Children develop middle ear infections, or otitis media, more than adults do. Besides suffering uncomfortable symptoms, youngsters may experience hearing and speech problems with repeat infections, At Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, your ENT doctors, Dr. Wallace Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan diagnose and treat otitis media so your child feels better.
Why it happens
Otitis media happens because of fluid build-up and bacteria behind the eardrum. Most young children have at least one of these infections before they even begin school, says the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
But, why are children more prone? Of course, kids' immune systems are still developing; so they get colds, flu, strep throat infections and yes, otitis media, easily. Crowded classroom conditions and daycare may contribute, too.
Additionally, children have short eustachian tubes, the drainage path between the middle ear and the throat. More horizontally oriented than in adults, the eustachian tubes collect bacteria and viruses, leading to infection.
Ear infection symptoms
Symptoms vary in severity, but your ENT doctors at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, recognize the following as the most common signs:
- The child pulls at his or her ear
- Insomnia or restless sleep
- Muffled hearing
- Ear drainage
- Poor appetite
- A bulging eardrum due to accumulated fluid
Left untreated, ear infections can harm hearing and lead to speech and learning delays in young patients.
Treating ear infections
Most cases of otitis media respond well to palliative treatment (Tylenol for fever and pain, rest and a warm compress to the affected side). Bacterial infections may require a course of oral antibiotics. Repeat infections subside with the surgical insertion of ear tubes. Also called ventilation tubes, these tiny devices keep ears free of fluid.
Also, prevention always is the best medicine. So, teach your child to hand wash frequently, and get him or her a flu shot at the pediatrician's office. With babies, breastfeeding confers passive immunity to many childhood illnesses.
At Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Vaughan and Dr. Morgan diagnose and treat ear infections and other chronic or acute conditions of the ear, nose and throat. Call (334) 277-0484 for a consultation with one of these experienced ENT doctors.
Tinnitus is a perception of ringing or noise in your ears. A very common ear issue, according to the American Tinnitus Association, it impacts approximately 15% up to 20% of people. It’s vital to understand though that tinnitus is not a condition but a symptom of another condition. Likewise, while it could get worse as you age, for lots of people, it can be managed with proper treatment.
Here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, our ENT doctors, Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr., and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan can diagnose tinnitus and help you treat or manage it.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus comes in two types; the first one is subjective tinnitus, the most common kind and one that only you can hear. The second is objective tinnitus, which is the kind that your ENT doctor can hear during an examination. Various health issues could worsen or cause tinnitus, but one of the most common tinnitus causes is damage to the inner ear hair cells.
Delicate, tiny hairs in the inner ear move with the sound waves’ pressure. This stimulates the cells to discharge electrical signals via the auditory nerve in the ear to the brain. In turn, the brain will interpret the signals as sound, so if the inner ear hairs are broken or bent, they could leak random signals to the brain, resulting in tinnitus.
Other tinnitus causes include other problems with the ear, injuries, chronic health problems, or conditions affecting the ear’s nerves or the brain’s hearing center. In most people, however, tinnitus is typically a result of hearing loss related to aging, earwax obstruction, regular and excess exposure to loud sounds, and changes in the ear bone. Likewise, various medications might worsen or cause tinnitus, and in rare instances, by problems with the blood vessels.
What are The Symptoms of Tinnitus?
The most common tinnitus symptoms include these phantom sounds in the ear:
These phantom sounds might differ in pitch and you might hear them in both or just one ear. Further, it might come and go or be present at all times.
When to Visit Your ENT Doctor
Go to your ENT doctor in Montgomery, AL, if:
- Tinnitus suddenly develops following a cold or other upper respiratory infection, and it doesn’t get better in a week.
- You experience tinnitus and dizziness or hearing loss.
- Tinnitus that develops without any apparent cause
For Advice or Concerns About Tinnitus, Reach Out to Us
Book your consultation with your ENT doctor here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan by calling (334) 277-0484.
How your ENT specialists in Montgomery, AL, can help with hearing loss
Hearing loss can sneak up on you. All you may notice is having to turn up the television or radio just a little bit, or being a bit lost in certain conversations. All of these issues are easy to ignore, but they could be early signs of hearing loss. Fortunately, choosing a hearing aid can help.
Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, can help with hearing loss. They offer a wide range of ENT services, including hearing aids to help you hear what you’ve been missing.
You can benefit from a hearing aid if you are experiencing:
- Hearing only muffled speech and sounds
- Having problems separating words from background noise
- Needing people around you to speak more loudly and slowly
- Wanting to isolate yourself because of hearing problems
There are many types of hearing aids for you to choose from. Consider:
- CIC hearing aids, which fit completely in your ear canal; are the most discreet hearing aid and don’t have a directional microphone or volume control.
