Category: Audiology


Pediatric ENT for Ear, Nose and Throat Care

A pediatric ENT is a doctor that specializes in treating children with ear, nose, and throat conditions. They specialize in providing an accurate diagnosis for children experiencing hearing loss, throat problems, and ear conditions including chronic ear infections.

Around four out of every 1000 children are born with measurable hearing impairment. The pediatric ENT is the doctor that provides the care in cases of hearing loss. Experts agree that the sooner hearing impairment is diagnosed the better the outcome for treatment.

What Causes Hearing Impairment In Children?

When a child is born with a hearing impairment there is a range of potential causes including:

  • Birth injuries
  • Preeclampsia, maternal diabetes, drug, and alcohol abuse during pregnancy, anoxia genetics
  • Genetic defects

Other causes can be ototoxic drugs during pregnancy. Some genetic conditions can cause deafness in a child including Down syndrome, Usher syndrome, Treacher Collins syndrome, Crouzon syndrome, Alport syndrome, and Waardenburg syndrome. A pediatric ENT is an expert that can test your baby for hearing problems very early on.

Hearing Loss In Older Children

Hearing loss can occur in older children from chronic ear infections. Otis Media, other illnesses can also impact a child’s hearing permanently. Measles, meningitis, encephalitis, and flu. Your child’s hearing can be impacted by a wide range of diseases.

The Pediatric ENT can diagnose any hearing problems and develop a custom treatment plan specifically for your child. If you suspect that a recent illness has impacted your child’s hearing it is always best to get it checked by a specialist.

Accurate Diagnosis Is Vital to Successful Treatment

Early diagnosis is vital to early intervention which can help to improve the success of the treatment. The pediatric ENT can test hearing on newborns, and children of all ages. In cases of suspected congenital hearing loss experts agree that diagnosis before the age of three months provides the best opportunity for creating an effective treatment plan.

Hearing impairment can affect speech development and other areas of development. A pediatric audiologist Raleigh NC parents take their children to for care, can help with all the symptoms of hearing loss. Speech therapy, hearing aids, and other treatment options can help your child to overcome hearing impairment.

If You Suspect Something is Wrong

If you suspect that your child is struggling to hear, make an appointment with the ENT. It is always best to have the testing done and to be proven wrong than to not having the testing done and find out down the road you were right.

Danger Signs that Your Children Has Hearing Problems

Studies show that 2 or 3 of every 1,000 children born in the United States have considerable hearing problems in one or both years. The studies continue to highlight that most of the children end up losing their hearing, especially if their problems are not detected by their parents. Therefore, parents have to observe specific hearing problems so that they can consult pediatric audiology and solve the hearing problem at an earlier stage.

Pediatric audiology will only help your child if you can detect hearing problems at an earlier stage. Here are some of the signs that should compel you to seek the services of pediatric audiology.

Delayed Language Development

Children are supposed to develop language at an earlier stage in life because they are interacting with older children who can speak. Moreover, they are constantly hearing their parents mention things followed with actions, which makes them name things. However, if your child demonstrates delayed language development, you need to consult pediatric audiology for an accurate diagnosis. Maybe the child is not hearing, which explains why he has not developed any language skills.

Consistent Ear Infections

Ear infections are not a sign of a hearing problem, but a probable cause of hearing problems. This is very difficult because a young child may not be able to show the actual cause of the problem. However, an observant parent can easily detect ear infections. Continues flow of fluids from the one or both ears is a clear sign of ear infection. A child putting fingers in the ears is an obvious problem that something is wrong. A pediatric ENT will easily detect ear infection and offer the necessary solution.

Daydreaming

Daydreaming is a clear indication that the child is not hearing what is happening within the surrounding. Parents tend to confuse daydreaming with being inattentive. They could be right but consistent daydreaming for about a week is a danger sign that your child has hearing problems. A test hearing, done by experienced pediatric audiology could highlight the problem with your child. If diagnosed and treated properly, the child will start responding to the noises from the surrounding environment.

Turning to Face Sounds

This is a common aspect to many children because they are curious, and they want to see the source of the sound. However, it’s a clear indication that your child is having critical hearing problems. He could be hearing the sounds but not the actual words being pronounced. That’s why he is turning to face the movement of the lips to try and understand the meaning of the sounds. A pediatric is supposed to conduct hearing tests to the child before recommending hearing aids, which will help the child to listen to the words clearly without looking at the movement of the lips.

Grabbing/Pointing to Familiar Objects

It is the nature of young children to grab or point at familiar objects in the room. It is expected that a child will be highly interested in feeding cups, towels, and toys. Those are familiar objects. But it becomes critical when the child grabs or points it familiar objects when they are mentioned. This is a clear indication that the child cannot name the objects and cannot hear their names but can understand what others are saying through lip movement. This is a clear warning that your child needs hearing tests to determine whether he has hearing loss.

