EAR CARE

John R. Bennett, MD
801-328-2522
1255 East 3900 South #301, Millcreek, Utah 84124
756 East 12200 South, Draper, Utah 84020 22 South 900 East, Salt Lake City, Utah 84102

Updated 7/4/17

EAR CARE

Generally speaking, the ears are designed to take care of themselves. Ear wax is only made in the outer 1/3 of the ear canal, and it naturally drifts outwards, where it dries and flakes at the opening to the ear. Q-tips should only be used at the openings of the ears, and in a circular motion. Never push the Q-tip deep into the ear canal, as this only pushes the wax deep, and the Q-tip becomes a ‘ramrod’. Do not allow bath water or shower water into the ears, as this irritates the ear lining. If the ear does become packed with wax, you can purchase ear wax softening drops, such as Debrox, to soften and partially dissolve the wax. Most kits also come with irrigation to flush out the ear after softening the wax. This may get rid of smaller particles of wax, but is unlikely to get rid of large cerumen impactions. When the ear gets plugged with wax, please make an appointment with us, and let us clean out the ear in the office. As we age, the wax gets thicker, and it is harder for the wax to come out on its own, especially for men who grow more hair in their ear canals as they age. Some people need to come in every year or so for ear cleaning.

Itchy ears are usually caused by fungal and bacterial growth in the ear canal, but can also sometimes be caused by allergies. White vinegar is a weak acid that, mixed 50:50 with water in an empty dropper bottle (available at drug stones), destroys most fungal and bacterial growth in the ears. Several drops of half-strength vinegar several times a day in the ears takes care of most itchy ears. If your ear is moist and itchy, mix vinegar 50:50 with rubbing alcohol. This will take care of the itch, and also dries out the ear. Hydrogen peroxide to dissolve wax can also be mixed with the vinegar and alcohol, giving you an inexpensive home-made treatment that gets rid of the itch, dries the ears, and dissolves wax.

Swimmer’s Ear is an infection of the ear canal. Although a moist ear is more likely to become infected, the main culprit in Swimmer’s Ear is actually Q-tips, which can rough up the delicate skin of the ear canal, and other attempts to scratch the ear canal. The ear canal skin is paper thin and right over bone, and even scratching with a Q-tip causes enough trauma to allow the fungus and bacteria normally in our ear canals to get under the skin of the ear canal, causing Swimmer’s Ear, also known as otitis externa. Caught early, the home-made drops of vinegar and alcohol may correct it, but people often need prescription antibiotic drops. The infection can get so swollen and painful, that sometimes a sponge wick needs to be placed in the ear canal for several days to allow the antibiotic drops to reach all the way in.

Another risk of putting Q-tips and bobby pins into the ear is that you may traumatize the ear drum, or even poke a hole right through the ear drum. This is of course exceedingly painful, and often occurs when someone is cleaning their ear with a Q-tip, and someone else opens the bathroom door and bumps into you, driving the Q-tip through the ear drum. This hole will sometime heal on its own, but we may have to perform a surgery to fix the perforation.

Eustachian tube dysfunction is common in early childhood, but can occur in adults, particularly with the onset of a cold or allergies. The Eustachian tube connects the back of the nose to the air-filled middle ear space, behind the ear drum. The Eustachian tube is normally closed, and the air in the middle ear space is slowly absorbed by the surrounding tissue. Within several hours, a vacuum forms in the middle ear, stretching and pulling in the ear drum. Most of the time, we subconsciously yawn when we feel this. The yawn tugs on the muscles of the Eustachian tube, allowing air to rush back up the Eustachian tube, giving a gentle pop. We do this every several hours our entire life, and most of us don’t even realize we are doing it. If the Eustachian tube becomes blocked with a cold, hay fever, etc., a simple yawn may not open the ear. In this situation, we should perform a valsalva: close the mouth, pinch the nose, and puff the cheeks out. If the ears still don’t pop, continue puffing the cheeks out, but jut out the chin, and wriggle the jaw side-to-side. Keep trying. Consider over-the-counter nasal sprays such as Afrin, Sudafed pills, and nasal steroid sprays (Nasacort, Rhinocort, Flonase) to decongest the nose and the Eustachian tubes. Try again to pop the ears. If you are unable to pop the ears for several days, then fluid can collect behind the ear drum, and bacteria could grow in this, causing a painful middle ear infection, or otitis media. At this point you will need to go see your doctor.