- ITE hearing aids, which fit in your ear by looping over your outer ear; they are more visible than CIC hearing aids and have volume control.
- BTE hearing aids, which fit behind your ear and loop over the top of your ear; these are the largest hearing aids and provide excellent sound quality.
- Cochlear implants are another hearing aid option and are an excellent choice for severe hearing loss. They compensate for the parts of your ear that aren’t working correctly.
You deserve to live your best life, and that includes hearing well. You don’t want to miss out on the sounds of your beautiful life. To learn more about the benefits of hearing aids and which type might be best for you, call Dr. Wallace C. Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morgan of Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, at (334) 277-0484. Call now!
Are you struggling with bothersome allergy symptoms? Here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, Dr. Wallace Vaughan, Jr. and Dr. C. Elliott Morga offer state-of-the-art care to diagnose and treat disorders of the ears, nose, throat, head, and neck. Here are 5 such ways to manage your allergies.
1. Take medication: There are several types of allergy drugs available to alleviate your allergy symptoms. These allergy medications include decongestants, antihistamines, and others. Some allergy medications combine a decongestant with an antihistamine. Examples include fexofenadine-pseudoephedrine (Allegra-D) and loratadine-pseudoephedrine (Claritin-D).
2. Get allergy shots: Allergy injections help the human body get used to the substances that trigger allergic reactions. Each allergy injection contains a small amount of the substances that are causing your symptoms. Allergy shots are not a cure, but in time, you may not have allergy symptoms as often.
3. Close the doors and windows: It’s a beautiful day, but if the pollen count is high, keep the doors and windows closed to protect your indoor air. Despite the desire to breathe in fresh air, an open door or window invites a lot of pollen into your house. You can also install a HEPA filter on your HVAC system.
4. Eat a healthy diet: There’s no doubt that a healthy diet is good for the body. In fact, those who eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables have fewer allergy symptoms, due to the natural anti-inflammatory effects and antioxidants present in these foods.
5. Use a nasal rinse: If you are looking for a solution to nasal challenges, a nasal rinse can help. Rinsing your nasal passages with a saline solution is a quick, effective, and inexpensive way to relieve nasal congestion. Nasal rinses clean allergens and irritants from the nose, reducing their impact. You can buy nasal rines at a pharmacy, or you can make your own at home.
Call our Montgomery Office Today
Experience life the way it was meant to be. Call Central Alabama ENT Associates at (334) 277-0484 right now to schedule an appointment in Montgomery, AL. Our allergy treatments can change your life!
We rely on our hearing in all types of situations, leading our lives to be gravely impacted if hearing loss sets in from aging, illness, injury, or heredity. Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself from hearing loss, and here at Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, we can help—read on to learn more.
Types of Hearing Loss
There are several types of hearing loss, each one associated with damage to specific areas of the ear. Types of hearing loss include:
- Conductive: Associated with damage to the eardrum, middle ear, or ear canal, this hearing loss can be the result of ear fluid in the middle ear, a punctured eardrum, an ear infection, allergies, or congenital abnormalities in the ear.
- Sensorineural: Associated with damage to the inner ear and auditory nerve. This can be due to aging, a viral infection, head injuries, disease, genetics, or exposure to loud noises.
- Mixed: Associated with damage to the inner, middle, or outer ear. The damage results in both sensorineural and conductive hearing loss.
- Central: Sometimes referred to as central auditory processing disorder. This type of hearing loss is caused by the failure of the central nervous system to send the brain recognizable signals.
Treatments for Hearing Loss
Hearing loss can be treated in several ways. The type of treatment used will depend on the specific type and extent of hearing loss, as well as the cause of it. At our office in Montgomery, hearing loss can be treated with antibiotics, corticosteroids, ear tubes, hearing aids, myringotomy, or surgery. Our doctors can discuss appropriate treatment options with you.
Preventing Hearing Loss
It might not be possible to completely prevent hearing gloss, particularly the type that develops with aging, however, there are several steps you can take to protect yourself. Some ways to do this is to minimize your exposure to loud noises and to wear earplugs or another type of protection for your ears, especially if you work in a noisy environment or plan to attend a concert.
It is also best to seek treatment for sinus or ear infections when they occur to prevent infection-related hearing loss. Additionally, regularly scheduling visits with an ear, nose and throat specialist is extremely helpful. After all, having your ears regularly examined makes it possible to detect problems early on before they progress and lead to major hearing loss.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Vaughan or Dr. Morgan, contact Central Alabama ENT Associates in Montgomery, AL, today at (334) 277-0484.
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