Reacting to Loud Sound

Reacting to loud sounds is a clear indication that the child did not hear before the sound was increased. He can now hear and deduce the meaning of the sound. That’s why he is reacting. Children with this type of hearing problem tend to remain calm while at the same time, paying huge attention to the person speaking. However, a slight increase in the volume of the sound makes them react. They can now hear without problems, and that’s why they are being excited or annoyed depending on the sounds produced.

There is a considerable number of people in the United States who have hearing problems. Most of these hearing difficulties started at an earlier stage but were not solved and were allowed to develop. It is upon you to take your children to pediatric audiology after detecting danger signs of hearing problems.

What You Need to Know about Hearing Aids

If an audiologist has recently diagnosed you with hearing loss, you’re not alone. Hearing loss affects a significant number of Americans, so don’t be alarmed. With the help of ENT & Audiology’s Raleigh audiologists, you’ll be able to find the best solutions for your hearing loss.

If your audiologist confirms that your hearing problem stems from damaged hair cells found in the inner ear, you may have what is known as sensorial hearing loss, which is treated with hearing aids.

Why Do You Need Hearing Aids?

Hearing aids are small electronic devices worn inside or behind the ears, which consist of a microphone, speaker, and amplifier, and are useful for making sounds loud enough for the ears to hear clearly and the mind to comprehend in order for an individual to communicate effectively. Hearing aids also make it possible for people with hearing loss to hear clearly both in noisy and quiet environments.

As mentioned, hearing aids consist of three basic parts, each with a vital role to play.

i. Microphone – The microphone is what receives external sound. It then changes these sound waves into electrical signals before transferring them to the amplifier.
ii. Amplifier – Once the amplifier receives the electric signals, it multiplies the intensity of the signals accordingly.
iii. Speaker – The amplified sound is transferred to the ear through the speaker and once the remaining hair cells picks the sound, they convert them into neural signals which the brain is able to pick

The strength of a hearing aid amplification required by an individual is determined by the level of damage to the inner ear. However, there is a level at which even the largest amplification a pair of hearing aids can offer will not be of any assistance. In this case, your audiologist will make alternative recommendations e.g. having a cochlear implant.

Hearing Aid Styles

Hearing aids are classified into two major categories based on where they are worn.

  1. In-the-ear (ITE) Style Hearing Aids – These are designed to fit inside the outer ear and generally come with a hard plastic to house the hearing aid parts. They are ideal for mild to severe hearing loss complications with some having extra features such as a telecoli; a tiny magnet through which sound is received from the circuitry of the aid rather than through its microphone. They are good for telephone conversations and in places with induction loop systems.
  2. Behind-the-ear (BTE) Style Hearing Aids – BTEs on the hand are also designed with a hard plastic case that fits behind the ear. This case is attached to a plastic earmold which is what is fitted in the outer ear and transmits sound to the hair cells in the inner ear.  These too are ideal for mild to severe hearing loss cases.

Types of Hearing Aids

In-the-ear (ITE) Style Hearing Aids

ITE style hearing aids include:

  • In-the-canal Hearing Aids – these are placed on the lower side of the outer ear bowl. People prefer them because they are comfortable and do not block the ear canal.
  • Invisible-in-the-canal (IIC) and Completely-in-the-canal (CIC) Hearing Aids – These happen to be the smallest in size and as their names suggest, are not meant to be visible.
  • Low Profile Hearing Aids – unlike the IICs and CICs, the Low profile Hearing aids are for those who desire simple handling, therefore, they are slightly larger in size. They are designed to cover half or the entire outer ear bowl. A noteworthy advantage is that they can incorporate added features like volume controls and directional microphones.

Behind-the-ear (BTE) Style Hearing Aids

BTEs are more popular now than before because current hearing aids now come in a smaller size for those who prefer being discreet, which represents a significant percentage of people with hearing loss problems. Despite their size, they can still accommodate different features to suit specific hearing loss challenges.

Some include:

  • Mini BTEs – these come with a discreet ultra-slim tube to transmit sound into the ear.
  • Receiver-in-the-ear (RITE) or Receive-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aids – The most distinct feature about the RITEs and the RICs is the fact that their speakers are designed to fit into the ear tip placing them at a closer distance to the eardrum.
  • BTEs with earmolds – these come with a longer shape and fits behind the entire outer ear. A distinctive advantage they have over the others is that they can accommodate more added features.

To ensure the best fit,  here are some things to consider:

Generally, hearing aids will vary with the extent of the hearing loss. However, other factors will certainly come into play.

These include:

  • Price
  • Ease of handling
  • Size Preference
  • The additional accessories required
  • Career

All in all, one needs to first get a recommendation from the doctor and then weigh the pros and cons of each option available before settling on what’s best for their specific needs.

How to Keep Your Hearing Aids in Good Condition

The most basic hearing aids maintenance practice is professional cleaning, you need to rid it of dust, moisture or wax using a soft dry cloth at least daily. Making regular appointments with your audiologist are also crucial to ensure your hearing aids are operating at the optimal levels.

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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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

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

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

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.

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