Communication is an important aspect of our everyday lives, and most people use their voices frequently to communicate throughout their waking hours. However, when hoarseness strikes, it can be an uncomfortable and embarrassing roadblock to communication. Dr. Giulio Cavalli, your ENT doctor in Pittsfield, MA, sees many patients who are dealing with this common issue, and he's outlined some of the ways he helps them prevent hoarseness from becoming a problem.
What is hoarseness?
Patients in Pittsfield with hoarseness may speak very quietly or in a raspy or strained-sounding tone. This is usually due to an irritation of the voice box, or larynx, or the structures that make it up. This is often due to overuse of the voice, particularly if you've had to yell or sing for a long period. It's also a common issue that tends to happen toward the end of a cold or flu. People with chronic conditions like allergies, thyroid disorders, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are also prone to hoarseness. While the majority of reasons for hoarseness are not particularly serious, it is occasionally a symptom of cancer of the larynx or surrounding structures.
How do I prevent hoarseness?
If your Pittsfield ENT has diagnosed you with one of the conditions that lead to hoarseness, you may be wondering how to keep it at bay. Here are a few tips to get ahead of your hoarse voice:
- Nip bad habits in the bud. As you know, quitting smoking has a positive bearing on every part of your health. Committing to quitting smoking can greatly improve hoarseness.
- Stay hydrated. Keep your throat (and the rest of your body) well-watered. Sip on water throughout the day to maintain moisture. Drinks that contain alcohol or caffeine can have the opposite effect on your body and should be enjoyed in moderation.
- Introduce humidity. Consider running a humidifier in your home, particularly if your heat or air conditioner runs constantly. These appliances help regulate the temperature, but can also dry the environment out. A humidifier releases a small amount of moisture into the air which can offset the dryness and keep your hoarseness under control.
If your voice is hoarse for longer than two weeks, a call to your Pittsfield MA otolaryngologist for an evaluation is a good idea. Contact the office of Dr. Giulio Cavalli at (413) 443-6116 to set up an appointment today!
The Hearing Loss Association of America estimates that about 20% of adults suffer from some degree of hearing loss. By the time they are 65, about one-third of people suffer from hearing loss. Since the condition usually worsens gradually over time, you may not recognize the signs of hearing loss as they occur. However, you can determine if you are in need of a hearing aid with Giulio Cavalli in Pittsfield, MA!
Do I need a hearing aid?
While many people do not realize their hearing loss at first, there are some warning signs which are characteristic of hearing loss. Some of the early symptoms may include:
- Feeling as though others are mumbling more often than not
- Difficulty hearing the other person during phone calls
- Difficulty having a conversation in crowded places, like events or restaurants
- Others tell you that TV or radio is very loud when you feel as though it is at a normal volume
- You often find yourself asking others to repeat things during conversations whether in-person or over the phone
If you find one or more of these symptoms to be true, you may benefit from a hearing aid.
How can a hearing aid benefit me?
Hearing aids are the most common treatment for hearing loss. The basic function of a hearing aid is to take in outside sounds through a microphone then amplify them into the ear. While most aids function the same way, they come in a variety of styles. You can choose a more affordable hearing aid that may fit over and around the back of your ear or aid which is completely invisible and lies within your ear canal. Your doctor can help you determine which style of hearing aid is best for you and your condition.
Hearing Tests in Pittsfield, MA
A hearing test is your best source of diagnosing the degree of your hearing loss. During your test, you will wear a pair of headphones that will transmit sounds at different frequencies to your ears. Your doctor will assess your hearing loss by having you acknowledge each sound and which side of the headphones it came from.
For more information on hearing aids, please contact your ear, nose, and throat doctor at Giulio Cavalli in Pittsfield, MA. Call to schedule your consultation appointment for a hearing test today!
Hearing loss is a fairly common issue that affects many individuals around the world. Hearing loss means that you are either partially or totally unable to hear sounds. It is caused by numerous factors, but the most frequent ones are due to age and/or excessive noise exposure. Hearing loss could result from:
- A ruptured eardrum
- A progressive buildup of earwax
- Infection in the ears or tumors
- Inner ear damage
Here at the office of our otolaryngologist, Dr. Guilio Cavalli, in Pittsfield, MA, he can evaluate your case and recommend the most appropriate interventions for your hearing loss.
Hearing Loss Signs and Symptoms to Watch Out For
The general symptoms and signs of hearing loss that you may experience include:
- Speech and other sounds seem muffled.
- Difficulty hearing certain words, most especially if you’re exposed to loud background noise.
- Difficulty hearing consonants.
- A tendency to avoid some social settings or needing to get away from conversations due to hearing issues.
- Having to increase the volume of a song or video.
- Usually needing to request others to speak louder, slower, and more clearly.
Hearing Loss Risk Factors
The following are general risk factors that could likewise impact your hearing:
- Exposure to extremely loud noises. If you are exposed frequently to loud sounds, it could damage the cells in your inner ear.
