My Blog
By Carolina Hearing Institute
March 06, 2020
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Ear Infection  

Learn to spot the warning signs of an ear infection.

If you have children then chances are good that know just how easy it is for them to develop ear infections. It’s important to be able to recognize the symptoms and signs of an ear infection, particularly in infants and young children that can’t tell you that their ears hurt. From the office of our Columbia, SC audiologists Dr. Kathryn McGee and Dr. Jason Wigand, here are some warning signs that your child may be dealing with an ear infection,

  • Tugging or pulling at the ears
  • Increased fussiness or clinginess
  • Difficulty sleeping or crying when lying down
  • Changes in hearing or trouble hearing certain sounds
  • Pus or fluid draining from the ears
  • Fever

An ear infection occurs when the middle ear becomes inflamed, which is the result of a bacterial or viral infection. When this happens, fluid builds up behind the eardrum, resulting in pain. Otitis media is the most common type of ear infection.

If your child is displaying any of the symptoms above or if they are old enough to tell you that they are experiencing ear pain then it’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with one of our Columbia, SC, ear doctors.

How are ear infections treated?

Contrary to what you might think, you may be surprised to discover that not all ear infections will require medication. In fact, it may actually be best to let minor infections just run their course. This is usually the case with ear infections caused by viruses; however, if bacteria are present, this will require a round of antibiotics to get rid of the infection.

If children deal with persistent or recurring ear infections, then our ear specialists may recommend placing tubes within the eardrums, which can help drain any fluids that have built up behind the eardrum to reduce middle ear inflammation. These ear tubes can also reduce the chances of future ear infections.

With five convenient locations in Columbia, SC, Lugoff and Sumter, SC, Carolina Hearing Institute is your hearing and ear clinic within the Columbia, SC, area. If you or your child is dealing with ear pain or other signs of an ear infection call our office today at (803) 424-2208.

By Carolina Hearing Institute
December 27, 2019
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Hearing Aids  

How your audiologists in Columbia, Lugoff, and Sumter, SC, can help you hear well

Hearing loss can be scary, but it doesn’t have to be. After all, with today’s state-of-the-art hearing aids, you can easily stay a part of the conversation! Here at Carolina Hearing Institute, Dr. Jason P. Wigand and Kathryn S. McGee can help you choose the hearing aid that can enhance your hearing. They have five convenient office locations in Columbia, Lugoff, and Sumter, SC, to help you hear better.

To choose a great hearing aid, you need to know the facts. These are just a few frequently asked questions and answers about hearing aids:

What are some of the signs I need a hearing aid?

You may benefit from a hearing aid if you regularly need people to speak louder, often hear muffled speech/sounds, and you have difficulty picking out individual words from background noise. You also may find yourself avoiding social interactions because you can’t hear well.

How can an audiologist help me with my hearing loss?

An audiologist can do a hearing screening and hearing testing to determine whether you are experiencing hearing loss, and if so, to what degree. After your degree of hearing loss is determined, the audiologist can recommend the hearing aid which would be best for you.

What types of hearing aids are available?

  • A CIC hearing aid, which fits completely inside the ear canal; this is the least noticeable hearing aid and it doesn’t have a directional microphone or volume control.
  • An ITE hearing aid, which fits in your ear and loops over the outer or lower part of your ear; these are more noticeable than CIC aids, and they have volume control.
  • A BTE hearing aid, which fits behind your ear and hooks over the top of your ear; these hearing aids connect to an inner earpiece and have excellent sound quality.

Contact Us

To learn more about hearing aids and what they can do for you, talk with the experts. Call Dr. Jason P. Wigand and Kathryn S. McGee of Carolina Hearing Institute in Columbia, Lugoff, and Sumter, SC, today by dialing 803-424-2208.

By Carolina Hearing Institute
November 19, 2019
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Dizziness  

The human ear is a delicate and highly complex structure. In addition to hearing, your ear is also responsible for helping you maintain your sense of balance and what's known as sound localization, or the ability to perceive where outside sounds are coming from, such as a knock at the door or a car horn blaring. The ear consists of three main parts: the outer, middle, and inner ear. Damage to any part of the ear can cause a number of problems, from hearing loss to the condition known as vertigo. Fortunately, the audiologists here at South Carolina ENT in Columbia, SC, Jason P. Wigand and Kathryn S. McGee, offer diagnosis and treatment for ear, nose, and throat conditions—read on to learn how they can help you too!

Hearing Loss Diagnosis and Treatments from our Office in Columbia, SC

Dizziness can be a symptom of a number of issues. Some of the most common causes of dizziness include:

  • Low blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Low blood sugar
  • Anemia
  • Motion sickness
  • Vertigo
  • Stress
  • Anxiety

The sensation of dizziness is typically categorized by feeling lightheaded and slightly off balance. However, if you experience dizziness along with other symptoms such as nausea, fever, vomiting, blurred vision, or vision loss, you should seek emergency medical treatment right away, especially if the signs start to appear after a neck or head injury.

