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When you think about eyeglasses, what do you think? Most likely you will think of your own pair or those of a loved one. If you like fashion, you may think of some you have seen in a magazine or on your favorite celebrity. You definitely do not think of old age.

But what do you think of hearing aids? It is probably a different story.

In the United States, 14 million people 12 years or older have a vision impairment. 30 million people 12 years or older have hearing loss – that’s one out of every eight people. Both eyeglasses and hearing aids correct a sense impairment, so why are eyeglasses a fashion statement, but it takes, on average, seven years for someone to get their hearing tested after noticing a change in their hearing?

The idea of hearing loss affecting you when you are older is simply not true. Here are some statistics to prove our point:

  • 2 to 3 of every 1,000 U.S. babies are born with a detectable hearing loss.
  • According to the World Health Organization, millennials risk hearing loss because of damaging volumes via personal audio devices.
  • About 1 in 7 U.S. adults ages 20 to 69 has hearing loss.

Clearly, hearing loss leaves no age group untouched. But the stigma of hearing aids remains, and only 1 in 5 people who could benefit from hearing aids actually use them. The technology today is a far cry than the hearing aids 20 years ago. The digital age of today is sleek and discreet, minimizes background noise, improves speech clarity and focuses on your conversation partner rather than the noise behind you. If you have noticed any changes in your hearing in the last few years, regardless of your age, it’s important to have your hearing checked by a hearing professional. Contact us today to learn more!

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: ENT

3 Myths about Tinnitus

November 19th, 2019

Tinnitus is described as the ringing or buzzing inside your ears. Tinnitus is a condition that is annoying at best, and debilitating at its worst – but there are ways to make it better. Here are some of the misconceptions about tinnitus, and the facts you need to know.

MYTH: There is nothing that can be done about my tinnitus.
FACT: Many people come to see us about their tinnitus. Here are some proven ways to help your symptoms:

  • Tinnitus Sound Therapy: An important element in tinnitus management is sound therapy. Amplified sound from hearing aids, environmental influences, or noise generators can help minimize the contrast of the ringing in your ears to the sound of your therapy.
  • Tinnitus Counseling: Assessment and counseling with a licensed Audiologist trained in managing tinnitus can help determine the cause of your tinnitus and minimize the impact it has on your life. The effects of tinnitus can be minimized with counseling and sound therapy.
  • Relaxation Exercises: Stress can make tinnitus worse. Easier said than done, try limiting stressors in your life. Read a book, go for a walk, or practice breathing exercises.

MYTH: There are pills that will cure my tinnitus.
FACT: Some companies will try to point you to a miraculous cure for your tinnitus, but very little research has proven this to be true.

MYTH: Tinnitus and hearing loss are not linked.
FACT: Many people with tinnitus will also have hearing loss. In fact, a recent study revealed out of 123 people with tinnitus surveyed, only one participant did not have hearing loss!

Although common in our profession, tinnitus is a topic that cannot be addressed with a simple solution. Rather, as your hearing care professional, we are tasked with investigating our patients’ conditions and making educated decisions on the best treatment plan for you.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: ENT

How does hearing work?

November 5th, 2019

Whether a friend whispers into your ear or a jet is flying in the sky, sound is all around us. Our ears enclose the three smallest bones in our body, change sound waves in the air to electrical signals in the brain, and help us communicate and connect with our loved ones. So, how exactly does this happen?

Our ears have three parts: the outer, middle, and inner ear. The first step in hearing is collecting sounds. Our outer ear, or Pinna, collects the sound to travel inside your ear canal. Our Pinna is also responsible for locating sounds. The sound waves travel into the ear canal until they reach the eardrum. The eardrum is at the end of the ear canal. This is where your middle ear starts.

The eardrum passes vibrations through the three middle ear bones called the Ossicles (Malleus, Incus, Stapes or sometimes commonly referred to as the “hammer, anvil, and stirrup”). These three bones form a chain from the eardrum to the inner ear. The eardrum moves back and forth when sounds hit it. The eardrum will move faster or slower depending on how loud, or what pitch, the sound is. This sends the chain into motion and then sends a signal to the inner ear.

The inner ear, or Cochlea, is shaped like a snail and filled with fluid and hair cells. There are thousands of tiny hair cells (not to be confused with the hair on top of your head) housed inside the Cochlea. The hair cells change the vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain through the hearing nerve. The brain then tells you that you are hearing a sound and what that sound is. Your inner ear also helps you control your balance. The parts of your inner ear that help with balance share the same space and fluid as the cochlea.

The human body is a network of pairs: two eyes, ears, nostrils, arms, hands, feet, and legs. The brain uses these pairs to coordinate and maximize how the body works. Our ears work as a duo. We have two ears to locate sound, discriminate volume, as well as enjoy a better quality of sound like hearing in “stereo”. Being able to hear with both ears makes it easier to enjoy the sounds of life.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: ENT

If you have a sinus operation scheduled, then sinus relief is on the horizon. But you may be wondering what to expect from your upcoming surgery. You will most likely need to be away from work or school for several days. Be sure to talk with your doctor about your surgery and ask any questions you may have so that you know how best to care for yourself after surgery.

Although there are several different kinds of sinus surgery, what happens following your operation will be similar. It can take several weeks to fully heal, and you’ll have some swelling and tenderness in your nose after the surgery. To help your nose and sinuses return to normal, your doctor may recommend nasal irrigation or saline sprays and antibiotic lubricants.

