Hearing loss impacts almost 50 million Americans. This statistic from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) startles people who may not 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.
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 50 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.
Hearing loss is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. Don’t be next!
From going to loud concerts to walking by a construction site, there are many instances in which our ears can take some pretty nasty abuse; however, over time these sounds can take a serious toll on our hearing. And if you work in a rather loud environment, it’s vitally important that you take the necessary precautions you need to protect your hearing for the future. Find out how to protect your ears and whether your workplace warrants protection.
Assess Your Workplace’s Noise Levels
Ask yourself these questions to determine whether you work in a loud environment:
- Do you leave work with ringing in your ears?
- Do you experience temporary hearing loss after leaving your workplace?
- Do you have to shout at coworkers who are close by just to be heard?
If you’ve agreed with most or all of these questions, you are most likely working in an environment in which your ears need protection.
Protecting Your Ears on the Job
Here are some ways to protect your precious hearing from a loud workplace:
- Talk to your ENT doctor about earplugs or muffs that you can wear to protect your hearing. Not all ear protection is created equal, so you’ll want to find ones that are strong and durable enough to provide the ultimate protection.
- Get annual evaluations from your otolaryngologist to make sure that your hearing isn’t being impacted by your workplace. Through these evaluations, we can check the health of your ears and provide you with tips for how to better protect your ears.
- Try and operate any noisy machinery on shifts where there are fewer people working.
- Limit an employee’s exposure to certain loud noises and offer noise-free areas that workers can go to get relief.
- Make sure that machinery and equipment are well oiled and maintained. Make sure there is a sound barrier such as a wall that can be used to separate workers from the machinery whenever possible.
- Opt for using low-noise machinery.
- It’s important that if your hearing is being affected that you work with your employer to make sure some of these options are implemented so that you can protect your hearing while on the job.
Hearing is so very important and any ear, nose and throat doctor will agree. If you want to be able to hear crystal clear for many years to come it’s important that you implement specific measures now. Protect your ears and they will serve you well in the future!
Is your child experiencing hearing loss? Just ask your Lugoff and Columbia, SC, audiologists.
An estimated 35 million children and adults in the United States have a hearing loss, according to Drs. Kathryn McGee and Kaitlin Dougherty Prizzia. Untreated hearing loss is embarrassing and causes social stress, tension and fatigue.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss (according to the CDC):
Isn't startled from loud noises and does't turn to the source of a sound after 6 months of age
Delayed, or unclear speech
Does not follow directions, or respond to their name, which is mistaken for not paying attention, or just ignoring
Hears some sounds but not others, and turns TV volume up too high
Your Lugoff and Columbia audiologists determines the best course of action by conducting comprehensive hearing evaluations, such as tinnitus evaluations, hearing aid fittings (a time to orient to new hearing aid), hearing aid checks (usually scheduled every six months), and hearing aid evaluations to ask questions and discuss expectations.
Hearing aids are designed to improve hearing. The goal of amplifying sounds at specific frequencies where there's hearing loss can improve overall quality of life, such as the listening environment, especially when you're placed in a noisy place. Hearing aids amplify sound to make speech more intelligible, ease communication so it's less tiring, and preserve nerve networks in the brain.
Types of Hearing Aids:
There is a variety of hearing aids that are rechargeable, have android and i-phone compatibility, automated programming to ease use, discreet, remote programming and suitable for patients with an active, casual, and/or quiet lifestyle.
Here are a few:
- Middle ear implant
- Extended wear
Hearing loss is difficult to deal with, but you don't have to be alone. The audiologists at Lugoff, SC, and serving Columbia, SC, can help you deal with your hearing loss dilemmas and improve your way of life by offering different types of hearing aids.
According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), approximately 15% of American adults over age 18 experience some form of hearing loss, and roughly 3 out of every 1,000 children are born with the condition in one or both ears. There are different types and degrees of hearing impairment/loss, as well as a number of treatment and management options available for both children and adults. The audiologists at Carolina Hearing Institute in Columbia, SC, offer a range of treatment options for congenital, acute, partial, and full hearing loss.
Diagnosing and Treating Hearing Disorders in Columbia
An audiologist provides diagnosis and treatment for balance and hearing disorders in both children and adults. While hearing loss is typically more common with age, it can still affect children and adults at any development stage. Even mild or partial hearing loss can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and professional, social, and academic interactions and performance. If you or your child are experiencing signs of hearing loss, an audiologist will perform a comprehension evaluation and exam to help determine the cause and extent of the problem and determine treatment and management options.
An audiologist specializes in identifying hearing and balance problems and prescribing treatment plans and devices like hearing aids and cochlear implants.
Signs You or Your Child May Need to See an Audiologist
Sudden or persistent issues with hearing or hearing loss should not be ignored. Schedule an appointment with a hearing specialist if you or your child has suffered from an injury or trauma to the ear, or if you are experiencing difficulty hearing or following conversations. Other reasons that you should see an audiologist include:
- It's Time For Your Annual Checkup: Scheduling regular checkups with an audiologist is the best way to protect your child's hearing and catch potential problems before they have a chance to progress
- The Presence of Impacted Wax: The overproduction of ear wax and common home cleaning methods like cotton swabs and other objects in the ear canal can lead to buildups and blockages that may temporarily affect hearing
- Tinnitus: This is a condition in which you experience periodic ringing in the ears without the presence of outside stimuli, and it could be the result of larger problems.
- Balance Problems: Pervasive balance problems could be the result of issues with the inner ear.
Find an Audiologist in Columbia, SC
For more information about the diagnosis of hearing disorders and treatment options, contact Carolina Hearing Institute by calling 803-736-3277 to schedule an appointment with an audiologist today!
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