Please wear hearing protection around loud noises such as concerts, mowing the lawn, and other machinery. If you are around very loud noises such as gun fire, consider using double protection, with ear plugs AND ear muffs. Even a single loud noise close to the ears can cause permanent hearing loss. Once you have lost some of your hearing, it is gone forever. The noise damage is cumulative, and often the effects are not seen until many years later. Protect your hearing, as you will need your ears for the rest of your life!

The first range of hearing loss that most people experience is the high frequency, where the consonant sounds of ‘th,’ ‘f,’ ‘s,’ and ‘k’ are. Most people’s first realization of their hearing loss is in a loud restaurant, and the consonant sounds of the person across the table are washed out by the background noise. You often will still hear the vowel sounds, and it will sound like the other person is mumbling. Please schedule a hearing test if you have noticed hearing loss when there is lots of background noise. We recommend a baseline hearing test at the age of 50.

People with hearing loss, who do not get hearing aids, find they often stop going to social events they used to enjoy, as it is too frustrating for them and the people around them. This leads to loneliness and depression. Recent evidence from Johns Hopkins also shows that people with uncorrected hearing loss are more likely to suffer from dementia, probably from decreased brain stimulation of conversation. The nerve of hearing is a “use it or lose it” nerve, meaning if you wait a long time to get hearing aids, you may lose some of the hearing pathways in the brain that allow you to understand speech. In this case, you might get hearing aids that are turned up high enough to hear the words, but the brain may have lost the ability to understand what you are hearing. Hearing aids would then be much less satisfying. Do not delay getting hearing aids when you need them. When your family says you need hearing aids, they are usually right! Hearing aids are constantly getting better and better. The hearing aids of today are dramatically better than the hearing aids of 5-10 years ago. Our Audiologists have better selection, service, and prices of hearing aids than anyone else in town, work closely with our Physicians, and they will let you try out the hearing aids for a month for free.

When you lose hearing, the brain replaces the missing sound with a ringing or buzzing noise, called tinnitus. Tinnitus does not cause hearing loss. Hearing loss often causes the phantom signal or noise of tinnitus. Many medicines can cause tinnitus, especially Aspirin and other anti-inflammatories. Nicotine and caffeine also can cause tinnitus. Anyone with tinnitus should have a hearing test. The vast majority of tinnitus is completely benign, but some tinnitus can be a sign of a more serious problem, especially one sided tinnitus, rapidly worsening tinnitus, tinnitus with dizziness or any other nerve change, or the sound of your heart beating or fluid pulsing through the ear. These require a careful work up by your Physician. Tinnitus is best dealt with by avoiding complete silence, especially when trying to go to sleep at night. Having the soft noise of a fan, or an alarm clock set to ‘ocean waves’ or ‘mountain stream’ can be quite helpful. There are a number of herbal and vitamin therapies available on line, but these have not been proven to be very helpful, and most tinnitus tends to come and go over time, anyhow. Melatonin and antidepressants have been shown to help people with tinnitus fall asleep better, but their side effects prevent most people from staying on them. Tinnitus training devices or ‘masking’ devices can be built into a hearing aid, or can be purchased from our Audiologists separately. There are also ‘apps’ on smart phones that train you not to notice the tinnitus as much.

Please call Dr. Bennett at 801-328-2522 if you have any questions, problems, or concerns.

Ear Hygiene

Swimmer's ear fungal infection

By: Megan Evans

What causes Swimmer’s ear?

 

Swimmer’s ear (otitis externa) is inflammation caused by water or other substances entering the ear canal.  Debris and water interferes with the lipid layer, a protective coating of the ear. Once the lipid layer is irritated, infection may occur. It is important not to scratch inside your ear because the lipid layer protects the skin, assists in cleaning and lubrication, and also provides some protection from bacteria, fungi, insects and water.

For instance, ear wax (cerumen) is known to reduce the viability of a wide range of bacteria, including Haemophilus influenzae, Staphylococcus aureus, and many variants of Escherichia coli, sometimes by as much as 99%. If you already have swimmer’s ear, avoid getting water in your ear for 5-7 days or until your symptoms clear.

