Why are your ears suddenly ringing?
Ringing or buzzing in the ears can certainly be an annoying problem but the good news is that it’s rarely a sign of something serious; however, it doesn’t leave you any less curious as to why it might be happening. From the office of our Norwalk, CT, ENT doctor Dr. Andrew Parker, here’s what you should know about tinnitus or ringing in the ears, and when it might be time to see a doctor.
Most people who’ve gone to a concert have left with their ears ringing or buzzing for a few hours. This is considered short-term tinnitus. While these bouts of tinnitus are relatively normal and short-lived, it may be disconcerting when tinnitus becomes chronic (lasting for more than six months). In fact, according to Harvard Medical School, as many as 50 to 60 million people in the US experience symptoms of chronic tinnitus, particularly those over age 55.
What causes tinnitus?
It’s important to know that tinnitus is not a sign of disease, it is a symptom of another underlying issue. Ringing in the ears typically occurs when the hairs of the inner ear have become damaged. Again, you can refer to that loud concert above as a prime example. Loud noises can damage these little hairs, which results in ringing.
Other triggers include,
- Hearing loss
- Earwax buildup or impaction
- Certain medication such as aspirin, antidepressants and antibiotics
- An ear or sinus infection
- TMJ disorder
- High blood pressure
- Inner ear disorders
- Head or neck injuries
- Systemic conditions such as Lyme disease or fibromyalgia
If you develop tinnitus that doesn’t go away then it’s a good idea to see our Norwalk, CT, otolaryngologist for evaluation. We can perform a physical examination and run tests to determine the source of your tinnitus. By asking questions about your symptoms and conducting specialized tests we can figure out the cause of your tinnitus so that we know how to properly manage it. For example, if your tinnitus is caused by high blood pressure then medications to control your blood pressure, as well as lifestyle changes, can help lower your blood pressure to reduce or even eliminate tinnitus.
Some infections of the ear or sinuses will go away with home care; however, our doctor can also prescribe certain medications such as antibiotics (if the infection is bacterial) to help clear away the infection and improve your tinnitus. We will discuss your treatment options with you when you come into the office for an evaluation.
If you are living with tinnitus here in Norwalk, CT, and want to find out what’s going on, the team at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat can provide you with the answers you need. Call us today at (203) 866-8121.
We can help you choose the hearing aid that will help you hear your loved ones more clearly.
If you’ve dealt with some degree of hearing loss our otolaryngologist Dr. Andrew Parker can help not just diagnose this problem but also provide you with the hearing aid that will help you get back into the conversation again. A hearing aid doesn’t just improve your ability to understand those around you; it can change your social, personal and professional life. The three main types of hearing aids include,
Behind the ear (BTE) hearing aids: The main component of this hearing aid lies behind the ear and connects a clear tube to a small bud that sits inside the ear. This hearing aid is used for moderate to severe hearing loss cases.
In the ear (ITE) hearing aids: This type of hearing aid sits on the outermost part of the ear and is designed to blend in with the color of your ear so it’s less noticeable. This type of hearing aid is smaller and can be used in patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Receiver in Canal or Receiver in-ear hearing aids: This type of hearing aid is similar to a BTE hearing aid, the only difference is that the speaker or receiver also sits in the ear so it’s more discreet. This is another option for patients with mild to moderate hearing loss.
Within the three types of hearing aids above you also have a variety of different styles and kinds of hearing aids. These types include,
- Invisible in canal
- Completely in canal
- “Mini” BTE hearing aid
When it comes to choosing a hearing aid there are also five major factors to consider,
- The hearing aid’s design
- Any special features it has (or special features you need)
- The type and severity of your hearing loss
- Your budget
- Your lifestyle (e.g. profession; physical activity)
These are factors that you and our ear, nose and throat doctor can happily discuss when you come into his New Canaan, CT, office for an evaluation. If you are interested in a hearing aid that fits inside your ear, just let us know and we will help you find the most discreet option. Of course, thanks to modern technology there are also some amazing, advanced features to consider including,
- Remote control
- Wireless connectivity
- Rechargeable batteries
- Noise reduction
While you may not need all these advanced features we can talk through them with you so you understand exactly what you are getting from your new hearing aid.
Choosing the right hearing aid isn’t something that you should do alone. Our ENT doctor and his team offer hearing evaluations and comprehensive hearing aid fittings to people living in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT. Call Parker ENT today at (203) 866-8121 to schedule a hearing evaluation.
Do you snore often? More than just an annoying sleep pattern, snoring can indicate sleep apnea, a potentially deadly condition. Fortunately, here at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwich, CT, your otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker, can determine if you have sleep apnea and diagnose a proper treatment.
Snoring versus Sleep Apnea
According to the American Sleep Apnea Organization, snoring occurs when throat tissues relax and block the airway. This snoring causes a vibration, which creates a distinct sound. Anatomy, weight, alcohol consumption, and other factors impact the loudness of snoring.
Snoring is also a sign of sleep apnea. The primary difference is a person with sleep apnea will stop breathing for as long as a minute. During sleep, the person snoring may make snorting or gasping sounds.
