If you've been experiencing a decline in your hearing, you know how frustrating it can be to try to decipher what others are saying. Whether it's in public or at home, hearing loss can definitely take a toll on your mental health. In fact, untreated loss of hearing has been associated with anxiety, depression, and a decline in cognition. Fortunately, if you're in Valdosta, Georgia, the physicians at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia can help you. Read on to learn about what causes hearing loss and how it's treated!
What causes hearing loss?
One of the most common reasons why people seek help from their Valdosta ENT for hearing loss is due to the natural process of aging. Known as presbycusis, this type of hearing loss is caused by a gradual deterioration of the nerve pathways that lead to the ear. Diseases of the middle or inner ear, such as otosclerosis or Ménière's disease, are also known to cause hearing loss. Repeated exposure to loud noises, such as jet engines or speakers at concerts, can reduce your hearing capabilities over time. There are even certain medications, in particular chemotherapy drugs, that include hearing loss as a side effect.
How is hearing loss treated?
The first step to managing hearing loss is to call ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia in Valdosta in order to set up an appointment with one of our physicians. A full examination of your ear and discussion of your medical history will help determine the cause of your hearing loss and the best treatment for it. If you have an infection within the ear, medication often resolves the problem. However, most types of permanent hearing loss are caused by neural pathway degeneration or inner ear damage, thus requiring the use of hearing aids to achieve treatment. By working with a professional team of hearing specialists, you can be assured that your hearing aids will be comfortable to wear and custom-calibrated for your specific needs.
To schedule an appointment with one of our physicians, contact ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia's Valdosta office today at (229) 244-2562.
Are you having trouble hearing those around you? You might benefit from a hearing aid.
As we get older, many of us will deal with some degree of hearing loss; however, hearing loss isn’t just the result of old age. There are many issues that can make it difficult to hear those around you, from being exposed to loud noises to ear infections. No matter what is causing your hearing loss, it’s important that you call Dr. Jenny Carroll at Doctors Hearing Center at the ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia in Valdosta, GA if you are starting to notice any of these signs and symptoms of hearing loss:
- You have to turn the TV or radio up in order to hear it
- You have to ask people to repeat themselves often
- People often sound like they are mumbling
- You feel isolated from conversations
- You have trouble understanding conversations in loud environments
- You avoid social situations
If you experience these scenarios above then you could be dealing with some degree of hearing loss. Hearing loss is usually gradual, so it isn’t always easy to tell when something is wrong. Of course, if you find that those around you often need to speak up in order for you to understand them then it’s time to schedule an evaluation with our Valdosta, GA, audiologist.
Could I benefit from a hearing aid?
The good news is that we offer a variety of hearing aids to help improve your hearing and to help make you part of your social circle again. It’s amazing how even minor hearing loss can affect your personal and professional life. Getting a hearing aid can greatly improve your quality of life and make it easier to understand those around you. While it will not correct your hearing, it will amplify certain sounds so that you can hear more clearly.
While there are many hearing aids styles from which to choose, at Doctors Hearing Center at the ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia we find that the majority of our patients prefer the receiver-in-the-canal style hearing aids. Why? For one thing, this is a very small and discreet style so your hearing aid isn’t as noticeable. This can be a great source of comfort for those who want to keep their hearing loss to themselves. The receiver-in-the-canal hearing aid is great for those with mild-to-moderate hearing loss and even those who lead an active lifestyle.
If you want to understand your friends and family better and believe that a hearing aid could help you do that, then it’s time to schedule a consultation with the Doctors Hearing Center at the ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia in Valdosta, GA. We want to help you become part of the conversation again.
Could your earache be caused by an infection?
Even though children are far more likely to deal with ear infections, anyone can develop an ear infection. Of course, it isn’t always easy to tell if the symptoms you are experiencing are due to an infection or something else. Find out the telltale signs and know when it’s time to visit our Valdosta, GA, otolaryngologists Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne for treatment.
There are three different kinds of ear infections: inner, middle and outer. The type of infection you are dealing with will often present with different symptoms.
Inner Ear Infection
If you have an inner infection, it’s important that our Valdosta, GA, ENT doctor examines the ear. After all, it could actually just be inflammation and not an infection; however, sometimes a more serious issue such as meningitis may be the cause. If you have an inner ear infection you may experience dizziness (vertigo), nausea and vomiting. You may also have trouble with balance. You may also notice some degree of hearing loss in the affected ear.
Middle Ear Infection
The middle ear lies behind the eardrum and this infection occurs when fluid builds up behind the eardrum. Therefore, the most common symptom is ear pain, pressure, and fullness. You may even notice fluid draining from your ear or have difficulty hearing (sounds may be muffled).
Outer Ear Infection
An outer ear infection, known as otitis externa, will start at the eardrum and affect the outside portions of the ear. More often than not, those with an outer ear infection may develop an itchy rash on their ear. The ear may also be red, swollen or tender to the touch.