- Aging. In the long run, structures in the inner ear naturally tend to degenerate.
- Genetic factors. Your genes can make you more prone to hearing loss.
- Recreational noises. Exposure to noises from things such as jet engines, motorcycle engines, or carpentry, could lead to permanent hearing loss.
- Occupational noises. Being exposed frequently to loud noises while doing factory work or construction could likewise damage the inside of your ears.
- Certain medications. Drugs like sildenafil, gentamicin, and particularly chemotherapy medications, could harm the inner ear. Furthermore, large doses of pain relievers and antimalarial drugs could temporarily affect your hearing.
- Some illnesses. Diseases that come with a high fever can damage the cochlea.
Prevention Tips for Hearing Loss
The kind of treatment that your otolaryngologist in Pittsfield, MA, to correct your hearing loss would largely depend on the severity and cause of your hearing loss. That being said, hearing problems inherited since birth cannot be prevented, but these extra measures could lessen your risk of developing hearing loss:
- Don’t poke deep into your ears with cotton swabs if you must use them.
- Wear earplugs to loud events.
- If your work environment involves loud noises, wear earmuffs or earplugs.
- Don’t set the volume of your gadgets or devices too loud.
If You Have Concerns or Questions About Hearing Loss, Call Us
Dial (413) 443-6116 to arrange an appointment with our otolaryngologist, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, here in our Pittsfield, MA, practice.
You’ve probably had days when you sound extremely raspy or husky. In some cases, people even lose their voices for a day or two. While hoarseness is usually harmless, there may be times that it requires professional treatment. Here at Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA, our ENT doctor, Dr. Giulio Cavalli, can examine your condition, give you an accurate diagnosis, and recommend treatments to help you manage your hoarseness.
Common Causes of Hoarseness
Aside from overusing or misusing your voice due to shouting, cheering, singing loudly, etc., one of the most causes of hoarseness is laryngitis, which develops from infection, irritation, or overuse of the larynx (i.e. the voice box).
Normally, the vocal cords inside your larynx can close and open smoothly to form sounds via their vibrations and movements. When you have laryngitis, however, the vocal cords become irritated and swollen, which causes sound distortion, and therefore, hoarseness. In more serious laryngitis cases, your voice can even become virtually undetectable.
While most laryngitis cases are not serious, persistent hoarseness and chronic laryngitis could indicate a more severe underlying health problem. These can include vocal cord paralysis, vocal cysts, polyps, vocal fold hemorrhage, thyroid issues, and neurological disorder/diseases.
When to Visit Your Doctor for Hoarseness
Visit your ENT doctor if you’re been experiencing hoarseness for longer than three weeks, particularly if you don’t have an obvious condition, such as the flu or a cold, that could explain your symptoms. You should also immediately consult with our Pittsfield office if you are coughing up blood, have a lump or bump in the neck, have pain when swallowing/talking, have breathing difficulties, or if you lose your voice entirely for more than three days.
Worried About Your Hoarseness?
Schedule a consultation with your ENT doctor, Dr. Giulio Cavalli of Giulio Cavalli Medical in Pittsfield, MA, by dialing (413) 443-6116.
When you're diagnosed with hearing loss, it can be overwhelming. Hearing loss can lead to a reduced quality of life. Even people with mild hearing impairment experience difficulties, such as following a conversation or business meeting. When hearing loss starts, other things can be lost too, such as the ability to communicate and social connection. Even physical health can deteriorate. The office of Dr. Giulio Cavalli (located in Pittsfield, MA) offers treatments for hearing loss.
About Hearing Loss
Hearing loss is the total or partial loss of the ability to hear in one or both ears. The condition may be based in the outer, middle, or inner ear. Hearing loss can range from mild to profound. Some people have a hearing impairment from birth and others develop the condition at some point during their life.
Causes of Hearing Loss
Causes of hearing loss include exposure to loud noise, medications. Infection, a sudden change in pressure, and poking the eardrum with an object can also cause the eardrum to rupture and affect your hearing. Additionally, certain health conditions, such as high blood pressure or diabetes, can contribute to hearing loss.
Symptoms of Hearing Loss
The signs and symptoms of hearing loss can include loss of directionality of sound, difficulty understanding speech, and speech or sounds becoming dull, muffled or attenuated. Hearing loss may also have other accompanying symptoms including pressure or pain in the ears, vertigo, or ringing in the ear when no external sound is present.
Treatment for Hearing Loss
You should consult an ENT doctor or otolaryngologist if you're experiencing hearing loss. Treatment depends on the severity and cause of your hearing loss. Hearing loss may be treatable with medicine, surgery, or hearing aids. If you have a severe hearing impairment and gain limited benefit from conventional hearing devices, then a cochlear implant may be an option.
Being able to hear is an important part of an active and enjoyable life. If your hearing is affecting you, call the office of Dr. Giulio Cavalli right now to schedule an appointment in Pittsfield, MA. We offer a variety of treatments, such as hearing aids, that can help you hear again. We want you to live your best life!
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