Keeping your hearing aids clean and in good repair will ensure that you get the maximum benefit from these important devices. In addition to home cleaning, professional cleaning at the offices of Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England is essential. Your ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctors have three convenient offices in Northampton, Ware, and Springfield, MA.
How to Care for Your Hearing Aids
Following these tips will help you avoid hearing aid malfunctions:
- Clear Your Hearing Aids Every Day: Your aids won't work very well if they become clogged with ear wax. Use a soft toothbrush, a hearing aid brush, or a wax pick to remove wax and debris from the openings of the receivers and microphones. You'll also need to replace the wax filters in the hearing aids from time to time. Use the type of filters recommended by your ENT in Northampton, Ware, or Springfield, MA.
- Keep Your Hearing Aids Safe and Dry: Today's hearing aids use complicated technology to improve your hearing. Exposure to moisture may damage the sensitive circuits in the aids, causing them to malfunction. Avoid wearing hearing aids when you shower, swim or bathe. Put the aids in a safe, dry place when you remove them at night. If you have pets or small children who may be tempted to play with your hearing aids, store the aids in a high shelf or cabinet.
- Practice Good Hygiene: Wash your hands before handling or cleaning your hearing aids. Don't use hair sprays or gels while you're wearing your aids, as these products may damage or clog the aids. Apply these products before you put your hearing aids in your ears.
- Don't Forget to Change the Batteries: Changing the batteries on a regular basis can prevent damage due to corroded batteries. After removing the batteries, wipe the contacts with a soft cloth or cotton sway to remove dirt. If dirt remains on the contacts, hearing aid performance may be affected. Your audiologist or ENT may recommend removing the batteries at night, depending on the type of hearing aid.
Home and professional cleanings keep your hearing aids in good working condition. If you would like to schedule an appointment or cleaning with the ENTS at Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, call (413) 732-7426 for the Springfield, MA, office, (413) 586-2033 for the Northampton office, or (413) 967-2249 for the Ware office at Mary Lane Hospital.
Allergies affect many people. Common allergy symptoms, such as sneezing, hives, or shortness of breath, can cause discomfort and affect your quality of life. Fortunately, various methods are available for effectively treating allergies and controlling their symptoms. The doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, can help you get your allergy symptoms under control.
Common Allergy Symptoms
Allergies are associated with a range of symptoms. The symptoms you experience often depend on what is causing the allergy. Examples of common allergens include dust, dander, mold, and pollen. Many people are also allergic to certain foods, such as peanuts, dairy products, wheat, or shellfish. Some medications can cause allergic reactions as well. Depending on the cause or type of allergy, symptoms can include:
- Scratchy throat
- Shortness of breath
- Wheezing or coughing
- Swelling in the mouth, eyes, or face
- Sneezing or runny nose
- Itchy or watery eyes
- Sinus congestion
- Rashes or hives
If you have struggled with chronic allergy symptoms, visiting our offices in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, for an allergy test is beneficial. Allergy tests help identify the specific allergens that are causing your symptoms so an effective treatment plan can be made. Different types of allergy tests are available, but many tests involve exposing the skin to specific allergens to observe whether or not a reaction occurs. A skin reaction, such as the development of a rash, is a sign that you are sensitive to that allergen and could benefit from treatment.
Several treatments are available that can help control uncomfortable allergy symptoms. One of the most effective treatment approaches is immunotherapy, which is administered by injection or as sublingual immunotherapy. Injections simply involve getting a shot, while sublingual immunotherapy involves placing drops under the tongue.
Both methods involve exposing a patient to small doses of a particular allergen, either by injection or under the tongue. Over time, repeated exposure to the allergen prompts the body to become resistant to it. As the body builds up a tolerance to the allergen, a patient becomes immune and will experience fewer allergy symptoms.
If you are struggling with allergy symptoms, we can help. Through a combination of allergy testing and immunotherapy, our doctors can develop a plan for controlling your symptoms. For help with your allergy symptoms, contact our Springfield office by calling Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England at (413) 732-7426. Appointments are also available at our Northampton location by calling (413) 586-2033 or at Mary Lane Hospital by calling 413-967-2249.
How your ENT specialists in Springfield, MA, can help with hearing loss
Hearing loss is a common problem, especially as you get older. Fortunately, you don’t have to miss out on the beautiful sounds of your life. You don’t have to miss out on wonderful conversations with people you care about. You can regain your hearing!
The ear, nose, and throat doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England offer a wide range of ENT services, including treatment of hearing loss. They have three convenient office locations in Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA, to help you with hearing loss.
Hearing loss can be subtle, happening slowly, over a long period of time. However, there are some definite signs and symptoms to look out for. According to the Mayo Clinic, you may be experiencing hearing loss if you:
- Have difficulty picking out individual words from background noise
- Have problems hearing consonants within words
- Hear muffled speech and muffled sounds
- Are avoiding social situations because of hearing problems
- Need others around you to speak more loudly or slowly
If you are noticing any of the signs and symptoms listed above, it’s time to visit your ENT specialist for a hearing test. A hearing test helps your doctor determine your degree of hearing loss and which treatment might be best for you.
