Has the quality of your hearing decreased? Our Fairfield, OH, ENT, Dr. George Bauer, shares a few steps you can take if you have hearing loss.
Maintain eye contact
Watching expressions and mouth movements may help you decipher words that are a little difficult to hear. When you're speaking to a friend, family member or co-worker, ask the person to maintain eye contact at all times.
Take advantage of closed captioning
Closed captioning can help you follow your favorite TV shows or enjoy a movie at a local theater. Many people who have hearing loss respond to difficulty hearing the television by turning up the volume. In addition to irritating your family or roommates, increasing the volume may not be helpful. If you have difficulty distinguishing dialogue from background music, volume may not make a difference. Reading the dialogue at the bottom of the screen, in addition to listening to it, can be helpful.
Send follow-up communications
If you're not sure that you understand the point that your spouse or boss was trying to make, it's a good idea to send follow-up emails or texts. Because it's easy to miss crucial words during a conversation when you have hearing loss, confirming what you thought you heard can help you avoid problems.
See an ear, nose and throat doctor
Determining the source of your problem is the key to finding a solution that will help you hear better. Damage to the hair cells in the ear is a common cause of hearing loss. Changes to your hair cells may happen as you grow older or can be caused by medication side effects, exposure to loud noises or may happen if you've had certain diseases.
Fortunately, hearing devices offer an effective solution if your hearing loss is caused by hair cell damage. Although raising the volume of the world around you is an important function of the devices, they also help you filter out extraneous noises.
If you are experiencing hearing loss, you'll receive a thorough examination and in-depth hearing evaluation when you visit our Fairfield office. Based on the results of your examination and evaluation, we'll recommend the best type of hearing device for your needs.
Hearing loss doesn't have to completely change your life. If you've been having trouble hearing, call our Fairfield, OH, ENT, Dr. Bauer, at (513) 860-4771 to schedule an appointment.
While anyone can get ear infections, this problem is far more common in childhood. In fact, most children will experience at least one ear infection by the time they turn three. It seems so unfair that little ones have to deal with frequent or painful ear infections, but if it happens it’s good to know the telltale signs, how to handle and ease your child’s symptoms, and also when to come in to visit an ENT doctor for care.
There are three main types of ear infections to be on the lookout for:
Acute otitis media: Also known as swimmer’s ear, this is the most common type of ear infection in children. It will cause pain and sometimes inflammation of the middle ear and ear canal. Children may also develop a fever.
Otitis media with effusion: Once the ear infection has gone away sometimes some fluid remains behind the eardrums. While your child may not complain of any pain or other symptoms, an ENT doctor will quickly be able to detect if there is still fluid trapped in the ear that will need to be drained.
Chronic otitis media: An ear infection may turn chronic if your child doesn’t receive the proper medical attention and treatment necessary to kill the bacteria and eliminate fluid buildup. If the infection is allowed to fester within the ear for a long period of time, then your child may develop recurring or a chronic infection. At this point, having an ear infection for this long could result in damage to your child’s hearing.
So, how do you tell if your child has an ear infection? If your child is already able to verbalize then it will be much easier to figure out if your child is having an issue with their ears. If your child is very young you may have to look for nonverbal cues such as:
- Tugging or pulling at the ears
- Fluid draining from the ears
- Difficulty sleeping
- Loss of appetite
- Being more irritable
- Difficulty hearing people
- Having issues with balance
Since child’s immune systems are still developing, this leaves them prone to developing ear infections more readily than adults. This is why it’s so important to visit an ENT doctor if your child is displaying any symptoms of an ear infection. Fortunately, these infections are often easy to treat with prescription ear drops designed to kill the bacteria responsible for the infection. Before an ear infection turns serious, bring your child to an ear, nose and throat specialist as soon as possible.
Are you wondering what that annoying ringing in your ears could be? While quite a few people will experience tinnitus at some point during their lifetime, it’s often a symptom that manifests when another issue is present. While tinnitus will often come and go for people, there are some people who deal with it all the time.
What could be causing your tinnitus? Unfortunately, that answer isn’t as simple as one might expect. Just as abdominal pain is a symptom of so many different health problems so too is tinnitus. There are many reasons why someone may experience tinnitus including:
- Head injury
- Exposure to loud noises
- Hearing loss
- Certain medications
- Wax build up
Since tinnitus is a symptom, it’s a good idea to visit your otolaryngologist if you are dealing with persistent ringing in the ears. Through exams, hearing tests and other professional evaluations we could potentially pinpoint the cause of your symptoms to help create a treatment plan that will help reduce or even eliminate your tinnitus.
Since there is no test for tinnitus, your ENT doctor will sit down with you and ask you a series of questions. Through your answers, an audiologist can provide you with the information you need to manage your tinnitus.
