Frequently Asked Questions
Q: I just finished with a severe cold and now I feel stuffed up and my nose still feels irritated. What could this be?
A: This may be a sign of sinusitis. Acute sinus infections produce nasal obstruction and offensive nasal or postnasal discharge. This nasal obstruction may be a sign of nasal polyps. A polyp removal can be performed during endoscopic surgery. Acute sinus infection generally responds to antibiotic treatment; chronic sinusitis usually requires surgery.
Q: What does sinus surgery accomplish?
A: Sinus surgery enlarges the natural opening to the sinuses and removes areas of obstruction, resulting in the normal flow of mucus.
Q: My child has had frequent ear infections. Should his hearing be evaluated?
A: Repeated ear infections can lead to permanent hearing loss. If your child has had more than four infections in a year, hearing loss for six weeks or longer, or middle ear fluid for over three months, a hearing test is usually recommended.
Ear Pain and Trouble Hearing
Q: Lately, I’ve experienced acute ear pain and trouble hearing. What could this be?
A: This could be an acute or chronic middle ear infection. Bacteria (or viruses) can enter the nose or throat and follow through the eustachian tube to reach to middle ear. Two tests that the otolaryngologist may order are an audiogram and a tympanogram. Dr. Kane may prescribe an antibiotic and an antihistamine or decongestant or a combination. In chronic situations or if the ear infection does not clear up with medication, further treatment may be recommended by your physician.
Q: What are ear tubes?
A: If otitis media does not clear up with medication and home treatment, a myringotomy may be recommended. This involves a small surgical incision into the eardrum to promote drainage of fluid and to relieve pain. The incision heals within a few days with practically no scarring or injury to the eardrum. In fact, the surgical opening can heal so fast that it often closes before the infection and the fluid are gone. This is the reason a ventilation tube can be placed in the incision, preventing fluid accumulation and thus improving hearing.
Tonsils and Adenoids
Q: When do tonsils and adenoids have to be removed?
A: Two main problems that can occur with this tissue are swelling, which can make breathing and eating difficult, and repeated infections. If the tonsils swell permanently, they may cause sleep apnea. Often, surgery is advisable. Chronic infections in the adenoids can also be the cause of ear infections. In this case, removing the adenoids can be helpful. Allergies to antibiotics may influence the exact number of infections required prior to surgery.
Head and Neck Cancer
Q: What are common symptoms of head and neck cancers?
A: Symptoms of head and neck cancer might be a lump or sore that does not heal, a sore throat that does not go away, difficulty swallowing, and a change or hoarseness in the voice. Other symptoms may be sinuses that are blocked and do not heal, trouble with eyes, pain in upper teeth, ears, throat or neck that does not go away, frequent headaches, swelling under the chin or around the jawbone, and numbness or paralysis of the face muscles. These symptoms may be caused by cancer or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to check with a doctor or dentist about any of these symptoms.
Q: What is obstructive sleep apnea?
A: Loud snoring, interrupted by frequent episodes of totally obstructed breathing, is obstructive sleep apnea. Serious episodes last more than ten seconds each and occur more than seven times per hour. Apnea patients may experience 30 to 300 such events per night. These episodes can reduce blood oxygen levels, causing the heart to pump harder. The immediate effect of sleep apnea is that the snorer must sleep lightly and keep his muscles tense in order to keep airflow to the lungs. Because the snorer does not get a good rest, he may be sleepy during the day, which impairs job performance and makes him a hazardous driver or equipment operator. After many years with this disorder, elevated blood pressure and heart enlargement may occur.
Q: Who should see an Audiologist?
A: Anyone with suspected hearing loss, dizziness, or balance problems should be evaluated by an audiologist. A baseline hearing test is an excellent tool, at any age, to be used to compare any changes to future hearing testing results. Children should be seen right away if parents suspect any hearing problem. Immediate intervention is crucial to ensure both hearing health and proper speech and language development.
Q: I am experiencing a decrease in my hearing. Can Dr. Kane and Paradise Coast Hearing Care service my audiology and hearing aid needs?
A. Yes, we have a qualified professional audiologist on staff. Our physician-audiologist team diagnoses, manages and treats hearing or balance problems for individuals from birth through adulthood. The audiologist provides a full range of diagnostic services.
Q: Is there more than one type of hearing loss?
A: There are two basic types of hearing loss. The first kind is called conductive hearing loss and is caused by problems in the ear canal, the eardrum and/or the three small bones connected to the eardrum. This could be due to an infection, wax in the ear canal, or fluid behind the eardrum. Conductive hearing loss can sometimes be improved with medicine or surgery. The second kind of hearing loss, is called sensorineural (sen-sor-ee-nur-al) hearing loss and occurs when something goes wrong with the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. This can occur with the aging process and with exposure to loud noises. Sounds become muffled, unclear, and soft. Although medicine and surgery cannot help most sensorineural hearing loss, hearing aids can be helpful.
Q: Is there something I can do to prevent hearing loss?
A: Since we cannot ensure hearing won’t change over time, education on what can cause hearing loss is important. One way to protect your ears is from reducing your exposure to loud sounds. We offer custom fitted ear plugs for all ages and all uses. Custom ear plugs are helpful if you swim, ride a motorcycle, or are exposed to loud music or other loud noises. Learn more about our custom earmolds, stock and custom musician plugs, and custom motorcycle and swim plugs.
Q: My child seems to have difficulty hearing in school. What can be done to help him?
A: Audiologists have a full range of hearing and rehabilitative hearing services for students in all grades in both public and private schools. After a complete audiological evaluation, Dr. Kane and Ms. Perry will make the appropriate recommendations depending on the results.
Q: Is there a difference between one hearing aid and another?
A: There are many types of hearing instruments to choose from. Current technology can separate, sort and amplify sounds of nature, music, and speech differently. This results in precise hearing correction so that speech sounds are enhanced while background noises are reduced. Linette Perry will help you select the best hearing device for your needs. Click here to learn more about hearing aid types.
Q: What brands of hearing aids do you carry?
A: We offer devices from many manufacturers including: Oticon, Phonak, Signia, ReSound and Starkey. The style and manufacturer of your hearing aid(s) depends on your hearing loss and your specific hearing needs. There are a wide variety of hearing aid options available. Let our audiologist help you select hearing aids that will best meet your needs.
Q: My hearing aid is 10 years old. Would my hearing be improved with a newer hearing aid?
A: Today’s digital technologies can significantly improve your hearing ability compared to the technology from 10 years ago. Today’s devices are smaller, completely programmable and have faster processing capabilities to help you in your unique, individual listening environments. Current products utilize Bluetooth technology to directly connect you to your telephone and enhance your connectivity.
Q: My hearing aid needs to be repaired but I did not purchase it from you. Can you help me?
A: We offer repair for almost all brands of hearing aids regardless of whether you purchased them from our company. Call our office to schedule an appointment.
Q: Where can I find hearing aid batteries?
A: We offer a full selection of hearing aid batteries. We can ship these to your location anywhere in the continental United States. Call our office to place your order.
Q: Are general ENT services covered by insurance?
A: Many of the services we provide are covered by insurance. Any charges not covered by the insurance company are the patient’s responsibility. If you have additional questions regarding insurance, please call our office.
Q: Are hearing aids covered by insurance?
A: When a physician orders a hearing evaluation, Medicare and most Insurance companies cover appropriate diagnostic audiology services. Medicare does not cover hearing aids or related supplies.