Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Treating Swimmer's Ear

Summer has arrived!  As you enjoy the summer weather and swimming, don't forget to protect your ears!  One of the most common maladies of summertime is an outer ear infection commonly referred to as "swimmer's ear."  Swimmer's ear is an infection in the outer ear canal.  It's usually caused by water that remains in the ear after swimming.  This moisture creates an optimal environment for bacterial growth.
Symptoms of swimmer's ear include:
  • Itching in the ear
  • Moderate to severe pain
  • Redness in the ear
  • Fever
Treatment for Swimmer's Ear
Swimmer's ear is usually treated by obtaining antibiotic ear drops from your family doctor.  Sometimes it's necessary to obtain a steroid to reduce the inflammation that often accompanies this type of outer ear infection.  If you suspect you may have swimmer's ear, it's important to see your family doctor immediately to prevent the infection from becoming worse.

Prevent Swimmer's Ear!
There are two common ways to prevent an outer ear infection caused by moisture.  Visit an audiologist to have a swimmer's ear mold created that perfectly fits your ear.  This ear mold is fairly inexpensive and prevents water from entering your ear while you swim.  After you swim, dry your ears thoroughly.  Use a blow dryer on a low setting and hold it about one foot from your hear to evaporate any remaining moisture.

For more information about the causes, treatment, and prevention of swimmer's ear, visit The Mayo's Clinic website.

Picture provided courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A Premium Hearing Aid for the Budget-Minded!
The Phonak Dalia

Phonak recently announced the release of a hearing aid for the budget minded. The Phonak Dalia contains many advanced features while keeping the price affordable.

The Dalia features:
  • SoundRecover
    • This feature restores high frequency sounds that are otherwise inaudible. This improves speech understanding and the overall listening environment.
  • UltraZoom Essential
    • UltraZoom Essential improves speech intelligibility in the presence of background noise.
  • WhistleBlock
    • WhistleBlock prevents feedback/whistling before it begins.
For more information on Phonak's Dalia, click here.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Why Maintenance of Your Hearing Aids Is So Important!
Do you scratch your fingers over the microphone covers on your hearing aid to make sure they are working? CAN WE SUGGEST YOU SCRATCH YOUR HEAD INSTEAD? Moving your fingers just one half inch above the mics will prevent oil from your skin plugging the mic ports, resulting in poor hearing in noise. Why? Plugged mic ports can cause the mics to drift, resulting in inefficient noise cancellation.
Moisture checks: At check up, we are seeing some with a buildup of rust in the battery compartment. Use the dehumidifier, or, if you sweat so much your hair gets wet, ask us about electronic dehumidifiers to protect your investment. For your next hearing aids, consider the nifty Siemens waterproof Aquaris or the series of Phonak water resistant hearing aids.
After many microwavings--usually 2 or 3 years' worth, the dehumidifier capsule should be replaced in your dry spot. The capsule costs $7.00, the complete system $20.00. This is the container filled with silica gel that is apricot colored when working, and dark green when not working. Be sure it is working--we've had several calls recently about moisture issues.
Are your ears growing? Yes, indeed. Often, after a year or so, the ear canal tips that were so comfortable are now too small, resulting in feedback or whistling. Schedule an office clean and check to upgrade the fit.