Author: Peoria Ear, Nose & Throat Group

Eustachian Tube Dilation Specialist in Peoria, IL

Peoria Ear Nose and Throat specializes in providing top-notch care for various conditions affecting the ear and related structures. Among the multiple issues we treat, eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is a common concern.

We offer treatment for ETD — a condition where the eustachian tube fails to open or close properly, causing discomfort and various complications. The eustachian tube is vital in allowing normal function of the ear. When functioning smoothly, it acts as a protective barrier against diseases, aids in ventilating the middle ear, and ensures the proper drainage of secretions.

This cutting edge treatment is particularly useful for patients who have discomfort when flying or diving, have long-standing eardrum perforations or eardrum perforations that have previously failed surgical treatment, and patients who have recurrent ear infections.

We understand how essential it is to address ETD effectively at Peoria Ear Nose and Throat. That is why our expert team is here to provide you with the most advanced and personalized care, ensuring that your eustachian tube is working optimally.

What are the symptoms of ETD?

You may be dealing with ETD if you are experiencing fullness or pain in your ears, along with muffled hearing.

  • Fullness of the ear
  • Pain in the ear
  • Muffled hearing

Typical complications from untreated ETD

When the eustachian tubes, responsible for equalizing pressure in the middle of the ear, become blocked or dysfunctional, it can lead to various complications.

  • Ear infection
  • Middle ear impairment
  • Injury to the eardrum
  • Puncture of the eardrum
  • Abnormal skin growth in the middle ear
  • Collapse of the eardrum into the middle ear

What is the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System?

The ACCLARENT AERA™ system is a ground breaking treatment that addresses persistent ETD using a gentle and minimally invasive approach. In a very well tolerated and short in-office procedure, our skilled physicians utilize a small catheter to introduce a balloon through your nose and into the eustachian tube.

Once in position, the balloon is carefully inflated, widening the pathway for mucus and airflow and restoring proper eustachian tube function. The balloon is then deflated and gently removed. Most patients experienced very little pain and recovery is quick. In most patients, no time off of work is necessary.

Schedule a consultation with our experienced physicians today and discover how the ACCLARENT AERA™ system can transform your life. Reclaim your comfort, regain your freedom, and rediscover the beauty of sound.

Better Hearing Month

In 1927, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) designated May as Better Hearing and Speech Month, aiming to raise awareness about the importance of hearing health. Encouraging individuals to reflect on their own hearing and undergo regular hearing assessments is the initial step toward addressing the issue of hearing loss.

Today, noise pollution is recognized as a significant public health concern and is identified as a top environmental risk by the World Health Organization’s inaugural World Report on Hearing.

The average person is born with approximately 16,000 hair cells within the inner ear, crucial for sound detection by the brain. However, it’s possible to lose 30-50% of these cells before changes in hearing become evident through a test. Moreover, noise exposure can harm the auditory nerve, which transmits sound information to the brain. While there’s no cure for hearing loss once it occurs, preventive measures can help mitigate its onset.

Since 1967, Starkey, a pioneer in hearing aid technology, has been at the forefront of innovation, offering high-quality products subjected to rigorous quality control standards. Our team at Peoria Ear Nose and Throat is a premier provider for Starkey products.  At Starkey, a hearing aid must pass over 50 performance and durability tests before reaching the market. With over 360 active patents in software and hardware, Starkey remains a leader in advancing hearing solutions. Notably, Starkey was the first and only manufacturer to develop hearing aids capable of detecting falls and sending alerts.

Their latest Genesis AI hearing aids boast a state-of-the-art processor, sound quality, design, and software, promising an enhanced patient experience. Utilizing cutting-edge processor technology that emulates the human brain’s cerebral cortex, these aids adapt to various listening environments, amplifying soft sounds for clarity while reducing loud noises for comfort. Some models even offer up to 51 hours of battery life on a single charge.

Early detection and intervention for hearing loss are critical. Many individuals with undiagnosed hearing loss may not realize they’re missing certain sounds and words. Our team of highly-trained audiologists has undergone extensive education to effectively diagnose and treat various auditory conditions, including hearing loss. They prioritize personalized care, taking the time to assess your symptoms and determine the most suitable treatment plan for you.

During your evaluation, our Doctors of Audiology will assess whether hearing aids are appropriate for your needs and guide you in selecting the device that best suits you. They will also provide assistance in programming your hearing aids and offer ongoing support for any inquiries you may have.

What Is an Allergy and How Is It Treated?

Allergy causes are seemingly everywhere. They can include airborne allergens (such as mold, pollen, animal dander, or dust mites), foods (most common with peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, eggs, or milk), insect stings, medications, or other substances (like latex). When you have allergies, your immune system reacts by producing antibodies that identify a particular allergen as harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with that allergen, your system’s reaction can inflame your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system. Over 50 million Americans (1 in 6) experience some type of allergy.