How to prevent Swimmer’s ear:

  • Wear earplugs or a silicone ear cap when swimming and when showering.
  • Avoid getting any type of debris in your ear. Debris such as soap and shampoo may also cause irritation.
  • If your ears are sensitive, opt for external head phones so that you don’t irritate your ear canal.
  • Impacted ear canals can also increase your chance of getting an ear infection.
  • Do not put any sharp objects in your ear and avoid using a Q-tip. Instead, opt for over-the-counter ear cleaning kits or an ear wax vacuum.

How to clean your ear:

Tilt your head to the side and insert a few drops of rubbing alcohol, which will absorb excess water and kill bacteria and fungi. Hold your head to the side for several minutes so that the rubbing alcohol can thoroughly clean your ear. If rubbing alcohol is too harsh, try a 50:50 mixture with white vinegar. Acetic acid, an organic compound found in vinegar, will also kill bacteria and fungi.  

Caution: Consult your doctor prior to using this mixture if you have had ear surgery, an ear infection, or a perforated, ruptured, or punctured eardrum.

 

 

 

Audiology for ringing in ears

Ringing in the Ears: New Guidelines from AAO-HNS

Whether it started with that rock concert that got a little too loud or the excruciating pop in the wood shop years ago, many of us have persistent ringing in the ears from time to time.

More than 50 million Americans suffer from tinnitus, or the perception of sound without an external source. Experts say it’s the most common service-related disability among U.S. military veterans. Yet many people remain unsure what can be done about it.

The nation’s largest group of ear, nose and throat specialists, the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery, has come out with new guidelines for treating the condition, based on the latest research.

The group says many cases are minor or go away on their own, but about 20 percent of patients need some type of medical intervention.

A good place to begin is a targeted history and physical exam, which you can do with the specialists at the ENT Center of Utah. This may include a hearing test when it is appropriate. Patients who also suffer from hearing loss may benefit from a hearing aid evaluation.Most patients will learn that there are plenty of methods to handle the annoying condition.

The Academy recommends against routine scans and MRIs to diagnose the condition the guidelines discourage the use of medications such as antidepressants and anticonvulsants. Some tinnitus sufferers have found relief from natural supplements but the panel also recommended against dietary supplements such as Ginkgo biloba, melatonin and zinc, or the use of a technique called transcranial magnetic stimulation, which involves the use of magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain.

The guidelines are neutral on the effects of acupuncture for treating tinnitus, neither recommending nor warning against this popular form of alternative medicine.

While it falls short of a cure, doctors say patients with persistent, bothersome tinnitus may benefit from learning about strategies for managing their condition, and from cognitive behavioral therapy to help them cope.

man on plane

Do Your Ears Hurt when Flying?

Many people who don’t normally fly are taking trips for summer vacation during the next few months. For some, an trip via air translates to uncomfortable ear pain. It varies from person to person but usually is most noticeable when the plane descends to land. The pain is worse the lower the aircraft descends in elevation and can be quite acute on landing.

The pain is caused by unequal pressure that develops between the air that is trapped in the middle ear and the air outside the ear. This air space is connected to the back of the nose by a tiny channel called the Eustachian tube. The air on either side of the eardrum should be at the same pressure. As a plane descends the air pressure becomes as you get ready to hit the tarmac. This pushes the eardrum inwards which can be painful. To relieve this, the pressure inside the middle ear has to rise quickly too. Air needs to travel up the Eustachian tube into the middle ear to equalise the pressure.

The Eustachian tube is normally closed but opens from time to time when we swallow, yawn or chew. In most people, just normal swallowing and chewing quickly cause air to travel up the Eustachian tube to equalize the pressure. Many passengers choose to crew gum or suck on hard candy when taking off or coming in for a landing.

However, the Eustachian tube in some people does not open as easily and so the pressure may not be evened so quickly. Consider that some people may have a narrow Eustachian tube than normal and some have conditions — like a cold, infection or hayfever — that causes a blockage to the Eustachian tube. For those passengers, the air can’t travel up the tube quickly enough. Ideally, anyone with a cold, respiratory infection, or ear infection should not fly. However, not many people will cancel their airplane trips for this reason. but, come on, who wants to let a little cold ruin a week or two of fun at some exotic locale.

