Although hearing aids can't reverse hearing loss, they can significantly improve the ability to communicate and overall quality of life for people suffering from various degrees of hearing loss. If you are experiencing hearing loss in one or both ears, a hearing aid may be a good option for you depending on your situation. The otolaryngologists at Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England, in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital in Ware, MA, offer a number of hearing restoration options for different forms and degrees of hearing loss.
Hearing Aids in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA
If you are experiencing hearing loss, schedule a consultation with an ENT doctor or audiologist in order to determine whether you may benefit from hearing aids or other devices. Hearing aids consist of a microphone, amplifier, and speaker that pick up and transmit sounds through the ear to help people with hearing loss follow and participate in conversations in noisy or quiet environments. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), only one in approximately five people that could potentially benefit from using a hearing aid actually chooses to wear one.
Types of Hearing Aids
There are a few different types of hearing aids available:
- Completely in the canal (CIC) - fits entirely inside the ear canal and has fewer features (like volume control) than other models. Works well with mild to moderate hearing loss.
- In the canal (ITC) - partially fits in the ear canal and also works for mild to moderate hearing loss.
- In the ear (ITE) - fits in the outer ear and has the capability for more features than CIC and ITC hearing aids. Available for moderate to severe hearing loss.
- Behind the ear (BTE) - The device is worn behind the ear and is appropriate for most levels of hearing loss.
- Receiver in canal (RIC) - Similar to BTE models but the receiver is connected to the hearing aid with a thin wire rather than tubing, and is smaller than a BTE.
Find an ENT Doctor in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA
For more information about hearing aids and other hearing restoration options, contact Ear, Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England today to schedule an appointment with one of our otolaryngologists.
Sinus pain and pressure can be downright unpleasant. We can make it better.
At some point in a person’s life, they will experience a sinus infection (also known as sinusitis). You may already know the telltale signs: the nasal congestion, the facial pain and pressure, and the headaches. If you are someone who deals with sinus pain quite frequently you may want to get to the bottom of the problem rather than just treating or masking the symptoms. This is where our Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, otolaryngologists come in.
The most common cause of long-term sinus pain is chronic sinusitis. While acute sinusitis will clear up in a couple of weeks, it’s truly a chronic sinus infection once your symptoms don’t go away after 12 weeks even with the proper treatments and care.
So, what could be causing this sinusitis-related pain? Well, there are a couple of things that could be going on to cause your chronic sinusitis including:
- Nasal polyps: growths within the nasal tissue that can become so large that they block the sinuses
- Deviated septum: when the cartilage and wall that divides the two nostrils is crooked, which fully or partially blocks one of the nasal passages
- Certain health problems: this can include everything from immune system disorders and cystic fibrosis to HIV
- Respiratory infections: colds and other viruses can cause inflammation within the sinus cavities, which restricts or prevents mucus from draining properly
- Allergies: the most common culprit is hay fever, which can block your nasal passages
When should I see a specialist?
It’s a good idea to schedule an appointment with one of our ENT doctors if you continue to experience multiple sinus infections over the course of a year, if your sinus infection symptoms don’t respond to treatment, if your symptoms last more than a week or if your symptoms aren’t getting better.
What are some treatment options?
There are a variety of medications on the market for treating and managing your chronic sinus symptoms. Common treatments include corticosteroids (oral, nasal, or injectable), antibiotics (for treating bacterial infections) and immunotherapy (for allergy-related sinus problems).
In some cases, a minor procedure such as minimally invasive endoscopic sinus surgery or Image-guided sinus surgery may be needed to relieve your symptoms.
If you are having trouble getting your sinus problems under control then it might be time you turned to the ENT specialists at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England. We offer three convenient locations in Northampton, Mary Lane Hospital, and Springfield, MA.
Audiologists at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England, located in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, know how to protect, preserve, evaluate, and treat hearing and balance issues in people's audiovestibular system.
The doctors in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital are equipped with helping test tone audiometry, word recognition testing, tympanometry, acoustic reflex testing, otoacoustic emission testing, auditory evoked response testing and videonystagmography.
What to Know About Hearing Health:
Hearing loss becomes a prevalent issue as people age. If you're worried about hearing loss, here are some symptoms to look out for:
- If you notice a need to watch speaker’s lips
- Family & friends make comments about your hearing
- You're struggling to hear the telephone, TV, or radio
- You have trouble hearing in restaurants, meetings, parties, or place of worship, or think people are mumbling
If you find yourself suffering from the symptoms above, you will need a hearing test to evaluate the amount of hearing, which pitches are affected, and which parts of the auditory systems are affected.
How to Care for Your Hearing:
Overexposure to loud noise can lead to hearing loss. Small hair cells in the inner ear help us hear, but when damaged or destroyed, they can't regrow.
Other auditory issues need to be confronted head on by your audiologist to avoid long-term hearing problems in any part of your ear.
- Outer Ear Infection (Swimmer's Ear): This bacterial infection enflames the external ear and is contracted when your ear is exposed to water, sand or dirt. Symptoms include itching, redness, swelling, or pain that worsens if you pull on your ear or while chewing.
