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.
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? 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.
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!
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.
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.
In 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.
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.
Lena 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.
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.
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.
I recently had a unique experience in the ENT & Audiology Associates office, as I went from being a clinician, to being a patient. While I can talk all day about how great it is to work here with Dr. Holmes and our amazing staff, I didn’t fully understand how amazing this practice is until last week.
I had just returned from a whitewater kayaking trip in northern California. It took me three flights to get back home, flying overnight and coming straight to work Monday morning. I had a sore ear at work on Monday, but attributed it to sleep deprivation, the black eye I had gotten from paddling, and all the pressure changes on the flight, so I didn’t think much of it. The next day though, the pain had increased. I did a tympanogram on myself, saw that my eardrum was still moving normally, so tried to still brush it off. Later in the day however, it had gotten worse, and I asked Dr. Holmes to look in my ear. He noted that my eardrum on that side was red and inflamed, and gave me some drops for what looked like the start of an outer ear infection (made sense, as I had just spent a week on a river). Unfortunately, what looked like the beginning of an external ear infection was actually the onset of acute otitis media, and that night my middle ear filled with fluid, so that by the time I got to the office on Wednesday, my eardrum was bulging. (I have never had an ear infection my whole, life, and now that I’m almost 30, I get my first one!) Dr. Holmes came to my side of the office first thing in the morning, to see how I was doing, immediately diagnosed the problem, he and the nurses were able to call me in an antibiotic to start right away.
Later in the day, it had gotten to the point where it was so painful and there was so much pressure, it was determined that a myringotomy was the best option to relieve the pressure and remove the fluid. While I was nervous (as I was about to have a incision cut into my eardrum), I tried my best to act tough, knowing that some of my colleagues wanted to watch. The nurses were incredibly empathetic, and made me feel very comfortable. Dr. Holmes talked me through the whole procedure (all two minutes of it), and I was immediately feeling better. That night I slept better than I had all week, and by the next day, I was feeling completely healthy again. Every time I saw a nurse in the hallway, they would ask to make sure I’m feeling better. I felt so supported and cared for by everyone in the office. I definitely have new empathy for the patients I see, and can say without hesitation that Dr. Holmes and the staff at ENT & Audiology Associates provide excellent care, difficult to find elsewhere. My eardrum is already healed, and I’ll be back on the water in no time thanks to Dr. Holmes.
Lena Kyman is a clinical audiologist at ENT & Audiology Associates, and patient of Dr. Holmes’.
EarQ has a great #KnowTheFacts campaign with the goal of informing the public about major health conditions that have been connected to untreated hearing loss. Their website with further information on each of these topics and the sources can be seen here.
We are continuing our mini-series on this blog: Tackling Resistance to Hearing Aids- One Misconception At A Time. According to the Better Hearing Institute, people delay a solution for multiple reasons, including but not limited to inadequate information, stigma, and undervaluing the ability to hear. We are tackling these issues one at a time.
Volume 3: You hearing loss cannot be helped
In the past, many people with hearing loss in one ear, with a high frequency hearing loss, or with nerve damage were all told that they could not be helped, often by their family practice physician. This might have been true many years ago, however with modern advances in technology, nearly 95% of people with a sensorineural hearing loss can be helped with hearing aids. While it’s okay to refer to your primary care physician, only 13% of physicians regularly screen for hearing loss, and it is more helpful to refer to an audiologist who specializes specifically in this field and will know how to help. Hearing loss solutions are not one-size-fits-all, so find an audiologist who will work with you to customize a solution based on your lifestyle and listening needs. A better quality of life is just one trip to the audiologist’s office away…
We are starting a new mini-series on this blog: Tackling Resistance to Hearing Aids- One Misconception At A Time. According to the Better Hearing Institute, people delay a solution for multiple reasons, including but not limited to inadequate information, stigma, and undervaluing the ability to hear. We are going to start tackling these issues one at a time.
Volume 1: Hearing aids will make me look ‘old’
This is simply untrue! If the hearing aids allow you to function like a normal-hearing person, and hear in situations where you may not have before, they are not making you look old, in fact they are returning you to an active and social lifestyle. Untreated hearing loss is far more noticeable than a hearing aid. Missing the punchline of a joke, and smiling and nodding your way through a conversation you cannot hear is drastically more noticeable than the largest hearing aid on the market. Further, hearing aid manufacturers know that vanity exists, and have largely reduced the size of modern hearing aids, and incorporated sleek, digital, high-tech looks into the devices. So what are you giving up for your vanity- hearing a child’s laughter, the whispers of a loved one, the birds chirping on a summer morning? Don’t fake your way through a conversation. Own your hearing loss, take action, and get back in control.
This year, our office coordinated and completed a comprehensive audiology training for the entire staff. It started with a conference follow-up and introduction to our training program, followed by an Audiology overview presentation, followed by an ABR and hearing aid programming demonstration. Today, we reviewed the highlights of what everyone learned, and discussed over a delicious catered lunch. Our audiology team is so grateful to have an office full of amazing staff, and everyone received a thank-you gift for completing the training. Oh, and there was some dancing too!
Congratulations to everyone who is graduating this weekend, and this spring. We have several patients of whom we are very proud! Remember, untreated hearing loss can have huge impacts on educational performance. If you have any concerns about your child’s hearing, get them tested today. Treating even a mild hearing loss can make a big difference, and hearing aid patients are consistently top-of-the-class students!
In January, our clinicians went to an audiology summit, and returned with new skills, motivation and momentum. Since that time, our entire office has been receiving training on audiology in general, and all of the procedures we perform and services we offer. We started off with a summary of our summit, and an introduction to our plans for audiology training. This meeting was in the morning, and we created a homemade breakfast burrito bar! That post can be found here. A few weeks later, we had a presentation covering audiology and the services we offer, over lunch with homemade pizzas. That post can be found here. After that presentation, our entire office received a checklist of audiology services to either observe or experience first hand. Our staff has been so great and motivated to participate, and we have received positive feedback that they have all learned a lot. This type of training is important, because it better enables our staff to have meaningful conversations with our patients, and offer insight and empathy.
Today, we all gathered to observe an ABR and some hearing aid programming with our very own Randi Holmes as a patient. We were able to hook our laptop up to the projector, so everyone could see the ABR and hearing aid software on the big screen.
Next week, everyone will be done with their observations, and we will all gather for a celebratory catered lunch. We will all share what we learned from the observations, and further answer any questions. We have such an incredible team in our office, and are so grateful for our amazing staff!
Many offices have casual Friday – jeans, golf shirts – no ties or coats, and many knock off early to start their weekend. Fridays at ENT & Audiology Associates could not be more different. Morning is devoted to a full clinic where many outpatient ENT and audiology needs are met. In the afternoon the audiologists are seeing hearing aid patients, while the nursing staff and Dr Holmes transition from clinic visits to preparing for Friday afternoon ENT & Audiology BALLOON SINUPLASTY. Yesterday four patients kissed their sinus problems good bye. They took an oral sedative, had local topical anesthetic cotton pledgets placed carefully and delicately in their nose, and with nasal endoscopy using small scopes had sinus catheter balloons widen the openings to their maxillary and frontal sinuses. Minimal discomfort, no bruising, no packing. Beats the Hell out of going to the OR. And cost savings for the patients is amazing – no facility fees or anesthesia bills. On average our patients save about $6000 by having their sinus issues addressed with in office balloon sinuplasty vs going to the OR. About one hour after walking in they were treated and wheeled out to their car (they could have walked, but we provide cadillac TLC treatment), on the path to a new life free of sinus pressure, headaches, and sinus infections.
It’s a great afternoon!!!