Symptoms range from mild to severe and can include sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, or throat, runny or stuffy nose, hives, swelling of the lips, tongue, or face, or a rash. In the most extreme cases, it may trigger a life-threatening reaction known as anaphylaxis. Those with a family history of asthma or allergies, who have asthma or another allergic condition themselves, or children may be more likely to develop an allergy.

The first step in treating an allergy is an accurate diagnosis by an immunologist or allergist, usually involving either skin pricks and/or blood tests. This decides whether symptoms are caused by an allergy and if so, what triggers it as accurately as possible. The diagnosis will target the appropriate treatment or clinical intervention to allow avoidance of the trigger.

Treatment options may involve managing symptoms through the use of antihistamine creams, pills, steroid creams, inhalers, or auto-injectors. For allergens related to food, drugs, venom, latex, or pet dander, avoidance is a possible approach. In cases of acute tongue swelling or anaphylaxis, rescue medications may be necessary. Another avenue is immunotherapy, where allergy shots containing a controlled amount of a specific allergen help stimulate the immune system gradually, building tolerance over time. It’s crucial to be aware of potential interactions during allergen avoidance, such as cross-reactions between latex and fruits/vegetables or tree pollen and fresh fruits.

Although seasonal allergies are common, the truth is that allergies can affect us at any time throughout the year. At Peoria ENT, our team of allergy & asthma specialists are dedicated to providing you with the highest quality of care. Our highly-trained providers have completed several years of specialized education and will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option.

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

Benefits of Balance Training and Orthopedic Rehabilitation

FYZICAL is much more than your typical physical therapy clinic – our goal is to help you discover how to achieve the pinnacle of healthy living, expand your boundaries, feel younger, and revitalize your health. Our physical therapists have advanced clinical education and training, specialty certifications, and years of experience to help you live your best life!

Benefits of Balance Training

Every 11 seconds, an older adult is treated in an emergency room for a fall-related injury. If you or someone you know suffers from dizziness or imbalance, keep in mind that intervention is key. There are steps you can take to improve your balance, decrease the chance of falling, and help to maintain your independence.

Balance and gait are intrinsically linked because one often impacts the other. Both rely on a complex number of body systems, including the inner ear, eyes, joint-muscle-nerve system, and cognitive functions. Therapy that improves gait and balance works with all these systems to keep them functioning in harmony.

Even if you don’t think you’re at risk of falling over, feeling like you’re ‘running out of steam’ while walking could be a sign of slowing reflexes, which makes moving around seem more strenuous than it actually is. Balance can be substantially improved with specific training and rehabilitation.

At FYZICAL, we can help improve your balance and walking skills through balance therapy. Therapy can help compensate for imbalance or adapt to less balance, while maintaining physical activity.

Benefits of Orthopedic Rehabilitation

Orthopedic rehabilitation is a form of therapy that treats a wide variety of conditions affecting the musculoskeletal system. The musculoskeletal system provides stability and support to your body and allows you to move. The muscular system includes all types of muscles in your body, as well as the tendons. The skeletal system includes all the bones in the body, which connect to form joints.

Orthopedic issues can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health, leading to pain and decreased mobility, stress, anxiety, and depression. Physical therapists are movement experts who can identify, diagnose, and treat movement problems, designing treatment plans for each patient’s individual goals, challenges, and needs.

Orthopedic rehabilitation can include physical therapy rehabilitation, pain management, pre- and post-surgical care, and more.

Before you undergo expensive or invasive surgery, try physical therapy. For some conditions, including meniscal tears and knee osteoarthritis, rotator cuff tears, spinal stenosis, and degenerative disk disease, treatment by a physical therapist has been found to be as effective as surgery.

Contact FYZICAL Peoria today by visiting our website fyzical.com/peoria or calling (309) 589-5900!

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

Dizziness and Balance

The body maintains balance with sensory information from three systems – vision, somatosensory/proprioception (muscles and joints), and vestibular (inner ear). Damage or impairment of any of those systems can lead to dizziness and imbalance.

Dizziness is a broad general term that can be used to describe vertigo (spinning sensation), lightheadedness, tilting, floating, or the feeling that you will faint. A person can have dizziness without significant balance issues, or balance issues without significant dizziness. Evaluation of dizziness often involves assessments from multiple specialties because dizziness can be caused by several different systems in the body.

Vestibular Disorders: An Overview

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements. Vestibular disorders may results when these areas are damaged.

