My Blog

By Dr. Andrew Parker
August 09, 2021
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Are you considering a hearing aid for yourself or a loved one? Dr. Andrew Parker of Parker Ear, Nose, & Throat of Fairfield County, located in Norwalk, CT, is ready to help choose the right hearing aid for you.

If you feel like you frequently cannot understand what others are saying, or maybe it just isn't as straightforward as it used to be, that can be very frustrating. You may be experiencing hearing loss.

If you feel you might be ready for a hearing aid, here are the steps you need to take to restore your hearing.

Step 1: Visit a Hearing Specialist

At Parker Ear, Nose, & Throat of Fairfield County, located in Norwalk, CT, Dr. Parker and his team of hearing specialists assess your hearing. When you have your exam, you should prepare to tell the doctor if you have any ringing in your ears, balance issues, or trouble hearing. They will then evaluate your hearing, discuss their findings, and then review the next steps.

If Dr. Parker finds a possible medical problem causing the hearing loss, Dr. Parker will assess and create the best plan of care to treat the issue.

Step 2: Undergo a Hearing Test

Dr. Parker will perform a comprehensive evaluation of your hearing, how it impacts your daily life, and to what extent.

Step 3: Follow the Treatment Recommendations

If Dr. Parker determines a hearing or balance problem, he will recommend appropriate follow-up.

You will also undergo a hearing needs assessment. At this consultation appointment, you will discuss the various types of hearing devices available. Then, together, you and the doctor will decide which hearing devices best fit your lifestyle, communication needs, and budget.

Step 4: Choosing the Right Hearing Aid

There is a wide range of options available to you with hearing aids. There are two main types of hearing aids: analog and digital hearing aids.

Analog Hearing Aids

This particular hearing aid converts sound waves into electric signals and then amplifies them so you can hear them better. These are generally less expensive and are simple to use.

Digital Hearing Aids

With digital hearing aids, they are converting sound waves into numerical codes, then amplifying them. The code contains information about the direction of a sound, pitch, and volume making it easier to adjust the sound to what you need. Most even adjust automatically. They are typically more expensive but are smaller and more powerful.

Each type of hearing aid is available both in-the-ear (ITE) and behind-the-ear (BTE). You may also need a wax guard for your hearing aid because wearing hearing aids can cause earwax build-up.

When you are ready to take back your hearing, call Dr. Parker with Parker Ear, Nose, & Throat of Fairfield County, located in Norwalk, CT, to discuss hearing aids and how they can help via phone at (203) 866-8121.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
April 23, 2021
Category: Otolaryngology
Tags: Tinnitus  

Your ENT specialists in Norwalk, CT, can help with tinnitus.

If you suffer from chronic ringing in your ears, you could be one of over 50 million people in this country who suffer from tinnitus. It’s an annoying condition, and it can also keep you from enjoying your life. Severe tinnitus can make it almost impossible to think about anything else.

Fortunately, your ENT specialists can help. The ENT specialists and audiologists of Parker Ear, Nose, & Throat in Norwalk, CT, offer a wide range of ENT services, including diagnosis and treatment of tinnitus.

Ringing in your ears is the most common symptom of tinnitus. You may also experience sounds like whistling, hissing, or buzzing in your ears. These symptoms can also be accompanied by dizziness and difficulty concentrating. Symptoms can occur and then resolve, or they can become chronic.

Tinnitus has several known causes, including:

  • A buildup of earwax
  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Sclerosis of your middle ear bones
  • Prolonged exposure to loud sounds
  • Antibiotic or diuretic medications
  • High blood pressure or atherosclerosis
  • TMJ problems or trauma to your head or neck

Your ENT specialist will begin by testing your hearing to confirm a diagnosis of tinnitus. Imaging studies including an MRI or CT scan may be needed to confirm the presence of a structural issue, which could be causing your tinnitus.

After the cause of your tinnitus is determined, your ENT specialist can discuss appropriate treatment options with you. Treatment recommendations may include:

  • Hearing aids to decrease or stop tinnitus symptoms
  • Cochlear implants to restore tinnitus-related hearing loss
  • Sound therapy, also known as TRT to help reduce noise
  • TMJ treatment if your tinnitus is related to TMJ issues
  • Medication or cognitive therapy
  • Meditation and other relaxation techniques

You can get help for your tinnitus symptoms. To find out more about the symptoms, causes, and treatment of tinnitus and other ear, nose, and throat conditions, call the ENT specialists and audiologists of Parker Ear, Nose, & Throat in Norwalk, CT, at (203) 866-8121 now!