Obesity, the size of the tongue or tonsils, age, and anatomy of the head and neck can all impact snoring and sleep apnea.
Health Risks of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea may be the result of a more severe condition such as congestive heart failure or nasal obstruction. Sleep apnea health risks can include:
- Poor sleep quality, making you tired throughout the day
- Weight gain
- Heart conditions, including high blood pressure and atrial fibrillation
- Type II Diabetes
Your partner may also suffer from a lack of sleep due to your snoring.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Sleep Apnea
If you suspect you have sleep apnea, consult your physician, or contact an otolaryngologist such as Dr. Parker in Norwalk, CT.
A sleep study in a hospital or certified sleep center is necessary to confirm sleep apnea. Some of the items measured while you sleep include brain activity, heart rate, eye movements, respiration, and leg movement. The most critical measure is the amount and number of times your breathing stops during your sleep time.
If diagnosed with sleep apnea, some of the most common preventative measures include the following.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Devices: These devices provide masks that supply air pressure that ensures your airway remains open.
- Oral Devices: These pieces are worn in the mouth while you sleep to hold the lower jaw in position and prevent the upper airway from blocking the airway.
- Weight Loss: Reducing your weight can alleviate some of the worst effects of sleep apnea
For more information on your options, call (203) 866-8121 for an appointment with Dr. Parker of Paker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT.
Here are some things to consider if you or someone you love is dealing with hearing loss.
Although hearing loss is a common problem, many people are still embarrassed to acknowledge that they are having trouble hearing. According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, this is part of the reason why it takes the average person about seven years from the time of their hearing loss to actually seek treatment. Fortunately, our otolaryngologist in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT, Dr. Andrew Parker, and his team of audiologists are here to ensure that you receive the treatment you need as soon as possible.
How to know that you have hearing loss
While it might initially sound a bit strange, not everyone knows that their everyday issues point towards the presence of hearing loss. This is because hearing loss is usually a subtle issue, gradually growing over time. Here are some signs that your hearing should be checked out,
- You find yourself saying “what?” a lot more than usual
- You avoid social interactions and have trouble following group conversations
- Noisy environments like a crowded restaurant make it difficult to hear people
- You find yourself having to regularly raise the volume of your TV, radio, or phone
- You don’t hear everyday noises like the doorbell or the oven timer
- You find yourself reading lips instead of actually listening to what people are saying
What you can do about your hearing loss
If you find yourself making excuses for not meeting friends at a restaurant or you are avoiding your hearing loss because you worry that it will affect your job these are common responses that so many people face when they finally realize they have hearing loss. However, just imagine just how great it could be to be able to join in the conversation again and properly understand your friends, family, and colleagues. This is what our audiologists in Norwalk and New Canaan can do. Our team can perform a hearing evaluation to diagnose your hearing loss and to determine the extent of the damage. From there we can discuss your treatment options.
So many people with hearing loss can benefit from hearing aids. Another reason it’s highly advised that you see a doctor right away when you begin to notice hearing loss symptoms is that the sooner you start wearing a hearing aid, the sooner your ears and brain will adapt to the device and improve its effectiveness. We offer many different styles and special features and can work with your needs, lifestyle, and budget to find the hearing aid that will get you back into your social circle and enjoying your life again.
Interested? Give us a call
If you are struggling to understand those around you isn’t it time that you became part of the conversation again? Call Parker Ear, Nose & Throat in Norwalk or New Canaan, CT, today at (203) 866-8121 to schedule your appointment.
How your otolaryngologist in Norwalk, CT, can help you feel better
If you have a sore throat, you’re not alone. It’s a very common problem and it can be caused by many different things. Your treatment will depend on what is causing your sore throat. Dr. Andrew J. Parker at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT can help you feel better.
Causes of Sore Throats
A sore throat can be caused by a virus like a cold or the flu. In many cases, the sore throat will go away when the virus does. If your sore throat lasts for more than 5 to 7 days, it’s time to see your otolaryngologist.
A bacterial infection may also cause a sore throat. One of the most common bacterial infections is strep throat, caused by the Streptococcus bacteria. Dr. Parker can do an easy test to determine if you have strep throat. If your test is positive, he will prescribe antibiotics to clear up the infection and clear up your sore throat.
Tonsillitis is a common cause of sore throats in children. Tonsils can become infected and enlarged, causing breathing problems and other uncomfortable symptoms. Antibiotics, and over-the-counter pain medications and fever reducers are common treatments which help with tonsillitis. For severe cases, your otolaryngologist may recommend removing the tonsils.
Sinusitis Post-nasal drip caused by sinusitis or allergies can irritate your throat, resulting in pain and inflammation.
Injuries Have you ever developed a sore throat after a particularly exciting football game? Yelling or singing for long periods can cause a minor injury to the throat. Throat injuries may also occur if you experience neck trauma.
Don’t suffer with a sore throat when help is just a phone call away. Just pick up your phone and call Dr. Andrew J. Parker at Parker Ear, Nose & Throat in Norwalk and New Canaan, CT. Call (203) 866-8121 and get relief from your sore throat.
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