Your doctor may recommend a hearing aid, and there are several types including:
- A CIC hearing aid, which is completely in the ear canal, and is the most discreet hearing aid
- A BTE hearing aid, which is behind the ear, and is the largest hearing aid
- An ITE hearing aid, which is inside your ear and has a volume control
- Cochlear implants, which function for parts of your ear that aren’t working properly
If you are experiencing hearing loss, there is not a moment to lose. Find out more about treatment for hearing loss by calling the ear, nose, and throat doctors at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, with offices in Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA. Hear better by calling (413) 732-7426 for our Springfield office, (413) 586-2033 for our Northampton office, and (413) 967-2249 for our Ware office today!
Don’t let a sinus infection get you down, especially during the colder months.
Soon the weather will get chillier and our furnaces will be working overtime to keep us warm. Unfortunately, all this indoor heat can dry our sinuses out. As you might imagine, our Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists see a lot more sinus pain cases during the winter months.
How do I know that I have a sinus infection?
You may have a sinus infection if you are experiencing:
- Nasal congestion
- A stuffy nose
- Facial pain and pressure that may radiate to the upper teeth
- Nasal discharge
- Postnasal drip
- A sore, irritated throat (usually caused by postnasal drip)
Can I treat a sinus infection on my own?
If symptoms are minor you may choose to alleviate them with over-the-counter medications to see if the problem goes away by itself. At-home treatment options include:
- A Neti Pot or nasal irrigation
- Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines
- Nasal saline and corticosteroid sprays
- Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. ibuprofen)
When should you see a doctor?
If you have symptoms of a sinus infection that hasn’t gone away after 10 days, or if symptoms return then it’s a good idea to visit your Springfield, MA, ENT doctor for further evaluation. If you experience recurring sinus infections or sinus infections that happen four or more times a year then you could be dealing with chronic sinusitis.
How will a doctor treat my sinus pain?
If you have a bacterial sinus infection your doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In other cases, the bacterial infection may actually go away without antibiotics. Those with severe bacterial sinus infections are more likely to require antibiotics.
If your doctor discovers that your allergies may be causing recurring sinusitis then immunotherapy (allergy shots) may be able to help you reduce your allergy symptoms and your chances of developing sinus infections throughout the year.
If you are dealing with chronic sinusitis that isn’t responding to at-home care then your doctor may talk to you about whether you could benefit from balloon sinuplasty, a minimally invasive procedure designed to open up the blocked nasal cavities.
Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England is proud to serve the Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA, areas. If you are fighting sinus pain this winter call our office today to get the treatment you need to breathe easier. Call (413) 732-7426 for our Springfield, MA, office, (413) 586-2033 for our Northampton, MA, office, or (413) 967-2249 for our Ware, MA, office.
You and your physician at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England in Springfield, Northampton, and Ware, MA agree that you should begin wearing hearing aids. These state-of-the-art digital devices literally change people's lives. Do you have questions about hearing aid?
Frequently asked questions about hearing aids
Will my hearing aid help me right away? Hearing aids help people with sensorineural hearing loss. This damage to the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear changes how well you understand speech and other sounds particularly in noisy environments. The American Academy of Otolaryngology states that most people adjust to their hearing aids over a period of weeks. These experts recommend you experiment with your hearing aids in a variety of environments and pay attention to improvements in your day to day function.
My audiologist says my hearing aids feature digital technology. What does this mean? Your Springfield hearing aids feature the latest in sound reception and transmission with fully programmable features. Your audiologist can adjust your device to receive and interpret a wide range of sound frequencies for individualized hearing correction. Simply put, your hearing aid is not just a little speaker. It is a completely customizable device suited to your needs and preferences.
I will be wearing a behind-the-ear hearing aid. Why is this type best for me? Your ENT physician and audiologist confer on the results of your physical examination and audiology tests such as tone audiometry and word recognition. Then, the audiologist recommends the devices suited to your hearing loss and your lifestyle. Typically, behind-the-ear devices help people with mild to even profound losses and with tinnitus, a buzzing or roaring sound in the ears. These hearing aids are fully programmable and interface with TVs and cell phones.
How long will my hearing aid last? Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England offers innovative Northeast Hearing Instruments. Available in a variety of styles, these hearing aids last for five to 10 years or longer with good care. Your audiology staff provides ongoing hearing aid service to all patients.
Is care difficult? No, it's not. Simply replace your batteries as needed, keep your hearing aid dry and avoid applying hair spray or other hair care products while you are wearing your hearing aid.
Hear what you are missing
There's no need to suffer with hearing loss. Today's hearing aids are simply amazing. To learn more, schedule a consultation with one of our audiologists at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England. You'll love the help you receive and the improvement in your hearing! We have three convenient locations in Springfield, Northhampton, and Ware, MA.
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