As you may have assumed, the best way to treat tinnitus is to treat the underlying issue, if it’s something that can be pinpointed. If tinnitus is the result of a treatable health problem, either an ENT specialist or a medical specialist will treat you, depending on the cause. If the cause of your tinnitus isn’t determined, then choosing the right treatment plan may be difficult or impossible. In this case, an otolaryngologist may recommend other alternative therapies to reduce your symptoms. These therapies may include biofeedback or electrical stimulation.
If you are dealing with tinnitus and want to get to the root of your problem then it’s the best time to turn to an ear, nose and throat doctor to get the proper care you need. Since all treatments won’t work the same way for everyone with tinnitus, it’s important that you come in for a thorough evaluation before we come up with a way to manage your tinnitus.
While swimmer’s ear may sound akin to having a lucky rabbit’s foot, the opposite is actually true. This painful condition, also known as acute otitis externa, causes infection and inflammation of the outer ear. As you may be able to guess from the name alone, this ear infection is often the result of too much water getting into the ears, whether you are an avid swimmer or you just drenched yourself in a hot shower for too long. Of course, there are other reasons why you may be prone to these infections.
Sure, this infection tends to be more common in children and teens, but if you happen to clean your ears regularly with cotton swabs, if you end up damaging or cutting the skin of the ear canal or if you’ve been diagnosed with eczema of the ear canal, then you too could be at risk for developing this type of ear infection.
Once the water is trapped inside the ear canal, it leaves the ear susceptible to bacteria and infection. If you have swimmer’s ear, you most likely know it because the inflammation causes pain. Since it is indeed an infection, it’s important that you turn to your otolaryngologist for proper medical attention. Not only will the treatment help eliminate your pain and discomfort but it will also stop the infection from spreading.
Besides pain, you may also notice that your ear feels as if there's fluid in it, which may also be drained. Since swimmer’s ear is an infection, you may also notice that the lymph nodes around the neck and ears are swollen. Some patients even report minor hearing loss. Of course, a young child can’t often describe their symptoms, but you may notice your little one tugging at their ear, unable to sleep, or more irritable and cranky. If you notice these symptoms then it’s time to take your child to the ENT doctor.
What can happen if swimmer’s ear isn’t treated properly? You may experience chronic or recurring infections. You may find that even if the condition clears up that your hearing loss has not fully returned. There may even be damage to the bones and cranial nerves.
When you come in to see your ENT specialist, they will most likely prescribe eardrops to treat the infection. They may also clean out the infected ear canal. These eardrops will serve to kill the bacteria and reduce pain and inflammation. Make sure to follow the instructions for your medication and continue to use it even once your symptoms have gone away, or according to what your physician has prescribed. This will ensure that all the bacteria are destroyed and that you won’t develop another infection.
Protect the health of your ears. If you think you may have swimmer’s ear, or if you are experiencing any kind of ear pain, it’s a good idea to play it safe and visit an ear, nose and throat specialist right away for care.
What your ENT doctor in Fairfield, Ohio wants you to know
Tinnitus is a common condition affecting over 50 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The condition can be irritating, but it can also be debilitating, keeping you from enjoying the activities you love. Fortunately, there are effective treatments for tinnitus. Dr. George P. Bauer in Fairfield, Ohio wants to share the facts about tinnitus and how you can feel better.
Tinnitus can cause ringing in your ears or can sound like hissing, buzzing, or whistling. It can be intermittent, or it can develop into a chronic condition affecting your quality of life.
You can develop tinnitus from a few common issues, some of which are:
- Loss of hearing due to aging
- Sclerosis of the bones in your middle ear
- Earwax buildup
- Exposure to prolonged, loud sound
- Medications including antibiotics, diuretics, and some cancer drugs
You may also develop tinnitus from less common causes, some of which include:
- High blood pressure or atherosclerosis
- TMJ issues or head and neck trauma
- Acoustic neuroma or Meniere’s disease
The first step in dealing with tinnitus is to be tested to confirm you have the condition. A hearing test is required to determine if you have tinnitus. Dr. Bauer may recommend medical imaging including a CT scan or MRI to see if your tinnitus may be caused by a structural abnormality. Once a possible cause of your tinnitus has been identified, Dr. Bauer will suggest an effective treatment.
Some of the therapies he may suggest include:
- Hearing aids to reduce or eliminate tinnitus symptoms
- Cochlear implants to restore hearing loss due to tinnitus
- Sound therapy to reduce unwanted noise and aid sleep
- Training and counseling to deal with tinnitus symptoms
If you are suffering symptoms of tinnitus, remember early diagnosis and treatment is critical. You don’t need to suffer from annoying, debilitating tinnitus when you can get relief. Find out more about tinnitus and tinnitus treatment by calling Dr. George P. Bauer in Fairfield, Ohio today!
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