Ear Related Causes of Dizziness

An injury or growth in your inner ear could interfere with your sense of balance and cause the sensation of dizziness, as well as the feeling that the room or your surroundings are spinning around you. The most common causes of dizziness related to your ear include:

  • Vertigo
  • Migraines
  • Inflammation
  • A growth or blockage in the inner ear
  • Meniere's Disease

If you are experiencing prolonged or recurring bouts of dizziness, an audiologist can perform a series of tests to help determine the source of your symptoms and whether they're caused by an inner ear issue.

Need ENT Care? Give Us a Call

For more information about the symptoms and causes of hearing loss/ear injuries, contact South Carolina ENT in Columbia, SC, today by dialing (803) 424-2208 and schedule an appointment with your audiologist today!

By Carolina Hearing Institute
July 31, 2019
Category: Ear Treatments
Tags: Hearing Loss  

Hearing loss impacts almost 50 million Americans. This statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) startles people who may notHearing aid realize how prevalent the problem is or that it may impact them personally. At Carolina Hearing Institute in Columbia and Lugoff, our otolaryngologists and audiologists uncover and treat the reasons behind hearing problems and prescribe state of the art help to counter them.


Causes of hearing loss

Reduced hearing and the ability to decipher different sounds in crowded environments (presbycusis) happens to most people as they age. Additionally, infection, prenatal, and genetic influences, exposure to loud noise, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, stroke and hypertension lead to sudden or gradual hearing problems. Even some prescription drugs are ototoxic, or harmful to the nerves which help conduct sound to the brain for processing.


Treatments for hearing loss

The Hearing Loss Association of America says that most people experiencing symptoms of hearing loss usually wait an average of seven years before receiving a physical examination and/or hearing test by a licensed audiologist in Columbia and Lugoff. The delay contributes to a myriad of problems, including social isolation, withdrawal, depression, and even dementia and other kinds of cognitive deterioration.

When you do decide to seek treatment, you'll find Dr. Katie McGee and Dr. Jason Wigand can accurately pinpoint your loss. Then, your treatment will depend on the type and extent of the problem.

Most individuals with age- and noise-related sensorineural loss do well with hearing aids. Others may need surgery to correct a bone defect in the middle ear or a problem with the tympanic membrane, or eardrum. State of the art cochlear implants actually restore some auditory signals to the brain in people who have a severe bone defect or even nerve-related loss.


Take the first step

It's so important to act on your hearing problem. At South Carolina ENT and Carolina Hearing Institute you can receive the treatment you need from your audiologist and improve your quality of life, social interactions, and frame of mind. Contact one of our four convenient locations in the South Carolina Midlands in Columbia and Lugoff, SC, to speak with a hearing specialist today. Then, book a consultation. Hear what you've been missing! Phone (803) 424-2208.

By Carolina Hearing Institute
May 15, 2019
Category: Ear Treatments
Tags: Tinnitus  

How your audiologists in Columbia, SC, can help you!

If you are suffering from tinnitus, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) the condition affects over Tinnitus50 million people in this country. Tinnitus symptoms are irritating, but they can also affect you in more serious ways such as muffling your hearing and causing a loss of balance.

Fortunately, you don’t have to suffer in silence—the audiologists at Carolina Hearing Institute are here to help! We have several convenient office locations in Columbia, Lugoff, and Sumter, SC, to help you hear better.


More about Tinnitus

Tinnitus results in the ringing of your ears, which can also sound like buzzing, whistling, or hissing. It can start and stop suddenly, or it can become chronic. Some of the common issues which cause tinnitus include:

  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Wax buildup in your ears
  • Hardening of the bones in your middle ear
  • Prolonged exposure to loud noises and sounds
  • Use of antibiotic, diuretic, or cancer medications

To treat your tinnitus, the audiologists at Carolina Hearing Institute will test your hearing to confirm that you have tinnitus. You may also need medical imaging including a CT scan or MRI to determine whether you have a structural abnormality causing the tinnitus.

After testing, your audiologists will develop an individualized treatment plan to help you get relief from tinnitus. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Hearing aids to reduce or eliminate tinnitus symptoms
  • Cochlear implants to restore tinnitus-related hearing loss
  • Sound therapy to reduce unwanted noise and help you sleep
  • Biofeedback and cognitive therapy to help you deal with the symptoms of tinnitus


Want relief? Give us a call!

The constant ringing in your ears caused by tinnitus can interfere with your life, but it doesn't have to! Call the audiologists at Carolina Hearing Institute, with offices in Columbia, Lugoff, and Sumter, SC, today to find relief. Our number is 803-424-2208.

This website includes materials that are protected by copyright, or other proprietary rights. Transmission or reproduction of protected items beyond that allowed by fair use, as defined in the copyright laws, requires the written permission of the copyright owners.

Office Hours
Monday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday:8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday:8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Contact Us