Here are some tips to alleviate possible ear pain:

  • Suck on hard candy when the plane begins to descend. Air is more likely to flow up the Eustachian tube if you swallow, yawn or chew. For babies, it is a good idea to feed them or give them a bottle upon descent to encourage them to swallow.
  • Breathing Technique Breathe in deeply and try to breathe out gently with your mouth closed while pinching your nose. This way, no air is blown out your mouth while you are gently pushing air into the Eustachian tube. If you do this you may feel your ears go ‘pop’ as air is pushed into the middle ear. This often cures the problem. Repeat this every few minutes until landing or whenever you feel any discomfort in the ear.
  • Do not sleep when the plane is descending to land. If you are extra-tired, ask the flight attendant to wake you when the plane starts to descend. Alert passengers can make sure to try techniques like the sucking or breathing ideas above, and thereby encourage air to get into the middle ear.

What if you have tried all of those tips and you still get pain in the ear while flying?

  • Antihistamine. Take the recommended dose the day before and the day of travel. This may help to limit the amount of mucus that you make. Mucus often blocks the inner ear tubes.
  • A decongestant nasal spray can dry up the mucus in the nose. Try and find one with xylometazoline, like Otrivin. Spray the nose about one hour before the expected time of descent. Spray again five minutes later. Then spray every 20 minutes until landing.
  • Air pressure regulating ear plugs. These are cheap, reusable ear plugs, such as EarPlanes, that are often sold at airports and in many pharmacies. These ear plugs slow the rate of air pressure change on the eardrum. Basically, you put them in before the door of the aircraft is shut. Some people then wear them for the entire flight. Some people take them out when the plane reaches cruising height, and then place them in again just before the plane starts to descend to land.

If the all of these measures fail, rest assured that the pain normally goes away quickly. If not, you can take over-the-counter pain medicine. Fluid sometimes accumulates in the middle ear for a few days after the flight, which may make hearing rather dull for a while. But if it doesn’t soon subside, please see one of our doctors to get treatment.

ENT patient after otoplasty

Otoplasty Photos: Before and After

Otoplasty is a surgical procedure for correcting the deformities or defects of the external ear and for reconstructing ears that are defective, deformed, or absent as a result of congenital conditions or trauma.  The otoplastic surgeon corrects the defect or deformity by creating an external ear that is of natural proportions, contour, and appearance. This is usually achieved by reshaping, moving, and augmenting the cartilage in the ear.

Patient #1

This patient was born with prominent and uneven ears.  He was teased frequently at school.  For his procedure, the excess cartilage was removed.  A natural looking antihelical fold was then created, and the ears were set back closer to the head, giving him a natural look. He and his family are very pleased with the results.

Before
After

Patient #2

This patient was born with one normal ear and one ‘lop’ ear.  She also had been teased extensively, and had gone to great lengths to carefully keep the ear covered by her hair at all times.  During her procedure the excess cartilage was removed and an antihelical fold was created to set the ear back against her head.  The ear is now a little small, but normal looking, and she has the confidence to wear her hair pulled back.

Before
After

Ear, Nose and Throat Videos

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center offers a wide range of videos about common ear, nose and throat problems. Click to learn about:

  • How Your Ear Works
  • Tinnitus
  • Signs of Hearing Loss
  • How to Choose the Right Hearing Aid
  • More

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5 Facts about Swimmer’s Ear You Need to Know

As temperatures heat up, so do cases of swimmer’s ear (otitis externa)—a painful condition that increases during summer months as kids spend hours in the pool.
Our Utah ear, nose and throat doctors treat swimmer’s ear cases year round. But we typically see a spike during the summer. Today we’re answering 5 questions about swimmer’s ear.

1. What is Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear is an outer-ear infection. That’s an important distinction since inner-ear infections are more common. We typically see swimmer’s ear in patients who regularly swim—usually a few days after swimming in a pool.