Ear Infections in Children
As an adult, it’s pretty easy to know when it’s time to see a doctor and when you might be able to handle symptoms on your own. Unfortunately, infants and toddlers will not be able to tell you that they are experiencing an ear infection; however, here are some behaviors to be on the lookout for:
- Pulling or tugging at the ear
- Drainage coming from the ear
- Increased fussiness or clinginess
- Crying when lying down
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble hearing those around them
If your child is displaying any of these symptoms it’s best to play it safe and bring them in for an evaluation. Some infections will clear on their own but others with require antibiotics or medication to prevent complications.
Here at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia, we are here to make sure that you get the quality ear, nose and throat care you deserve. No matter whether you are dealing with seasonal allergies or an ear infection, we can provide you with the treatment you need within Valdosta, GA, and the surrounding community.
Most sore throats go away on their own, but some require a visit to the ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne help Valdosta, GA and surrounding community, residents recover from sore throats and other ear, nose and throat problems.
What causes sore throats?
Sore throats are a particularly common ailment. In fact, approximately 15 million Americans visit doctors every year due to sore throat pain, according to the Infectious Diseases Society of America. Common sore throat causes include:
- Viral Infections: Sore throats often occur if you have a cold, the flu or another virus. In most cases, your throat will feel better in a week or two. Over-the-counter pain medication, gargling with salt water and drinking warm beverages can help ease y our symptoms.
- Strep Throat: Symptoms usually occur quickly if you have a strep throat. The bacterial infection often causes severe throat pain and a fever over 101F. If you have strep throat, you may notice white or yellow spots on your throat and swollen lymph nodes or tonsils. Antibiotic treatment is needed if you develop strep throat.
- Allergies and Environmental Factors: Allergies, smoke and strong chemicals can irritate the lining of your throat and cause throat pain. Taking allergy medication and avoiding environmental irritants can help ease your symptoms and prevent throat pain in the future.
- Laryngitis: A sore throat often accompanies laryngitis, an inflammation that affects your voice box. Laryngitis is more likely to occur if you have a viral infection, were exposed to environmental irritants or sang or yelled for a long period recently.
- Tonsillitis and Inflamed Adenoids: Inflammation of your tonsils and adenoids can be very painful. Although viral tonsillitis will go away on its own, you will need antibiotics if your illness is caused by a bacterial infection. If you experience frequent bouts of tonsillitis, your Valdosta ENT may recommend removal of your tonsils and possibly your adenoids.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD): GERD occurs when strong stomach acids flow into your esophagus and irritate the sensitive lining. Although heartburn is a common sign of GERD, some people also experience sore throats.
When should I see an ENT?
Call your ENT if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Severe throat pain
- Difficulty swallowing or breathing
- Fever higher than 101F
- Earache, rash or joint pain in addition to a sore throat
- A sore throat that lasts more than one week or hoarseness that lasts longer than two weeks
- Blood in your phlegm or saliva
Your ENT can help you find relief for your sore throat symptoms. Call Valdosta, GA, ENT Dr. Ronald Allen, Dr. Thomas Phillips and Dr. Theodore Kanne at (229) 244-2562 to schedule your appointment.
Occasional dizziness happens to many people and is usually nothing to worry about. However, severe or persistent dizziness can be a sign of other issues. It is important to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) doctor if your dizziness is severe, persistent, associated with hearing loss, or occurs in conjunction with taking certain medications. You should also see an ENT doctor if you are suddenly experiencing dizziness when you have not previously had a problem with it. The doctors at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia Dr. Thomas Phillips, Dr. Ronald Allen, and Dr. Theodore Kanne treat dizziness in Valdosta, GA.
Causes of Dizziness
Dizziness is often caused by a sense of disorientation or being off balance. The inner ear helps us maintain our sense of balance by sending signals to the brain about body movement and positioning. When the signal from the inner ear to the brain is blocked or misfires, dizziness can occur. Various conditions can cause dizziness by interfering with the signals traveling from the inner ear to the brain. Some conditions that can lead to dizziness include certain neurological diseases, poor circulation, anxiety, or vertigo.
Vertigo is a specific type of dizziness. It is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Vertigo can be caused by several different conditions, such as:
- Inner ear injuries
- Viral infections
- Benign positional vertigo
- Meniere’s Disease
Treatments for Dizziness
Dizziness can be treated through several different methods. Treatments include balance exercises, antibiotics, antihistamines, and other medications. The right treatment for you depends on what is causing your dizziness. Different medications can clear up infections or reduce inflammation so the inner ear can better communicate with the brain. Balancing exercises can help you improve balance and reduce dizziness. An ENT doctor can recommend an appropriate treatment plan for your dizziness in Valdosta.
Dizziness can be caused by a variety of factors or conditions. An ENT doctor can identify the cause of your dizziness and prescribe the right treatment. For treatment of your dizziness in Valdosta, GA, schedule an appointment with one of the doctors at ENT and Allergy Associates of South Georgia by calling the office at (229) 244-2562.
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