35% of adults aged 40 or older in the United States have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction. Vestibular causes of dizziness/vertigo can be due to head injuries, aging, sudden or significant changes in pressure, viral or bacterial infections, or high-doses or long-term use of certain medications.

Symptoms of inner ear issues can include unsteadiness, dizziness, blurred or bouncing vision, nausea, hearing changes/tinnitus, lack of coordination, or problems with memory and thinking. Those symptoms can range from mild to severe, lasting from a matter of seconds to being constant.

Testing for a vestibular disorder can include a physical exam, hearing test, CT or MRI scan, functional balance testing, and more. Treatment of dizziness may include vestibular rehabilitation therapy, vision therapy, medications, surgery, or diet/lifestyle changes.

Our dizziness management team includes otolaryngology, audiology, and physical therapy to evaluate symptoms of dizziness and appropriately recommend next steps.

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

Eustachian Tube Dilation Specialist in Peoria, IL

Peoria Ear Nose and Throat specializes in providing top-notch care for various conditions affecting the ear and related structures. Among the multiple issues we treat, eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD) is a common concern.

We offer treatment for ETD — a condition where the eustachian tube fails to open or close properly, causing discomfort and various complications. The eustachian tube is vital in allowing normal function of the ear. When functioning smoothly, it acts as a protective barrier against diseases, aids in ventilating the middle ear, and ensures the proper drainage of secretions.

This cutting-edge treatment is particularly useful for patients who have discomfort when flying or diving, have long-standing eardrum perforations or eardrum perforations that have previously failed surgical treatment, and patients who have
recurrent ear infections.

We understand how essential it is to address ETD effectively at Peoria Ear Nose and Throat. That is why our expert team is here to provide you with the most advanced and personalized care, ensuring that your eustachian tube is working optimally.

What are the symptoms of ETD?

You may be dealing with ETD if you are experiencing fullness or pain in your ears, along with muffled hearing.

  • Fullness of the ear
  • Pain in the ear
  • Muffled hearing

Typical complications from untreated ETD

When the eustachian tubes, responsible for equalizing pressure in the middle of the ear, become blocked or dysfunctional, it can lead to various complications.

  • Ear infection
  • Middle ear impairment
  • Injury to the eardrum
  • Puncture of the eardrum
  • Abnormal skin growth in the middle ear
  • Collapse of the eardrum into the middle ear

What is the Eustachian Tube Balloon Dilation System?

The ACCLARENT AERA™ system is a ground-breaking treatment that addresses persistent ETD using a gentle and minimally invasive approach. In a very well-tolerated and short in-office procedure, our skilled physicians utilize a small catheter to introduce a balloon through your nose and into the eustachian tube.

Once in position, the balloon is carefully inflated, widening the pathway for mucus and airflow and restoring proper eustachian tube function. The balloon is then deflated and gently removed. Most patients experienced very little pain and recovery is quick. In most patients, no time off of work is necessary.

Schedule a consultation with our experienced physicians today and discover how the ACCLARENT AERA™ system can transform your life. Reclaim your comfort, regain your freedom, and rediscover the beauty of sound.

Get to Know The Peoria ENT Physician Assistants

Physician Assistants (PA-Cs) are highly qualified, licensed members of healthcare teams that assist in diagnosing, treating, prescribing medication, and more. At Peoria ENT (PENT), we are grateful to have two incredibly talented Board-Certified Physician Assistants, Jamie Jelinek and Richard Miller, on our team. We wanted to provide a spotlight for the public to learn more about them and how they impact our patients each day!

Jamie Jelinek.
Jamie Jelinek, PA-C
Rich Miller PA-C.
Richard A. Miller, PA-C

 

Q: What first sparked your interest in medicine/surgery?

Jamie: In college, I worked as a nursing assistant at a local hospital. I was exposed to many different roles, but was most drawn to the PA (Physician Assistant) profession. I felt that PAs were in a unique position to broaden the care delivered to the patient and fill some crucial gaps that existed in medicine.

Rich: My grandmother and mother were both nurses and my father was a physician, so medicine was the first field I was exposed to as a young child.

 

Q: What drew you to the ear/nose/throat (ENT) specialty?

Jamie: I worked as a primary care PA for 2 ½ years before transitioning to ENT. I love that ENT, like family medicine, offers the opportunity to see people of all ages and form a longstanding relationship with many of my patients. I also find that the ENT specialty is narrow enough to become very familiar with the majority of problems that our patients face, but varied enough that I am constantly learning.

Rich: My neighbor is an ENT physician, and offered me a great position in 2008 where I didn’t have to be on call or work weekends.

 

Q: How long have you been at Peoria ENT?

Jamie: I’ve been there 8 ½ years.

Rich: I’ve been with PENT for 5 ½ years.

