We Can Help Your Hearing Loss, Allergies, and More!
How a little balloon can provide instant relief that lasts.
Are you living with recurring or persisting sinus pain and pressure?
Millions of Americans suffer from sinusitis—an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses. This swelling can prevent your sinuses from draining. Mucus and fluid buildup inside the sinuses can lead to sinus infections, more inflammation, and pain.
Sinusitis symptoms include:
- Facial congestion/fullness
- Nasal blockage
- Nasal discharge
- Dental pain
- Bad breath
For many years, patients suffering from recurring or persisting sinusitis were left with two choices:
- Manage their symptoms with ongoing rounds of medical therapy. Some patients are dissatisfied with the frequent rounds of antibiotics, steroids, and decongestants, or have difficulty tolerating the side effects of medical therapy.
- Undergo endoscopic sinus surgery to expand the sinus drainage pathways by having tissue and bone removed with small cutting instruments. Recovery can often take from 7 to 10 days.
Balloon sinus dilation offers an effective alternative for appropriate sinusitis patients who are tired of ongoing medical therapy and cannot or do not want to undergo surgery but want lasting relief with a quick recovery.
Why choose Balloon Sinus Dilation
Gently opens blocked sinuses
Balloon sinus dilation uses a small balloon to gently open and reshape your sinus drainage pathways to restore normal sinus drainage.
Instant relief that lasts
Balloon sinus dilation keeps sinus passages open, offering long-term relief from the problems associated with sinusitis. Multiple studies show patients experienced less facial pain, improved sleep, less use of antibiotics, fewer visits to their doctor, and were more able to perform day-to-day activities at home and work.
Convenient, comfortable office procedure
Balloon sinus dilation can be performed in your ENT physician’s office. A typical procedure lasts less than 45 minutes.
Quick recovery and cost-effective
Many patients resume normal activities the same day. Depending on your insurance coverage, the in-office procedure may reduce the procedure costs you pay.
How Balloon Sinus Dilation Works
We can use a local anesthesia to numb your sinus tissue and office sedation. Your physician will insert and gently inflate the balloon to dilate the treatment area. The balloon dilation expands the sinus pathways to restore drainage. After a few seconds, the balloon is deflated and removed.
Are you eligible for balloon sinus dilation?
Balloon sinus dilation is not appropriate for all patients. Contact us and see if you are a candidate today.
Prior to having surgery, a series of general screening tests may be done to make sure you are healthy for surgery. These are often conducted 1-2 weeks before the operation and may include a thorough history and physical exam and blood work. Depending on your history, you may also need an EKG, chest x-ray, and/or stress test. These tests evaluate your heart and lung function and usually do not require a hospital stay. Depending on your age and health, you may need to see your primary care doctor or a high-risk anesthesiologist for these tests.
The physicians at Cape Fear Otolaryngology, PA, specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of INHALANT allergies. Inhalant allergies may cause symptoms such as:
- Recurrent or persistent colds, cough, or difficulty breathing,
- Frequent sneezing, stuffy nose and/or runny nose,
- Recurrent or chronic sinus infections,
- Recurrent or persistent sore or swollen throat and post nasal drainage,
- Recurrent or chronic upper respiratory tract symptoms that cannot be diagnosed or treated,
- Recurrent ear infections.
Why choose an ENT Physician for your Allergy Needs?
Many times it can be difficult for a patient to know whether a problem with their sinuses is caused by an allergy, infection, structural problem, or some combination of these. An ENT Physician is trained to help sort this out, and then to treat the causes.
You may be a candidate for Allergy Skin Testing if you find that you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms:
- Sneezing, runny nose, post-nasal drip, or itching eyes.
- Chronic sinus or ear infections.
- If your symptoms are ear, nose, or throat related.
How do I get started?
You will need to make an appointment with one of our physicians to discuss Allergy Skin Testing. Once seen, a referral for testing will be sent back to the Allergy Department and you will be scheduled for an appointment. The test takes about two hours to complete. We suggest that you eat a good meal prior to testing. A follow-up appointment is then made to discuss whether or not you are a candidate for Immunotherapy.
Once your personal treatment mixture is prepared, you will receive a call from the Allergy Department and you will then begin your “Build Up Phase” to feeling better! Allergy injections are given on Mondays after 12:00pm—they are also available Tuesday through Friday (please call ahead to confirm). Plan a 20-30 minute wait time after each ‘Build Up’ injection.
