Author: Peoria Ear, Nose & Throat Group

The Benefits of Assisted Devices

Individuals with disabilities, injuries, or older adults who are at an increased risk of falling may choose to use an assisted device. These devices such as canes, walkers, etc. can benefit patients in several ways.

Assisted devices promote independence and increase activity level and mobility. They reduce the stress on caretakers and family members, improving their quality of life and that of the person they are caring for. These devices also reduce the risk for falls and injuries, and reduce early entry into care homes and hospitals.

Finding the right type of assisted device is crucial. One of our physical therapists can help. By assessing your balance, gait, cognition, musculoskeletal challenges, cardiovascular fitness and any neurological conditions, they can help recommend what device best suits your needs. You may also need an assisted device that matches your weight-bearing status. The most common type of assisted devices include canes, walkers, wheelchairs, and more.

Canes and crutches both support the body’s weight and help transmit the load from the legs to the upper body. However, canes take less weight off the lower body and place greater pressure on the wrists and hands. Canes and walking sticks come in a variety of designs. However, they need to be sized properly and have a grip that you are comfortable using. It is estimated that 1 in every 10 adults over the age of 65 in the United States uses a cane.

Walkers are very stable devices that are used by nearly 5 percent of adults in the United States over the age of 65. The metal framework has for legs that provide support and stability to the user. Some walkers have wheels or glides on the base of the legs.

Wheelchairs are best for those who should not put weight on their lower limbs or who are unable to walk. They can be manually propelled by the user, pushed by someone else, or power electrically.

For more information on assisted devices, please visit our website at fyzical.com/peoria or call (309) 589-5900 today.

FYZICAL THERAPY & BALANCE CENTER – A DIVISION OF PEORIA EAR, NOSE & THROAT GROUP

The Importance of the Thyroid Gland

Your thyroid gland is something you may not ever think about. As long as it’s functioning properly, it’s always working – making sure it produces the right amount of hormones necessary for all the cells in your body to work normally. However, when your thyroid gland malfunctions, the food you eat may not make the transition to energy that you need for all the processes that sustain your life.

So what exactly is your thyroid gland? It sits low in the front of the neck, just beneath the skin, and is not normally perceptible to the eye unless it is enlarged. It has a shield-like shape, made up of two lobes and a middle connecting segment (the isthmus). It constructs the thyroid hormones, which are then secreted into the blood to be transported to the rest of the body.

Thyroid gland problems are not uncommon, however. Symptoms come in three varieties – hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone), hypothyroidism (too little thyroid hormone), and abnormalities in the physical examination of the thyroid gland (lumpy and/or enlarged). Further evaluation usually leads to the successful treatment of the issue; the type of treatment depends on the underlying cause.

Patients with hyperthyroidism have a revved-up metabolism – they may feel jittery and anxious, heart and respiratory rates are inordinately high for the given activity level, and atrial fibrillation can sometimes occur. Excessive sweating and heat intolerance may appear, and while the patient’s appetite may be good, weight will decline. The skin will feel fine and velvety, hair will thin and become fine-textured, and sleep is difficult.

Those with hypothyroidism may have the opposite effect. Too little thyroid hormone causes metabolism to slow, and weight will go up. The skin becomes dry and rough, and hair coarsens and falls out. Heart rate and mental functions slow, while cholesterol rises. Lethargy and constipation often appear.

Abnormalities in the physical structure of the thyroid gland may be associated with either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism, or no symptoms related to the hormone at all.

At Peoria ENT, we utilize a thyroid ultrasound imaging test to check the thyroid gland and/or parathyroid glands. Our doctors can diagnose either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism or physical abnormalities and provide you with a treatment plan to help get you back to feeling your best.

Are over-the-counter hearing aids right for you?

Approximately 15% of American adults over the age of 18 report some trouble hearing, and nearly 25% of those between the ages of 65 and 74 have hearing loss severe enough to affect their daily life. In an effort to make a more accessible solution, the FDA recently made over-the-counter (OTC) hearing aids available at some retail stores in Illinois. However, they can be purchased without a professional hearing evaluation and are not yet available through licensed, professional audiologists who are experienced experts in hearing loss. While this may make them a more convenient option, they may not be the best solution for you.

Prescription hearing aids require a hearing evaluation – the audiologist performing your evaluation can help determine if hearing aids are the correct remedy for your issue(s) and exactly which device will personally meet your exact needs. Prescription hearing aids can be fit for all ages, can be customized to the individual wearer, and are programmed and supported by a professional. Follow-up care and instructions are provided, and the state mandates a return policy.

For comparison, OTC hearing aids are currently only available for those aged 18+ with only mild to (at best) moderate hearing loss. No professional fitting or support is provided, and they come with self-guided instructions. One size fits most, and there is no state requirement for a return policy. It’s a more ‘cookie-cutter’ approach to hearing loss solutions.