But you don’t have to swim to get swimmer’s ear. Water trapped in the ear canal is the cause of the infection. When water gets trapped in the ear canal, bacteria can multiply within the ear and that causes infection and irritation. If the infection progresses it may involve the outer ear and cause pain. That means any water in the ear can cause infection and it’s possible to get swimmer’s ear without ever swimming in a pool. You may contract the infection after bathing or showering, too.

2. What are Swimmer’s Ear Symptoms?

Like most infections, pain or discomfort is the most obvious symptom. In the case of swimmer’s ear, that pain can be mild to moderate or even intense and radiate to your neck, face or side of your head. If you tug on your ear (pull it downward) and pain intensifies, you may have swimmer’s ear.

Other symptoms of swimmer’s ear include an itchy ear, a feeling or sensation that your ear is clogged, fever, decrease in hearing and swollen lymph nodes.

Here is a quick way you can tell if you have swimmer’s ear or an inner-ear infection: wiggle the outside of your ear. If it’s painful, you may have swimmer’s ear. If it doesn’t hurt, you more likely have an inner-ear infection.

If you notice any of these symptoms, we recommend you contact a Draper ENT doctor or our ENT doctors in Salt Lake City to set up an appointment to diagnose and treat your infection.

3. Is Swimmer’s Ear Infectious?

The short answer is: no. Swimmer’s ear is an infection but not infectious.

You can’t “catch” swimmer’s ear from another person. If you or one of your children is diagnosed with swimmer’s ear, you don’t need to quarantine that person. Just make sure they keep their ears dry and follow your doctor’s recommendation to treat swimmer’s ear.

The bacteria that leads to swimmer’s ear is often found in public pools. Polluted waters are another common source of swimmer’s ear and, as you might expect, we don’t recommend people swim in polluted waters—ever.

4. How Do You Treat Swimmer’s Ear?

Once our ENT doctors diagnose swimmer’s ear, we quickly move into treating swimmer’s ear. Antibiotic eardrops are the most common way to cure swimmer’s ear. If swimmer’s ear is in the early stages, we may recommend careful cleaning of the ear canal and use of eardrops. If the swimmer’s ear infection is severe—and the patient doesn’t have a perforated eardrum—your ENT doctor may prescribe antibiotics. If the ear canal is swollen shut, your otolaryngologist (that’s the official name for an ENT doctor) may place a sponge or wick in the ear canal to help ensure the eardrops are effective in eliminating the infection. We may also prescribe pain medications.

Although you can purchase over-the-counter swimmer’s ear eardrops, we urge you to contact an ENT doctor and allow them to prescribe the best treatment plan. In some cases, the eardrops may inflame the condition rather than help it.

5. How Can I Prevent Swimmer’s Ear?

Swimmer’s ear prevention is fairly easy but not always an attractive option for children. The best advice is to keep ears as dry as possible. That means a swim cap or fitted ear plugs will help avoid swimmer’s ear infections.

But let’s be honest here; unless your child is a member of the swim team, he or she has no desire to wear a swim cap or ear plugs all summer. That’s why we recommend our patients thoroughly dry their ears after swimming or showering. The less moisture in your ear, the better. And be sure to leave some earwax since it helps prevent swimmer’s ear.

Contact Us for Swimmer’s Ear Treatment

Our Utah Ear, Nose and Throat doctors are ready to diagnose and treat swimmer’s ear. Contact us at 801-328-2522 today to set an appointment with our ENT doctors in Draper, Utah and Salt Lake City.

Q&A about Ear Tube Surgery

More than 75 percent of children will have at least one ear infection before they are three years old. These middle-ear infections are known as otis media and though the inner- infections are fairly easy to treat with antibiotics, ear tube surgery (also known as myringotomy or bilateral myringotomy) is often necessary.

Read: 5 Facts about Ear Tube Surgery and Ear Infections

Dr. Matthew Dahl of the Ear, Nose and Throat Center regularly performs ear tube surgery in Utah. Ear tube surgery is a routine procedure and since so many parents have questions about otis media and ear tube surgery, we sat down with Dr. Dahl to ask 5 Questions about Ear Tube Surgery.

Question #1: Is there a minimum age for ear tubes?

Dr. Dahl’s answer: No, there is not a minimum age for pressure equalization tube placement. The decision to place ear tubes is not based on age, but more on other indications that can be diagnosed by an ear, nose and throat doctor.

