While we often associate hearing loss with old age, the fact of the matter is that anyone can develop hearing loss at any point during their lifetime. Even children can face some degree of the condition. Fortunately, here at Mt Airy ENT & ALLERGY, our board-certified ENT, Dr. Barry Ellis, and audiologist, Dr. Brian Moffitt, can help treat patients of all ages. Read on to learn more about this condition, and call our Mount Airy office if you are in need of treatment.
What are the different types of hearing loss?
There are three main types of hearing loss: sensorineural, conductive and mixed. Most of us will deal with some degree of hearing loss as we get older. In fact, this is fairly common by the time someone turns 65 years old.
What can cause hearing loss?
There are several things that can cause hearing loss. Common causes include,
- Exposure to excessively loud noises
- Birth defects
- Ear and head infection
- Reaction to certain drugs
- Cancer treatment
How can I recognize a hearing problem in a loved one or myself?
Not all hearing loss is profound enough to be easily spotted. Of course, there are important warning signs that point towards the necessity of proper treatment. You may be dealing with some degree of hearing loss if,
- You often ask people to repeat themselves
- You have to turn the volume up on the TV or phone in order to hear it
- You have trouble hearing when in loud environments (e.g. restaurants)
- You have trouble following a conversation when multiple people are talking
- You have to face the person speaking in order to understand what they are saying
- You often hear a buzzing or ringing in the ears
- It sounds like people around you are often mumbling
If you find yourself dealing with any of these issues, it’s important that you schedule a hearing screening at our Mount Airy office.
How is hearing loss treated?
The type of treatment you receive will depend on the cause of your hearing loss. If impacted earwax is the cause of muffled or decreased hearing, an ENT doctor can easily remove the earwax to restore your hearing. Any inflammation or infections that are affecting your hearing will also be treated with the appropriate medication.
In other cases, many forms of hearing loss can be treated with a hearing aid, which is designed to amplify certain sounds to improve your hearing. While it will not cure your hearing loss or restore hearing, it can make it easier to understand what others are saying.
Those with more severe hearing loss could also benefit from a cochlear implant, which doesn’t amplify sound like a hearing aid, but instead stimulates the auditory nerve to improve hearing.
Need treatment? Give us a call
If you are experiencing hearing problems in Mount Airy, NC, it’s important that you have a doctor that you can turn to. Call Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Audiology today at (336) 673-3125 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Barry Ellis and Dr. Brian Moffitt.
Find out the warning signs that it’s time to schedule a hearing evaluation.
Being able to hear those around you is so important. If you find yourself feeling left out of conversations more often than not then you could be dealing with hearing loss. It’s important to understand the signs and symptoms of hearing loss so that you know when to visit our Mount Airy, NC, ENT doctor Dr. Barry Ellis and audiologist Dr. Brian Moffitt.
What are the warning signs that I might have hearing loss?
In most cases hearing loss is gradual so you may not always notice when you’re having trouble hearing. Common signs and symptoms of hearing loss include:
- Having to turn the volume up on the radio or television in order to hear it
- Feeling like everyone around you is mumbling
- Feeling like certain sounds are muffled
- Having to ask people to repeat themselves frequently
- Looking at lips to understand what people are saying
- Trouble hearing people in noisy environments
- Avoiding conversations or social interactions
When should you see a doctor?
If you are noticing any of these symptoms above then it’s a good idea to call our otolaryngologist in Mount Airy, NC, to schedule a hearing evaluation. The sooner hearing loss is detected the more quickly we can treat the problem, making it easier to understand those around you again. We know how much hearing loss can impact your day-to-day living and our goal is to help improve your hearing so that you can get back to the conversation again.
How is hearing loss treated?
The most common treatment option for hearing loss is a hearing aid. If you have hearing loss in both ears it’s important to get a hearing aid for both ears. Hearing aids do not fix hearing loss but they will amplify certain sounds while reducing noisy and unnecessary ambient sounds to make it easier to understand what others are saying.
There are many different kinds of hearing aids from which to choose. Once you undergo a hearing evaluation we can walk you through the different types of hearing aids and which ones would work best for the type of hearing loss you have. Hearing aids can improve hearing in those dealing with everything from minor to profound hearing loss.
If you are worried about hearing loss in Mount Airy, NC, then it’s important to schedule a hearing screening as soon as possible. Call Mount Airy ENT Head & Neck Audiology today.
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.
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