Prescription Hearing AidsOver-the-Counter Hearing Aids
Who fits them?Programmed and Supported by a Professional (Licensed Audiologist)Self-fit, no professional fitting or support
Intended User?For any age, any medical statusFor Ages 18+, best for those without complex ear conditions
Degree of Hearing Loss?Any degree – hearing aid is programmed to the individual hearing loss profileSelf-perceived mild to moderate
Design?Full-range, including standard and customized optionsLimited: one-size-fits-most
Follow-Up?Follow-up care and instructions provided by a professionalCome with self-guided instructions

Peoria ENT Group believes a hearing aid is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to providing you or your loved one with a hearing solution. Our Doctors of Audiology partner with our Doctors of Medicine to find the very best solution to fit your specific needs and lifestyle. We provide a comprehensive menu of hearing evaluation, selection, fitting & dispensing of hearing aids and assistive devices, counseling, and continued support.

IF A HEARING AID is part of the solution, you can rest assured you will be provided the most advanced technology, the best warranty available, and the longest trial period offered anywhere. We know the products we offer are proven to work in real-life situations with the highest degree of patient satisfaction.

For more information, please visit our website at peoriaearnosethroat.com or call (309) 589-5900.

Your body on a lack of sleep

man not sleepingYou may know that sleep is good for you. But did you know that not getting enough sleep is linked with many long-term health problems, including diabetes, obesity, and depression?

Sleep helps heal our bodies and minds by allowing time for us to grow and repair cells and form new pathways for learning and remembering. Why is sleep so hard for us to achieve? Things like traveling or too much caffeine can trigger insomnia, though stress and worry can also keep you from resting well. Find out what else gets in the way of sleep and what you can do to help.

Learn more about how lack of sleep impacts your overall wellbeing >

13-year-old making ‘ear savers’ for masks using 3D printer

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EDWARDS (WEEK) – 13-year-old Ben Jones has started making, what are called ear savers, for those wearing masks at Peoria Ear Nose and Throat Medical Group.

The teen from Edwards is using his 3D printer. The idea came to him after he saw boy scouts from Canada doing the same. Jones says he is used to just making figurines on his printer, so it has been a learning curve when it comes to making ear savers. Now that he has the hang of it, he can make nearly 45 ear savers per day.

” I’m not making masks, I’m making the ear savers because nurses that use them, their ears get really raw, the back of them, after using a mask for a really long time, and they’re going to be using masks for a really long time because of the pandemic,” Jones said.

So far, Jones has made more than 100 ear savers for Peoria Ear Nose and Throat Medical Group. Doctor James Klemens says this is a game changer for the one size fits all model for masks.

“You can’t necessarily pull the masks very tight, so wearing those ear savers, it has an adjustable setting,” Doctor Klemens said.

Doctor Klemens says in addition to the ear savers, the medical group has been looking for a piece to connect a new type of face mask. Doctor Klemens explains the mask is a reusable device that can be washed and used with a filter. In the UK, doctors have figured out how to use a scuba mask connected to a filter as a replacement for an N 95 mask.

“One of the reasons we haven’t been able to do more elective procedures is because we don’t have enough protective gear,” Doctor Klemens said.

Doctor Klemens asked Jones if he could create something new on his 3D printer to connect the scuba mask to the filter, and Jones was able to do that.

“It’s going to really be the difference between us being able to get the real back log of surgical cases that, maybe they weren’t urgent at the beginning of all this, but the longer that we wait, more of them need to be done,” Doctor Klemens said.

“I’m just trying to be helpful because I know a lot of other people with 3D printers are doing this so I’m just doing my part to help people out during this pandemic,” Jones said.

Keeping Kids Safe: Food Allergies During the Holidays

The holidays are coming up, and we know that everyone is looking forward to enjoying a holiday meal with their family and friends. But, for parents of children with food allergies, this time of year can bring uncertainty and unease. Help keep your little ones safe this holiday season with the following food allergy tips!

Continue reading “Keeping Kids Safe: Food Allergies During the Holidays”

Experts in Balance Dizziness & Vestibular Rehabilitation

An estimated 90 million Americans (42% of the current population) experience dizziness at least once in their lifetime. For people over 70 years of age, balance disorders and dizziness are the primary reasons for visiting a physician, and dizziness is a significant factor for falls. Falls have been estimated to be the leading cause of serious injury in persons over 65 years old and falls account for 50% of accidental deaths in the elderly. Our ENT physicians are board-certified and have specialized training in evaluating patients with dizziness, imbalance, and other vestibular problems. Teamed with our award winning Doctors of Audiology and our specialty trained Doctors of Physical Therapy, Peoria ENT offers a full team approach and can develop a treatment plan that can improve you or your loved one’s ability to function in activities of everyday living, reduce your risk of falling and, ultimately improve your quality of life. To find out more, contact our office for an appointment and start down the path to YOU, ONLY BETTER!