When can you expect relief from your symptoms?
Typically, we’ve found that you can expect to start feeling the benefits from your immunotherapy once you have reached your personal maintenance dose. Because each patient is different and your course of treatment is based on your test results, this will vary from person to person. Your personal course of treatment will be discussed at your initial immunotherapy appointment. We at the Cape Fear Otolaryngology Allergy Department are devoted to making your course of treatment as easy as possible for you. Before you know it, you will be well on your way to a happier, symptom-free you!
Hearing is one of the five senses. It is a complex process of picking up sound and attaching meaning to it. The ability to hear is critical to understanding the world around us.
The human ear is a fully developed part of our bodies at birth and responds to sounds that are very faint as well as sounds that are very loud. Even before birth, infants respond to sound.
An audiologist has a graduate degree, has completed a clinical internship, has passed a comprehensive national standardized examination and has professional credentials. Most states also have licensure for audiologists. These credentials will help you identify the most qualified person to provide your hearing care services. There are over 10,000 audiologists in the United States who provide hearing care services, including:
- Comprehensive hearing evaluations for persons of all ages
- Selections, fitting and dispensing of hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
- Patient and family counseling about living with hearing loss
- Hearing conservation programs to prevent hearing loss
- Research and development of new evaluation techniques and rehabilitation strategies
Remember! Hearing loss may occur so gradually that one may not be aware that it is happening. The first step in the identification of hearing loss is a comprehensive hearing evaluation by your local audiologist!
How We Hear
Our ears are divided into three sections: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Each section moves and processes sound in its own way. The outer ear feeds sound through the ear canal to the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. These vibrations affect the three little bones inside the middle ear (malleus, incus, stapes), causing them to move. That movement travels into the fluid and tiny hairs of the inner ear (cochlea). These hairs convert movement into auditory signals, which are then transmitted to the brain to register sound.
Do I have hearing loss?
Hearing loss can be caused by many different things and manifest in unique ways.
- It can be sudden or gradual.
- It can occur in one ear or both ears.
- It can be temporary or permanent.
The truth is that hearing loss happens to people of all ages and is associated with the aging process. Before discussing causes and treatments for hearing loss, it is important to understand how hearing works.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Hearing loss occurs when sound is blocked in any of the three areas of the ear. One of the most common causes of hearing loss is exposure to loud noises. However, infections, both of the ear or elsewhere in the body, can also cause hearing loss.
- Hearing Loss In the Outer Ear: Earwax build-up, infections and swelling, a growth in the ear canal, injury, or birth defects.
- Hearing Loss In the Middle Ear: Fluid build-up as well as tumors (both benign and malignant).
- Hearing Loss In the Inner Ear: Aging diminishes hearing due to damage to the cochlea, vestibular labyrinth, or the acoustic nerve. Additionally, hearing loss can be caused by inner ear infections, Meniere’s disease, and other nerve-related problems.
Other causes of hearing loss include:
- Presbycusis: Age-related hearing loss.
- Heredity and Genetic Causes: There are a wide variety of diseases and syndromes that are either genetic or hereditary that can cause hearing loss. Some, like rubella (German measles) occur when a pregnant mother has the disease, which causes hearing loss in the baby. Other, rarer types of hereditary and genetic causes include CHARGE Syndrome, Connexin 26 disorder, Goldenhar Syndrome, Treacher Collins Syndrome, Usher Syndrome, Waardenburg Syndrome and otosclerosis (growth of spongy bone tissue in the middle ear).
Most causes of outer ear hearing loss can be remedied, but problems of the middle and inner ear can lead to permanent hearing loss. This is why it is important to seek medical attention quickly if you are experiencing a problem.
Types of Hearing Aids
In addition to comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluations, Cape Fear Otolaryngology Audiology department provides a full range of hearing aid services. We are proud to offer the most recent advances in hearing aid technology, as well as a wide variety of custom ear mold products. All of our audiologists have a doctorate in audiology and are licensed and certified to dispense hearing aids.
Three Important Questions to Ask Before Purchasing Hearing Aids
Q1: Are you an audiologist or a hearing aid dispenser?
