According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 11% of Americans experienced tinnitus (a perceived ringing in the ears) in 2014. Though it is a common condition, it can nevertheless prove to be frustrating, especially if it becomes chronic. Read below to learn more about tinnitus, what it really is, and how your ear, nose, and throat doctors at Mount Airy ENT Head and Neck Audiology can help you find relief!
What causes tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the symptom of another, underlying condition. Hearing loss, circulatory system problems, or even an ear injury all may cause tinnitus. Subjective tinnitus occurs when only you can hear the ringing and is the most common form of the condition. Much rarer than subjective tinnitus, however, is objective tinnitus, which can be heard by a doctor during an examination, and often comes from a blood vessel, middle ear, or muscle issue.
Do I have tinnitus?
Tinnitus is the sensation of hearing a noise when no sound is present in your surrounding environment. Symptoms of tinnitus can vary depending on the present type of condition and its severity. The sounds heard can include,
- Ringing noise
- Roaring noise
- Buzzing noise
- Hissing noise
- Clicking noise
Some people may experience low-pitched sounds while others experience high-pitched squeals. Patients can have tinnitus in one or both ears and it can sometimes increase in volume so much that it affects your daily life. Similarly, patients may experience tinnitus at all times or only occasionally. If your tinnitus begins to cause concern or affect your daily life, you should speak with your doctor to find a treatment plan.
Treating tinnitus in Mount Airy, NC
The treatment for tinnitus depends on the specifics of each case. Your doctor will focus on diagnosing and treating the underlying condition which causes the tinnitus rather than treating the sound itself. In some cases, a procedure to remove impacted or built-up earwax can decrease or eliminate tinnitus all together. Other individuals may require noise suppression in the form of white noise machines or hearing aids to help their tinnitus. Devices to mask the sound are also available, while certain medications may help in some situations. Talk with your doctor to find the best tinnitus treatment for you.
For more information on tinnitus, please contact Dr. Barry Ellis at Mount Airy Ear, Nose, and Throat Head and Neck Audiology in Mount Airy, NC. Call (336) 673-3125 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Ellis today!
Have you had trouble hearing lately? Understanding the cause of your hearing loss can help you ensure that you receive appropriate treatment. Otolaryngologists, Dr. Barry Ellis and Dr. Brian Moffitt, at Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Audiology in Mount Airy, NC, diagnose and treat hearing loss and other ear, nose and throat conditions.
What causes hearing loss?
Age-related hearing loss is one of the most common causes of hearing loss. It occurs when tiny hair cells in your inner ear become damaged and die. If you have this type of hearing loss, you may find it difficult to follow conversations, either in-person or on the phone. It may seem as if all of your friends and family members have suddenly begun to mumble, which can be very frustrating. Hearing loss can also be caused by:
- Loud Noises: Exposure to loud noises, especially if the exposure is prolonged, can also damage the hair cells in your ear. Attending loud concerts or working in a noisy environment without wearing ear protection can increase your risk of noise-induced hearing loss.
- Earwax Buildup: In some cases, your hearing may diminish simply because there's too much wax in your ears. Your ear, nose, and throat doctor can remove the wax in his Mount Airy office. You may notice that your ear hurts or rings if your hearing loss is due to wax buildup.
- Meniere's Disease: The inner ear disorder causes progressive hearing loss and balance problems. In addition to hearing loss, symptoms may also include vertigo, nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, and a feeling of fullness in the ears.
- Fluid in the Ears: Your hearing may be temporarily affected if you've developed fluid in your ears. The condition can occur if you have an ear infection.
- Acoustic Neuroma: Hearing loss and balance problems may also happen if you have an acoustic neuroma, a benign tumor on the nerves essential for hearing.
- Otosclerosis: Otosclerosis occurs when abnormal bone growth prevents the stapes bone in the middle ear from moving freely. Symptoms include hearing loss, which often begins with difficult hearing low sounds or whispering, balance problems, dizziness, and ringing or buzzing in the ears.
What treatments are available for hearing loss?
Your treatment will depend on the cause of your hearing loss. Treating an ear infection can reduce fluid in the ears, while surgery may be needed if you have otosclerosis or an acoustic neuroma. If your hearing loss is permanent, your ENT may recommend a hearing aid. The device not only amplifies sound but also helps you filter out background noise that can make hearing clearly difficult.
Are you concerned about a change in your hearing? Call Mount Airy, NC, otolaryngologists Dr. Barry Ellis and Dr. Brian Moffitt of Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Audiology at (336) 673-3125 to schedule an appointment.
Balloon sinuplasty is a medical procedure for alleviating chronic sinus problems. Balloons are used to open the sinus passageways, which improves drainage and makes it easier to breathe. Balloon sinuplasty provides long lasting relief of the symptoms of sinusitis that is not possible with over-the-counter sinus medications and remedies. At Mount Airy ENT Head and Neck Surgery and Audiology, Dr. Barry Ellis is your Otolaryngologist for balloon sinuplasty in Mount Airy, NC.
What is Balloon Sinuplasty?
Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that opens up the sinus passageways. By opening up these passageways, the sinuses are better able to drain and breathing is easier. The procedure improves a variety of symptoms associated with sinusitis, including:
- Chronic sinus problems
- Nasal congestion and stuffiness
- Sinus headaches
- Difficulty breathing through the nose
The balloon sinuplasty procedure involves the insertion of a flexible balloon catheter into the sinus passageways. Once in place, the balloons are carefully inflated. As the balloons inflate, the sinus passageways expand and open up. The newly opened passageways are gently flushed with saline to clean out mucus, debris, and other sinus clogging materials. After flushing out the sinus passageways, the balloons are deflated and the balloon catheter is removed. The sinus passageways should remain clear and open indefinitely.
The procedure for balloon sinuplasty is minimally invasive. There is no cutting of bone or tissue, as is often done during sinus surgery. Further, recovery time following a balloon sinuplasty is short. Many patients are able to resume their regular activities within a day or two of having the procedure. Further, after having balloon sinuplasty, many patients never need to repeat the procedure and enjoy clearer sinus passageways and easier breathing throughout their lives. In Mount Airy, sinuplasty is performed by an experienced otolaryngologist like Dr. Ellis.
Chronic sinus problems can adversely affect your quality of life. Balloon sinuplasty is a minimally invasive procedure with a short recovery time that delivers long lasting relief from sinus symptoms and associated problems. For balloon sinuplasty in Mount Airy, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ellis by calling Mount Airy ENT Head and Neck Surgery and Audiology at (336) 673-3125.
Do you have thyroid issues? Do you notice a sudden increase or decrease in weight? If so, you may need to contact your Mount Airy, NC, ENT for help. Thyroid problems are widespread. According to the American Thyroid Association, "more than 12 percent of the U.S. population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime," which means thyroid disease will affect millions of Americans, and more women than men. Unfortunately, some people don't even know they have any kind of condition, but by visiting your Mount Airy, NC, ENT, you can treat any thyroid problems you encounter.
More About the Thyroid:
The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland at the base of your neck, below the Adam's apple. This gland secretes hormones that control metabolism, like how fast calories burn calories.
Types of Thyroid Diseases:
There are several diseases resulting from an unhealthy thyroid. Here are just a few:
- Thyroid nodules: A lump in the thyroid that's sometimes solid or fluid-filled, but usually require treatment unless they're larger cancerous nodes. Treatment includes surgery or medicine.
- Hypothyroidism: This condition is a result of low thyroid hormone production, which results in symptoms such as fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, dry skin, and unexplained weight gain, and needs hormone replacement treatment.
- Hyperthyroidism: This is the overproduction of thyroid hormone production, which results in weight loss, irregular heartbeat, and sweating. Treatments include: radioactive iodine, medications, and surgery.
- Goiter: This is an abnormal enlargement of the thyroid, which may be treated by surgery
- Thyroiditis: This is the inflammation of the thyroid that causes leakage of thyroid hormones and results in hyperthyroidism, and eventually hypothyroidism.
- Thyroid cancer: Cancer appears as a lump and treatments include surgery, hormone therapy, radioactive iodine, radiation, and chemotherapy.
If you have any questions or concerns about thyroid issues, then you need to contact your Mount Airy, NC, ENT, at (336) 673-3125 today! Problems may be simple, but if not properly diagnosed or left untreated, they may result in serious complications.
Tinnitus is a condition in which an individual hears ringing, buzzing, or other sounds in the ears when no external source is actually producing any sound. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 50 million American adults experience tinnitus. For some individuals the condition is only temporary, but it can be persistent and burdensome for others. If you are struggling with tinnitus, there are treatments that can help. At Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Surgery Audiology, Dr. Barry Ellis and Dr. Brian Moffitt are your Mount Airy, NC tinnitus doctors.
Causes of Tinnitus
The specific cause of tinnitus is not always clear. In some cases, tinnitus is associated with hearing loss or some problem with the hearing system. For instance, pressure on the ear drum can cause an individual to hear ringing or buzzing in the ear. This pressure can be caused by ear wax build up, loose hairs inside the ear canal, or even sinus congestion. Tinnitus can result from other problems in the ear, as well, such as an infection or muscle spasms. In Mount Airy, tinnitus can be diagnosed and treated by an otolaryngologist or audiologist.
Treatments for Tinnitus
While there are several treatments for easing the effects of tinnitus, there is no treatment that can actually cure it. Some treatments can help reduce ringing, buzzing, and other unexplained sounds in the ear. Other treatments provide relief by helping you relax and become less aware of the noise. In some cases, hearing aids can even alleviate problems associated with tinnitus. In addition to hearing aids, specific options for treating tinnitus include cochlear implants, sound therapy, medications, cognitive therapy, treatment of TMJ, and meditation.
Tinnitus can be a temporary or chronic condition. Whether you have only recently developed tinnitus or have been struggling with it long-term, an otolaryngologist or an audiologist can recommend an appropriate treatment to alleviate the noises in your ear. For treatment of tinnitus in Mount Airy, NC, schedule an appointment with Dr. Ellis, your otolaryngologist, or Dr. Moffitt, your audiologist, contact Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Surgery Audiology at (336) 673-3125.
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