Dr. Mangus, one of MMC’s ENT Specialists, helps patients navigate their recovery process after sinus surgery.

“As I counsel my patients before sinus surgery, they are often surprised when I tell them that most of their pain after sinus surgery will be controlled with Advil and Tylenol. A recent study of patients who underwent sinus surgery reported that 70% of patients took less than 5 pain pills,” Dr. Mangus said. 

“I have seen this in my patient population as well. This is due to recent advances in sinus surgery that allow us to do the entire surgery with cameras inside the nose as well as avoid putting packing or splints inside the nose at the end of the surgery.”

Here are a few tips for making your recovery go more smoothly after your sinus operation:

  • Keep your head elevated to help reduce bleeding and swelling after your surgery. The first night following your operation, elevate your head with extra pillows or sleep in a recliner.
  • Some bleeding is normal following a sinus operation, but if you are bleeding a lot, be sure to call your doctor.
  • Don’t blow your nose for at least a week after your operation. Avoid heavy lifting, straining, or strenuous exercise in order to decrease the likelihood of bleeding in your nose.
  • If you have to sneeze, try keeping your mouth open.
  • Avoid taking aspirin following your surgery. This slows clotting and increases bleeding.
Once your sinuses fully heal, you should be able to resume your normal activity. However, remember that sinus surgery results are never guaranteed. Your symptoms may improve, or you still may need some kind of medical therapy to manage your symptoms after surgery. It’s important to keep up constant communication with your doctor in order to make sure you are receiving the best possible care.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: ENT

She may not be from the area, but Tennessee has called Dr. Caplin and her family back 'home!' Murfreesboro Medical Clinic is proud to welcome Board Certified, Otolaryngologist, Britni Caplin, M.D. to its skilled physician group and to the Murfreesboro Community.

Dr. Caplin spent her early life in West Virginia, prior to attending medical school and completing residency at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. From there, she worked in private practice in Massachusetts before returning to what felt like home: Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2017 Dr. Caplin and her husband have lived in Nashville with their almost two-year-old daughter, two dogs, and a cat. Most recently, in Nashville, she has served as the Chief of Otolaryngology within the Tennessee Valley Healthcare System, while also holding an appointment as an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery.

Dr. Caplin was introduced to Murfreesboro by current MMC Otolaryngologist, Brannon Mangus, M.D. They completed their residency together at Vanderbilt and kept in touch over the years. "I'd heard Dr. Mangus talk about the Murfreesboro community and how happy he was here and at Murfreesboro Medical Clinic," Caplin said, "when the opportunity arose, I jumped on it right away."

While Dr. Caplin is a general Otolaryngologist and enjoys all aspects of the specialty, she is especially drawn to surgeries that impact the overall quality of life for the patient. Specifically, she is passionate and well versed in ear surgery, functional nasal surgery, thyroid/parathyroid surgery, sinus surgery, and other adult and pediatric surgeries in the head and neck.

When asked what led her to surgery and Otolaryngology she said, "having a mother and father who were both in the medical field. My dad is a dentist and my mom a nurse practitioner. I knew from a young age I would one day follow in their footsteps into healthcare." Caplin continued, "I always knew I was a surgeon. I worked with my dad as a dental assistant and was fascinated by surgery and the difference it would make for people." Going into medical school she knew she was passionate about surgery, but after being introduced to Otolaryngology she knew that was the specialty for her. "In Otolaryngology we specialize in everything above the collar bone. We focus on a patient's senses, from their sense of smell, to their voice, to hearing and how it all connects to who they are. We can make a true impact in our patients' lives," Dr. Caplin said.

To learn more about Dr. Britini Caplin or MMC's ENT department, please visit mmclinic.com or call 615-867-8110

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic | Topic: ENT  | Category: ENT

Breathe Easy

February 27th, 2018

Throbbing, Pressure, Stuffy… YUCK!

There are many people far too familiar with the descriptionsof sinus pressure. Inflammation, puffiness, stuffy nose, and painful tendernessare just a few of the pesky side effects.

If chronic sinus infections plague someone more than 3 timesa year, there may be a root problem that can be solved.

Often the answer to chronic sinusitis (more than 3infections a year) is surgery, performed by an Otolaryngologist (ENT)specialist. Traditional sinus surgery is timeconsuming, invasive and typically requires a recovery period. But, what ifsomeone cannot afford down time? What if surgery must be avoided? Thepersistent sinus infections are sure to squander enough time.

The latest technology of Balloon Sinuplasty allows for a nodown-time, non-invasive procedure performed in an office setting.  How? Asmall balloon is guided into the nasal passage and inflated to gently expandthe sinus cavity opening, which is then washed out and the balloon is removed.It is as simple as that!

Sound like relief? It could be the very solution to besthelp. Do not waste another moment allowing life to be hindered by theannoyances of sinusitis.

Murfreesboro Medical Clinic Otolaryngology (ENT) physiciansare ready to help solve the root of your problem so breathing is easy again.

Call 615.867.8110 or visit mmclinic.com to set up aconsultation and learn more about this non-invasive, no down time procedure.

Your health is our mission.

Posted by Murfreesboro Medical Clinic  | Category: ENT

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