By Dr. Andrew Parker
January 22, 2021
Category: Sleep Issues
Tags: Sleep Apnea  

Are you keeping your loved ones awake while you sleep? You may have sleep apnea. Visit Dr. Andrew Parker at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County, serving the Norwalk, CT area.

Diagnosing Your Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is characterized by blockage in the airways as one sleeps. Most people can identify sleep apnea by the very loud snoring that is produced by the blockage at night.

Tools for Self Diagnosis

STOP-BANG is a tool for you to use to assess whether or not you may have sleep apnea:

  • Do you snore loudly?
  • Are you often tired during the day?
  • Have you or someone else observed you not breathing while you slept?
  • Do you have or have you ever been treated for high blood pressure?
  • Is your BMI more than 35?
  • Are you older than 50?
  • Is the circumference of your neck bigger than 40cm?
  • Is your gender male?

If you have answered “yes” to at least 3 of the questions, you may have sleep apnea. Contact your doctor for more details.

Other Ways to Diagnose Sleep Apnea

Your doctor may request that you keep a 2-week sleep diary of your habits, sensations, and occurrences. Take this diary with you to discuss further treatment. 

Another way to diagnose sleep apnea is to participate in an overnight sleep study. Your doctor will ask you to slumber overnight in a sleep facility. You will be monitored by machines to see what your sleep patterns are.

If you feel uncomfortable or are unable to go to the sleep facility, you may complete at-home sleep tests. You will be instructed on how to use the testing instruments and the doctor will collect and interpret the results when the test is done.

Discover ways to feel more refreshed in the morning. Having your doctor diagnose and treat sleep apnea will have you resting soundly. Contact Dr. Parker at Parker Ear, Nose, and Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT, at (203) 866-8121 to schedule a consultation today.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
December 10, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Hearing Aids  

Are you experiencing troubling hearing? Sounds seem muffled, low, or even absent. At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County, your otolaryngologist, Dr. Andrew Parker may want you to investigate hearing aids. Our Norwalk, CT, area patients benefit from his ENT and hearing exams. Together, you'll determine if you qualify for hearing aids.

What? I can't hear you.

If you've been saying this a lot, you may need a hearing exam. The World Health Organization (WHO) says that normal hearing thresholds are 25 decibels or higher. When your ability to detect sounds drops below this level, you have hearing loss, and it may occur in a single ear or both.

Factors such as heredity, exposure to loud noise, multiple ear infections, and certain chemicals, as well as the aging process, lead to hearing loss. Frankly, hearing loss means more than missed sounds. Poor hearing impairs changes interpersonal relationships, the ability to earn a living and to enjoy music, conversation, and other activities. For children, hearing loss greatly impacts speech, language, and academic development.

How we can help

At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County in Norwalk, CT, Dr. Parker, and his team want their patients to have the best hearing possible. As such, they offer state of the art hearing tests which will pinpoint if you have a loss, what kind it is, and if hearing aids would benefit you.

These symptoms indicate you need testing:

  • You ask people to repeat themselves.
  • You have difficulty hearing in theaters and crowded situations, such as family parties.
  • Large gatherings leave you exhausted.
  • You listen to the TV, computer, or radio at a much louder volume than others do.
  • Talking on the telephone is challenging.
  • Words containing s, f, th, or, sh sounds are easily misunderstood.
  • You cannot tell where sounds are originating.

Kinds of hearing aids

Your particular type of hearing loss, its severity, and other factors determine what kind of hearing aid is best for you. Types of instruments include:

  • Behind the ear
  • In the ear
  • In the canal
  • Receiver in the canal middle ear implant

Regardless of your hearing aid type, your instrument will amplify some of the sound frequencies you struggle with. For people with tinnitus or ringing in the ears, your hearing aid will help cancel some of that bothersome sound.

While hearing aids are a great help, they do not correct your hearing to 100 percent normal as your glasses can help with your vision. However, most hearing aid wearers say they benefit greatly from their advanced technology, and they enjoy a clearer sound and better interpretation of sounds when they use their devices consistently.

Learn more

At Parker Ear, Nose & Throat of Fairfield County, Dr. Andrew Parker has on-site equipment to qualify you for hearing aids as needed. Don't wait to take advantage of his expertise. Call our Norwalk, CT, office for an appointment: (203) 866-8121.

By Dr. Andrew Parker
July 20, 2020
Category: ENT Care
Tags: Tinnitus  

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.

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