Answer: Both types of professionals can evaluate your hearing and fit hearing aids, but their training varies significantly. Audiologists must have a doctoral or master’s degree, pass national and state exams, and have more than 1000 hours of clinical training before they graduate. Hearing Instruments Specialists generally have from 6 months to 2 years of supervised training or a two-year college degree and in some states must pass a licensing test. All of our providers that specialize in hearing aids are audiologists.
Q2: Do you offer a trial period?
Answer: Yes. We offer a seventy-five day trial period with several post-fitting check-ups during the 75-day period.
Q3: Is your office affiliated with an ear doctor?
Answer: Going to a medical practice allows for a thorough evaluation and having a physician’s evaluation can rule out medical conditions that might be affecting your hearing. At CFO, we have highly qualified Otolaryngologists that work closely with our audiologists to ensure a thorough evaluation.
Size and Style of Hearing Aids
There is technology today for every type of hearing loss and budget, with many sizes, styles, prices and colors available.
- Behind-The-Ear-Models (BTE)
- Miniature Behind-The-Ear (Mini-BTE)
- In-The-Ear Models (lTE)
- In-The-Canal (lTC)
- Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC)
Behind-The-Ear hearing aids are the most flexible hearing aids available and cover the greatest range of hearing loss. Your Audiologist will make a custom ear mold of your ear canal which will then be attached to the hearing aid that wraps around the back of your ear.
Miniature Behind-The-Ear (Mini-BTE)
The Mini-BTE is a smaller more concealed version of the BTE. It has grown in its popularity due to its ability to go unnoticed in the ear canal. This device comes in a variety of shapes and colors. This type of device does not need to be custom made.
The In-The-Ear (ITE) hearing aids are custom-made to fit in the outer part of your ear. There are no visible wires or tubes and they are very light in weight. This device is more suitable for those with dexterity issues.
The In-The-Canal (ITC) is less visible than the ITE style. This style is small and lightweight.
The Completely-In-The-Canal (CIC) technology fits deep into the ear canal and is the least visible of all the hearing aid technology.
The CROS/BICROS system comes in a BTE style or ITE Style.
All custom molds are fitted by state-licensed audiologists. An exact impression of your ear is taken and sent to the manufacturer with your ordering specifications. Typical turn around time for these custom ear pieces will take 2-3 weeks. Custom earpieces can be designed for use with bud/button style stereo headphones such as today’s iPods and iPhone usage.
- Custom earpieces are a great choice for those with hard to fit ears and can offer a superior seal for particular anatomies
- Custom earpieces are made to order and offer virtually unlimited customization options
- 2-3 week turn around time for your custom earpiece
- Ear Molds come in a wide range of color options
If you are interested in a custom ear mold and would like to schedule a consultation with an audiologist, please contact our office today!
Common procedures performed at the Surgery Center include:
- Ear Tube Placement
- Neck Surgery
- Septoplasty and Turbinoplasty
- Sinus Surgery
- Tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy
Cape Fear Otolaryngology specializes in the diagnosis and surgical management of thyroid and parathyroid disorders.
Our physicians utilize the most current minimally invasive surgical techniques that allow for the optimal treatment of these disorders while minimizing scarring. Most of these procedures can be safely performed in the outpatient setting and do not require overnight hospitalization.
The conditions treated most commonly include thyroid nodules, enlarged thyroid glands, multinodular goiters, thyroid cancer, and hyperparathyroidism.
PLEASE ASK your doctor or surgeon BEFORE stopping or changing any of your medications. Medication Guidelines Prior to Surgery: Certain medications may need to be stopped before surgery. Please consult your surgeon or primary care physician before stopping any of your prescribed medications.
Day Before Surgery
The day before surgery, you will receive a call the evening before your surgery to let you know what time to arrive. You will be asked to come to the hospital at least two hours before your scheduled surgery time. As a general rule, you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the night before surgery. Most often you can take your routine medications with a sip of water. Medication guidelines prior to surgery will be discussed at your pre-operative visit.
Approximately 1-2 weeks following surgery, you will return to the clinic to meet with your surgeon. At this time you will also meet with a nurse or nurse practitioner who will review instructions regarding care for your surgery
Pediatric Otolaryngology: diseases in children with special ENT problems including birth defects in the head and neck and developmental delays. Examples: ear infection (otitis media), tonsil and adenoid infection, airway problems, Down’s syndrome, asthma and allergy/sinus disease
To discover how we can help you, call (910) 323-9222 to talk to our staff and set up an appointment.