 

Q: What is your favorite part of what you do?

Jamie: I enjoy many aspects of my job, but the ultimate goal and reward is helping to relieve frustrating symptoms for patients. My favorite would have to be fungal ear infections!

Rich: Being able to treat and explain difficult ENT problems to patients is my favorite part of the job.

 

Q: What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Jamie: I enjoy yoga, hiking, boating, and spending time with my husband and 2 children.

Rich: I like skiing, camping, hiking, road/mountain biking, and spending time with my wife and three daughters.

 

Q: What is one fact most people don’t know about you?

Jamie: I am left-handed and love telling people fun facts about lefties!

Rich: I really had no interest in going into the medical field until I was a Certified National Ski Patroller from 1994-1996 at Keystone Ski Resort in Colorado.

 

Jamie and Rich are invaluable members of the PENT team, and we are fortunate to have them help treat our patients!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Importance of Hearing

Hearing is essential for maintaining relationships and connections, fully participating in community activities, and experiencing life events to the fullest. Your quality of life is directly impacted by the ability to engage, listen, laugh, and enjoy those moments. Celebrate your ears and all they can do for you with these facts:

  1. Ears never sleep! When we are asleep, our ears still hear 100% of the sounds around us, even if we’re not aware of them. Our brain is responsible for processing all sounds, and it learns to ignore the sounds so you can sleep soundly.
  2. Your ears have very tiny hairs – and they’re very important! These tiny nerve fibers help us maintain balance, but they’re also there to help us hear. They are delicate and sensitive, and can be easily damaged or broken. Once they break, they don’t grow back. Some of the main reasons for this type of hair cell loss include sound exposure, natural aging, and ototoxic medications.
  3. The average hearing range for a human is between 20 and 20,000 Hz. Bats, dolphins, elephants, pigeons, and moths have so-called “superpower hearing”—an extraordinary ability to hear sounds inaudible to humans. There are also some animals that have almost no sense of hearing, including the armadillo, squid, octopus, cuttlefish, naked mole rats, and spiders.
  4. Without your ears, you would lose your balance. Inside your inner ear is a maze-like structure known as the semi-circular canals, which are part of the vestibular system. Information coming from that system is processed in the brain and then sent to other organs that need this information, such as the eyes and muscles. This allows us to maintain balance and know what position our body is in.

Hearing has a huge impact on everyday life. When your hearing starts to fade, everything becomes slightly more difficult, less enjoyable, and more confusing. If you detect the signs of hearing loss, arrange a consultation with Peoria ENT. Our highly-trained Doctors of Audiology have completed several years of specialized education in order to appropriately treat patients for a variety of auditory conditions. They will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option for you.

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

 

Osia System Implanted by Dr. James Klemens

Last week, our first US commercially available Osia System featuring the OSI300 implant was implanted by Dr. James Klemens and his surgical team! Pictured here is Dr. Klemens and his surgical RN, Jessica Wilson.

Dr. Klemens tells us why he chose the Osia System: “Cochlear Americas has a well known track record for reliability. Couple that with the wide frequency range that the Osia [System] can amplify in a fully implantable device and it is easy to see why it has become my go to recommendation for patients with hearing loss that don’t do well with traditional hearing aids. The new MRI compatible magnet makes it even easier to recommend.”

https://www.linkedin.com/company/cochlear/

October: National Audiology Month

October is National Audiology Month, spreading awareness about the services audiologists provide and how they may be able to help you. Audiologists use technology, creative problem solving, and social skills to help those with hearing disorders better communicate and connect with the world around them.

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. The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders also reports the following statistics:

  • Among adults aged 20 – 69, men are almost twice as likely as women to have hearing loss
  • About 2% of adults aged 45 – 54 have disabling hearing loss. This rate increases to 8.5% for those aged 55 – 64.
  • Roughly 10% of the U.S. adult population has experienced tinnitus lasting at least 5 minutes within the last year.
  • People with hearing loss wait an average of 7 years before receiving help, according to the Hearing Loss Association of America.

Audiologists treat people of all ages – not just those who are older! By providing professional and personalized services, they can improve patients’ quality of life. Audiologists can also provide personalized treatment and services to people suffering from a variety of conditions such as issues with dizziness/balance, hearing aids and assistive technology, and tinnitus. They can offer hearing screenings, and if you haven’t begun experiencing hearing loss, they can provide protection to help prevent future loss.

The earlier an audiologist can identify any issues through hearing tests, the easier the hearing loss is to treat and/or prevent. Our highly-trained Doctors of Audiology have completed several years of specialized education in order to appropriately treat patients for a variety of auditory conditions. They will take the time to diagnose your symptoms and discover the best treatment option for you.

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