While it’s rare for hearing aids to make appearances in mainstream movies, when they do, they make big ones. And by big, I don’t mean prominent, or important to the plot or character development, I mean big, ugly, usually squealing hearing aids. Ones that immediately come to mind are Up, and The Wrestler. While I appreciate that ‘bad press is better than no press’, this is not doing hearing impaired people that are on the fence about hearing aids any justice. Most times hearing aids are portrayed in a movie, they are a negative connotation.

The problem is, this is completely unrealistic! While feedback (whistling, squealing) used to be a problem with older hearing aids, due to advances in digital technology, this hasn’t been an issue in years. Further, hearing aids today are so small, they are virtually invisible. I understand they need to be seen to have a presence in the movie, however there has to be a better way.

ant-man-stoll Take Ant Man for instance! He has this incredibly high tech ear piece that can literally control ants. However, it doesn’t even have a custom earpiece! If the movie industry invested just a little research into the hearing aid industry before their next production, I think it would be a win-win for everybody.

HAs and EARsIn addition to the accuracy of the portrayal of hearing aids, the frequency also needs to reflect a more accurate adult population. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, about 20% of Americans report some degree of hearing loss. That’s 48 MILLION Americans! Further, hearing loss is not just for the ‘grumpy grandpa’ characters. The Better Hearing Institute reports that the majority (65%) of people with hearing loss are younger than age 65. In fact there are more than SIX MILLION people in the U.S. between the ages of 18-44 with hearing loss.

HER_Graphic
This means we need to see more average middle aged working adults with hearing loss being represented in the movies, wearing modern, digital technology. And it doesn’t have be be a completely deaf character; something as simple as needing a few things repeated occasionally, and maybe a scene where they wirelessly stream a phone call to their hearing aids using bluetooth would suffice. That is real technology, and not just for futuristic movies like Her. Today, in 2015, you can connect your hearing aids wirelessly to your iPhone, and stream phone calls, music, and more!

 

I would love to see a movie with a scene where a character takes his or her hearing aids out at night before going to bed, and maybe the audience didn’t even realize that character wore hearing aids until that scene. They don’t have to be directly addressed or talked about, they’re just there, like they are for millions of Americans.

Kyman_Headshot2Lena Kyman is a clinic audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates in North Carolina. She is passionate about global audiology, and breaking down the stigma and stereotypes associated with hearing aids and hearing loss. She can be reached at Dr.Kyman@entandaudiology.com.

 

 

Audiology Abroad

audiology-abroad-raleigh-audiologistlena-kyman

This July, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Antigua, Guatemala, on a volunteer audiology trip.

I first went to Antigua as a graduate student in 2010, and was able to visit schools and clinics, perform hearing screenings, and make referrals to appropriate sources for further evaluation.  Five years later, I had the opportunity to return and continue this work.

This trip, I was able to visit a local elementary school and perform hearing screenings on the children that teachers had concerns about.  Further, I was able to provide batteries, and do cleanings/listening checks on two students’ hearing aids.  Later in the week, we were able to visit one of the Universities, and instruct speech and hearing students on audiology basics, and how to perform otoscopy and hearing screenings.

Visiting another country is such an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture.  While I was there to provide a service, I definitely feel like I received more from the people there. We are so fortunate to have sound proof booths here, sometimes in other countries hearing screenings are performed in classrooms without doors, noisy hallways, and even in showers!  One of the children with hearing aids who I worked with had a broken battery door.  I did not have a replacement door with me; however, I was able to make one out of packing tape at the school.  A temporary solution at best, however it made the difference between hearing and not hearing.

Amongst all that work, I was able to have some fun too!  Antigua is a beautiful city, and I really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the central park.  I got to hike Pacaya, an active volcano, and take a jade workshop at the home of a long-time jade miner.  An amazing experience, to say the least.

I look forward to returning again next year, hopefully with more donated supplies, and a larger team of students.  I want to thank ENT & Audiology Associates for their generosity in donating batteries and ear plugs, and allowing me to travel during such a busy time of the year.  Global audiology is a passion of mine, and I hope to make a difference, one ear at a time.

 

DrKymanPic Lena Kyman is a clinical audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates.  She is passionate about hearing health education, and global audiology.  She can be reached at Dr.Kyman@entandaudiology.com.

 

 

Audiology Abroad

This July, I was blessed with the opportunity to return to Antigua, Guatemala, on a volunteer audiology trip.

I first went to Antigua as a graduate student in 2010, and was able to visit schools and clinics, perform hearing screenings, and make referrals to appropriate sources for further evaluation.  Five years later, I had the opportunity to return and continue this work.

This trip, I was able to visit a local elementary school and perform hearing screenings on the children that teachers had concerns about.  Further, I was able to provide batteries, and do cleanings/listening checks on two students’ hearing aids.  Later in the week, we were able to visit one of the Universities, and instruct speech and hearing students on audiology basics, and how to perform otoscopy and hearing screenings.

Visiting another country is such an opportunity to learn and experience a different culture.  While I was there to provide a service, I definitely feel like I received more from the people there. We are so fortunate to have sound proof booths here, sometimes in other countries hearing screenings are performed in classrooms without doors, noisy hallways, and even in showers!  One of the children with hearing aids who I worked with had a broken battery door.  I did not have a replacement door with me; however, I was able to make one out of packing tape at the school.  A temporary solution at best, however it made the difference between hearing and not hearing.

Amongst all that work, I was able to have some fun too!  Antigua is a beautiful city, and I really enjoyed walking the streets and visiting the central park.  I got to hike Pacaya, an active volcano, and take a jade workshop at the home of a long-time jade miner.  An amazing experience, to say the least.

I look forward to returning again next year, hopefully with more donated supplies, and a larger team of students.  I want to thank ENT & Audiology Associates for their generosity in donating batteries and ear plugs, and allowing me to travel during such a busy time of the year.  Global audiology is a passion of mine, and I hope to make a difference, one ear at a time.