Question #2: What are common ear tube symptoms or indications?

Dr. Dahl’s answer: Some of the common indications for ear tubes are:

  1. Fluid persisting within the ear for 3 months or more
  2. Recurrent ear infections (more than 3 episodes in 6 months or more than 4 episodes in 12 months)
  3. Poor response to antibiotics
  4. Fluid in the middle ear space or recurrent infections that affect hearing, often resulting in temporary hearing loss and/or delayed speech development
  5. Complications of ear infections such as mastoiditis or meningitis
  6. Chronic retraction of the tympanic membrane, which means the ear drum temporarily shrinks
  7. Abnormal anatomy such as in children with Down’s syndrome, cleft palate or other craniofacial abnormalities

Read: Ear Tube and Other Ear Surgery

Questions #3: How long do ear tubes remain in the ear?

Dr. Dahl’s answer: There are two basic types of ear tubes: short-term and long-term ear tubes. Short-term tubes are smaller and typically stay in place for six months to a year before falling out on their own. Long-term tubes may fall out on their own, but are most often removed by an otolaryngologist after a year or more.

Question #4: Can my child go swimming after ear tube surgery?

Dr. Dahl’s answer: Some physicians may recommend keeping ears dry by using ear plugs or other water-tight devices during bathing, swimming, and water activities. However, recent research suggests that protecting the ear may not be necessary, except when participating in water activities in unclean water such as oceans, lakes and rivers. Parents should consult with an ENT doctor about ear protection after surgery.

Question #5: What are the ear tube surgery risks?

Dr. Dahl’s answer: The insertion of ear tubes is an extremely common and safe procedure with minimal risks. When complications do occur, they may include:
Perforation — Perforation may occur when a tube comes out or a long-term tube is removed and the hole in the tympanic membrane (ear drum) does not close. The hole can often be patched through a minor surgical procedure called a tympanoplasty or myringoplasty.
Scarring — Any irritation of the ear drum, including repeated insertion of ear tubes, can cause scarring called tympanosclerosis or myringosclerosis. In most cases, this does not cause problems with hearing.
Infection — Ear infections can still occur in the middle ear or around the ear tube. These infections are usually less frequent, result in less hearing loss, and are easier to treat than ear infections without tubes in place.
Ear tubes come out too early or stay in too long — If an ear tube expels from the ear drum too soon (which is unpredictable), fluid may return and repeat surgery may be needed. Ear tubes that remain too long may require removal by the otolaryngologist to help reduce the chance of perforation.”

Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center for Ear Tube Questions

Dr. Dahl and our entire staff of Salt Lake City ENT doctors are ready to help diagnose and treat ear infections and perform ear tube surgery when necessary. Call 801-328-2522 with questions.

Dr. Matthew Dahl of the Ear, Nose and Throat Center in Salt Lake City, Utah
Dr. Matthew E. Dahl joined the Ear, Nose & Throat Center in 2009. He is a general pediatric and adult otolaryngologist.


Man with hearing loss

Prevent Hearing Loss

It’s easy to assume that hearing loss applies to everyone beside yourself. You may look at your grandparents and notice signs of deafness and figure, “That’s not me. I’m young and my ears are healthy.”

You may look at construction workers who use loud equipment without using ear protection and assume, “I’m safe, I work at a desk.”

You may constantly have music playing in your ears on an iPhone, iPod or cell phone and assume your hearing is safe because you tell yourself, “I never listen to music too loudly on my ear buds.”

The truth is, we’re all at risk of hearing loss if we don’t protect our ears and hearing. In fact, one in 10 Americans suffer from hearing loss. That’s because there are so many causes of hearing loss.

Read: 8 Signs You Suffer From Hearing Loss

The House of Hearing logoThe good news is that you can avoid hearing loss by following these 5 easy tips from the experts at The House of Hearing. If you didn’t know already, the House of Hearing is our sister company that features a staff of hearing experts who can diagnose and treat hearing problems.

