Saturday, January 10, 2015

Custom Ear Molds Provide Superior Protection and Comfort

Protecting your hearing should have a more important role in our day-to-day lives.  Noisy air travel, loud music devices, roaring sporting events, rocking concerts, loud outdoor jobs and even hunting can pose serious risks to hearing health. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, 17% of adults from ages 20 to 69 (approximately 26 million!) have suffered permanent damage to their hearing from excessive exposure to noise. Custom ear molds can often provide a simple and effective solution.  We can provide a custom ear mold to protect you from hearing loss at our Indianapolis or Lafayette Indiana locations.

All patients have uniquely shaped ears. This means one-size-fits-all headphones, hearing aids and ear plugs don’t always function the way they should. Inexpensive ear molds provide a custom-fitted solution which can be used in a wide variety of ways. Industrial workers, dentists, pilots, musicians and avid hunters could benefit tremendously from a custom noise-suppression mold. These ear molds can also be useful for earbuds, hearing devices, cell phone and Bluetooth accessories, motor sports and even swimmers who deal with frequent swimmer’s ear.

These comfortable and convenient molds can be crafted from a wide range of materials. Acrylic, soft vinyl, silicone and polyethylene are all options you and your audiologist can choose from. Once a material is chosen, your hearing professional will take an impression of your ears with a putty-like silicone that will be used to create your final custom-made mold. This process takes just about 30 minutes. After your impression, the replica of your ear shape is sent to the manufacturer after which you receive your molds in about two or three weeks. Aesthetics, comfort, acoustics and a superior seal are all reasons an ear mold can be advantageous to maintaining your healthy listening lifestyle.

If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please call toll free (888) 888-DIZZY (3499).  At BalanceMD, we can provide a custom ear mold to protect you from hearing loss at our Indianapolis or Lafayette Indiana locations.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Meniere's Disease - A Common Misdiagnosis

Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear characterized by recurrent spells of vertigo (spinning sensation), hearing loss, tinnitus (ear noise) and a full feeling in the ear. The average age of onset of Meniere’s is around 50 and the underlying cause is unknown. 
The inner ear has fluid-filled chambers and canals, which send information from the inner ear to the brain to interpret your body's position, movement and to maintain balance. A Meniere’s “attack” occurs when the properties of the inner ear fluid become altered. The symptoms (below) begin suddenly and the severity of each spell varies. 
The symptoms of Meniere’s typically include recurrent vertigo spells lasting 20 minutes to several hours, low frequency (pitch) hearing loss, roaring tinnitus and a sense of fullness or pressure in the involved ear. Early on, hearing may improve between attacks but repeat attacks often lead to some degree of permanent hearing loss. Meniere’s generally affects only one ear, but may affect both ears in at least 20% of those affected.
There is no cure for Meniere’s disease, but most will do well with some lifestyle changes and medication. Reducing sodium (salt) in the diet and the use of diuretics (water pills) may reduce vertigo symptoms and prevent recurrent attacks. Other factors that may influence Meniere’s attacks include alcohol, caffeine, smoking and stress. If symptoms are not adequately controlled by reduced salt intake, diuretic medication, and lifestyle changes, there are several surgical procedure options that may be effective in controlling symptoms.
Unfortunately, Meniere’s disease is a condition that is over-diagnosed, meaning that many are diagnosed with Meniere’s disease, but they don’t actually have it. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with Meniere’s and do not have significant hearing loss in one ear and/or are under the age of 40, consider obtaining a second opinion. Most who are incorrectly diagnosed with Meniere’s are suffering from Vestibular Migraines and there are many effective treatment options available for Vestibular Migraine.
For further information or to schedule an appointment, click here to go to our website,, or call toll free 888-888-DIZZY (3499).