- Middle Ear Infection: The middle ear contracts viral or bacterial infections from other parts of your body, which may be airborne, or due to food allergies.
- Inner Ear (labyrinthitis): The inner ear is affected by other bodily infections. These infections may lead to dizziness, fever, nausea, vomiting, hearing loss, and tinnitus.
If you have any questions or concerns about hearing loss, then ask the audiologists at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England, located in Springfield, Northampton, and Mary Lane Hospital, MA, today!
Who hasn't experienced the raspy hoarseness associated with a cold or the flu? This annoying laryngitis resolves by itself within a few days to a week, but if you aren't sick, what could be causing this vocal weakness? The Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England ask their Northampton and Springfield, MA patients to tell them when hoarseness persists more than two weeks. While the cause of it may not be sinister, lasting hoarseness should be evaluated by the experts.
The causes of hoarseness in Northampton and Springfield
When you see your ear, nose & throat specialist, he or she will ask you about your symptoms, how long they have been happening and what may help or worsen them. Also, the doctor will review your medications and order tests as necessary to visualize your vocal folds and larynx (voice box).
These examinations happen right in the office, usually with a fiberoptic scope or videostroboscopy. The images allow the doctor to seek the internal anatomy of the throat and also how the larynx functions in real time.
The underlying reasons for hoarseness are many, and may include:
- Benign nodules and polyps (sometimes originating in overuse of the voice as with singers)
- HPV-related warts
- Upper respiratory infections
- GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Asthma and asthma medications (such as inhaled corticosteroids)
- Thyroid problems (the thyroid is an H-shaped organ located on the larynx)
- Excessive alcohol and caffeine consumption
Your ENT doctor will treat your hoarseness according to his or her diagnostic findings. For small benign growths, in-office endoscopic resection (involving a lighted tube inserted down the throat) may suffice. Laser treatments help eliminate or reduce the size of papillomas (warts) in the throat.
Many lifestyle modifications help alleviate hoarseness as well, state ENT experts at the Cleveland Clinic. They include:
- Staying well hydrated in the winter weather
- Getting sufficient in-house humidification
- Controlling acid reflux with diet and medications
- Avoiding overuse of the voice (no yelling)
- Using a spacer when using an inhaled steroid for asthma maintenance (as recommended in Health Central)
- Quitting smoking
- Limiting caffeine and alcohol
Is your voice hoarse?
If this persists, find out why. Contact Ear Nose & Throat Surgeons of Western New England to arrange a consultation with one of our seven physicians. We have three locations to serve you. In Springfield, call (413) 732-7426. In Northampton, phone (413) 586-2033, or for our Mary Lane Hospital office, call (413) 967-2249.
Find out how this simple treatment could smooth away facial lines and wrinkles.
The goals of our Northampton and Springfield, MA, otolaryngologists are to make sure that you feel great and that you are confident in your appearance. You may not realize it but we offer not only services to handle all of your ear, nose and throat needs, but we also provide cosmetic services, too. If you want to temporarily reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles without undergoing surgery then Botox may be the answer you’ve been looking for.
What is Botox?
Most people have heard about Botox but they don’t always know what it entails. These thin needles contain a safe, purified form of botulinum toxin, a neurotoxin that interrupts signal sent from the brain to the muscles that tells the muscles to contract. When these needles are injected into the skin they prevent muscle contractions, which instantly reduces the appearance of certain lines and wrinkles.
What kinds of wrinkles can Botox treatment handle?
This cosmetic procedure has been a wonderful option for many people looking to treat everything from minor to more severe wrinkles and lines of the face because it doesn’t require cutting or other invasive techniques. Botox works best on dynamic wrinkles, or wrinkles that appear as a result of certain facial expressions.
For example, take a moment to smile in the mirror. Do you notice lines and wrinkles that appear around your mouth, eyes, nose and forehead when you smile? If so, these are the signs of aging that Botox can treat.
What goes into getting Botox treatment?
This treatment is simple, straightforward and only takes a couple of minutes. In fact, the only thing our Northampton and Springfield ENT doctors will need to do is administer the needles into the areas that you wish to treat. Of course, we also understand that people are squeamish when it comes to needles, even if the needles are incredibly small. While most patients can easily tolerate the minor and fleeting stinging sensation that comes from administering the needles, if you are still a bit nervous talk to us about applying a numbing cream to the areas before your treatment.
When will I notice results?
Most people assume that results will appear immediately, but this is simply not the case. It will take a couple of days to start to see the effects of the Botox treatment with full effects appearing within one week. Botox results are only temporary (they usually last up to six months). Of course, if you love your new look you can continue to get maintenance treatments to help your beautiful appearance last longer.
Whether you are dealing with an ear infection or you want to find out if you are an ideal candidate for Botox, turn to the experts at Ear Nose & Throat, Surgeons of Western New England. We offer locations in Springfield and Northhampton MA, to serve you better.
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