VISIT: The House of Hearing

1. Avoid Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noises

A loud noise is a loud noise, whether it’s the pounding of a jackhammer or drums, the wailing of an electric guitar or listening to music on headphones. The longer you listen without giving your ears a break from the noise, the greater the chance for damage. Take our advice and limit the amount of time you expose yourself to loud noises.

2. Use Earplugs or Earmuffs when Exposed to Loud Noises

There is nothing macho or smart about performing loud work without using earplugs or earmuffs. Mowing the lawn, working in an industrial plant, lighting fireworks, shooting guns or playing in a rock ‘n’ roll band are all activities where it makes good sense to use earplugs and earmuffs. Earplugs are inexpensive and fit within your ear to reduce noise. Earmuffs are often more expensive and surround your entire ear. However, they are often most effective at reducing noise. Try both to see which works best for your needs.

3. Turn the Volume Down

At the risk of sounding like a parent who always implored you to “turn down that music,” there was a great deal of wisdom in that request. Louder simply isn’t better. In fact, music often sounds distorted when it becomes too loud and actually sounds superior at lower levels that don’t harm your ears. Lower the volume on your TV, stereo, iPhone. Your ears will thank you now—and in the future.

4. Use Noise-Reducing Headphones

You’ve probably seen people on airplanes with Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones. Frequent flyers know why these headphones are so popular: it’s because noise-reducing headphones work really well to reduce ambient noise. For instance, by reducing the constant rumble during a flight, you can listen to music on your headphones at a lower and more comfortable volume. The same applies for mowing the lawn or using power tools. You can listen to music with loud noise all around you without having to push the volume to ear-shattering levels. Noice-cancelling headphones may seem expensive but may turn out to be invaluable in helping protect your ears from hearing loss.

5. Get Regular Hearing Checkups

If you notice your hearing changing, see an audiologist. You may notice it’s more difficult to hear phone calls or that people around you regularly ask you to turn down the music or TV. Take care of your ears with good practices and regular hearing checkups from an audiologist and your ears will take good care of you throughout your life.

Set an Appointment with a House of Hearing Audiologist

Our professional audiologists treat people daily in Salt Lake City, Draper, Park City and other parts of Utah for hearing loss. We can pinpoint signs of deafness and help prevent hearing loss. Contact the Ear, Nose and Throat Center at 801-657-4175 to set an appointment today. Or schedule your hearing appointment online.

 

 

 

 

Aetna logo

We Accept Aetna Insurance

Exciting news for our patients along the Wasatch Front: the Ear, Nose & Throat Center now accepts Aetna health insurance. This is big news because many people in Utah who seek the services of an ENT doctor are covered by Aetna health insurance as part of a corporate or personal health plan.

“The Ear, Nose and Throat Center is proud to accept Aetna insurance,” said Dr. Steven Miller of the Ear, Nose and Throat Center of Salt Lake City. “With more than 100,000 Aetna subscribers in Utah, we wanted to ensure that all of our ENT doctors accept Aetna health insurance. It’s one more way we can make sure our patients have access to the health care and services they need.”

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center has offices on both ends of the Salt Lake valley. Our original office is located in downtown Salt Lake City on 900 East and 22 South. But many patients visit our ENT office in Draper that is located at 12200 South and 756 East. And the practice also operates an office in Park City located at 1820 Sidewinder Drive.

View: ENT Center locations

The Ear, Nose and Throat Center already accepts health insurance from most major providers, including United Health Care, Humana, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many others.

“Adding Aetna insurance coverage to the wide range of health insurance carriers we already accept is an important development in our practice,” said Dr. Miller. “More coverage and more options is better for everyone.”

View: List of Accepted Health Care Plans

Meet Our ENT Doctors in Utah

The seven board-certified Utah ENT doctors listed below now all accept Aetna insurance and are committed to providing excellent care.

About the Ear, Nose and Throat Center

The Ear, Nose & Throat Center has served patients across Salt Lake City, Sandy, Draper and Park City since 1968. We’re dedicated to providing outstanding care that promotes and maintains your good health. Our board-certified physicians and staff work closely with patients to diagnose, prevent and treat adult and pediatric ear, nose and throat disorders. We also provide a wide array of services for pediatric and adult patients.

Call us at 801-328-2522 to set an appointment today with an ENT doctor in Salt Lake City and Draper, Utah.