What We Do
A hearing aid is a small electronic device that you wear in or behind your ear. It allows the person with a hearing loss to communicate, and participate more fully in daily activities.
A laughing baby. Your favorite TV show. A conversation with your best friend. Crickets chirping. Sound adds dimension to your days and nights.
Other Services & Information
Preventing Hearing Loss
Sounds can damage your hearing when they are too loud, even for a brief time, or loud and long-lasting. Sometimes the damage is permanent. Raising awareness about noise-induced hearing loss from all sources is the focus of National Protect Your Hearing Month, which is observed each October by the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) and other organizations.
Noise exposure is common at many workplaces, but many home- and leisure-based activities can also harm your hearing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 40 million adults ages 20 to 69 have hearing loss from noise, but more than half of them report no on-the-job exposure to loud noise.
People at every stage of life—from young children to older adults—can be at risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Common threats to hearing include sirens, lawn equipment, and listening to loud music, whether live or through headphones or earbuds. In fact, the World Report on Hearing, released in March 2021 by the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates that more than 50 percent of people ages 12 to 35 use smartphones/personal audio devices at volumes that pose a risk to their hearing. Nearly 40% of those who frequently visit entertainment venues are at risk for hearing loss, according to WHO.
Hearing loss from noise can happen instantly—when a loud sound happens very close to your ears—or it can occur gradually. It can affect one or both ears. The louder the sound, the more damage it can cause to the sensitive structures of your inner ear, and the faster this damage can happen. If your hearing loss occurs gradually (from noise or other causes), you may not recognize it at first. You may have hearing loss if:
- Words sound muffled or difficult to hear or comprehend.
- You have trouble hearing high-pitched sounds.
- You have difficulty hearing in noisy places and social settings, such as restaurants and family gatherings.
- You have trouble understanding speech over the phone.
The good news is that noise-induced hearing loss is preventable. Follow these tips to protect your hearing:
- Lower the volume.
- Move away from the noise when possible.
- Wear hearing protectors, such as earplugs or protective earmuffs.
From National Institutes of Health "Noise-Induced Hearing Loss is Preventable"
Hearing aids often are helpful for people who have hearing loss along with tinnitus. Using a hearing aid adjusted to carefully control outside sound levels may make it easier for you to hear. The better you hear, the less you may notice your tinnitus.
Counseling helps you learn how to live with your tinnitus. Most counseling programs have an educational component to help you understand what goes on in the brain to cause tinnitus. Some counseling programs also will help you change the way you think about and react to your tinnitus. You might learn some things to do on your own to make the noise less noticeable, to help you relax during the day, or to fall asleep at night.
These are small electronic devices that fit in the ear and use a soft, pleasant sound to help mask the tinnitus. Some people want the masking sound to totally cover up their tinnitus, but most prefer a masking level that is just a bit louder than their tinnitus. The masking sound can be a soft “shhhhhhhhhhh,” random tones, or music.
5 Things Treating Hearing Loss Says About You
You’re a Go-Getter.
Research has found that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to tackle problems actively. Addressing hearing loss shows self-assurance and a willingness to deal with issues head-on. Most hearing aid users in the workforce even say it has helped their performance on the job.
You Value Your Relationships.
Healthy relationships rest largely on good communication. Treating hearing loss lets close family and friends know that you want to stay connected and involved in your relationships with them. Most people who currently wear hearing aids say it helps their overall ability to communicate effectively in most situations and has a positive effect on their relationships. And they’re more likely to have a robust social network.
You Like to Be Active.
Treating hearing loss means you have every intention of keeping up the pace of a fulfilling life. If you enjoy an active lifestyle, you’re not going to let untreated hearing loss stop you. People with hearing difficulty who use hearing aids get more pleasure in doing things and are even more likely to exercise and meet up with friends to socialize, research by the Better Hearing Institute (BHI) shows.
You Love Living Life.
When you address hearing loss, you let the world know you love living life, and you’re going to live it with gusto. The more vitality you have for life, the less likely it is you’ll let untreated hearing loss get in your way. Research even shows that people with hearing loss who use hearing aids are more likely to be optimistic and engaged in life.
You’re Tech-Savvy and Make the Most of What Modern Life Has to Offer.
Sleek and cutting-edge, today’s wireless hearing aids are a front-runner in personal consumer electronics. At its best, technology offers solutions, enriches life, and makes us more efficient. Today’s modern hearing aids do all three. When you invest in your hearing health by using state-of-the-art hearing aids, you make it clear that you’re a present-day thought leader ready to reap the rewards that modern technology has to offer. It also means you’re up-to-date on the tremendous advances in hearing aid technology.
American Institute of Balance
Our Columbia SC office is excited announce our partnership with the American Institute of Balance (AIB), located in Largo, FL. AIB is one of the country’s best-known diagnostic, treatment and educational facilities specializing in equilibrium disorders. The Institute is widely recognized for providing practitioners with the most current clinical and scientific breakthroughs in treatments. We are proud to announce that AIB has qualified us as a Center of Specialty Care!
Understanding Dizziness, Vertigo & Imbalance
Did you know…
- According the National Institute of Health (NIH), dizziness or loss of balance will affect 90 million Americans sometime during their lifetime.
- Dizziness is the number one complaint reported to medical providers in adults 70 years of age or older.
- Balance-related falls account for more than one-half of accidental deaths in the elderly.
- Balance-related falls cause over 300,000 hip fractures in individuals over 65 years of age.
- Inner ear disorders or ear infections can result imbalance and vertigo affecting a person’s ability to walk, roll over in bed, see or think clearly, or to read or watch television.
- Many times, disorders of the inner ear are misdiagnosed as a more severe neurological condition such as multiple sclerosis, or as clinical depression.
- Inner ear disturbances account for 85% of dizzy disorders.
- Children can also be affected by inner ear disorders and are sometimes incorrectly diagnosed as learning disabled, dyslexic, or psychologically disturbed.
- Illness, infections, disease, head injuries and whiplash are frequent causes of imbalance, dizziness, and vertigo.
Balance and the Vestibular System
The medical term for the part of the inner ear involved with balance is called the vestibular system. The vestibular system is an organ located within the inner ear which relays information to the brain about balance and orientation of the head and body. Balance is a complex interaction which requires input from our vestibular system, in addition to our vision and the sensation from our feet, muscles, and joints. If any one of these systems are not working properly, you will suffer loss of balance.
Balance disorders fall into two main categories:
- The first is dizziness, vertigo, or motion intolerance. This condition may be caused or worsened by rapid head movement, turning too quickly, walking, or riding in a car. These symptoms can be acute or sharp attacks lasting for seconds or sometimes for several hours.
- The second is a persistent sense of imbalance or unsteadiness. Some people refer to this as a loss of surefootedness. There can be many causes of dizziness and imbalance, with the largest percentage coming from the vestibular system.
A balance disorder may be caused by viral or bacterial infections in the ear, a head injury, or blood circulation disorders that affect the inner ear or brain. Many people experience problems with their sense of balance as they get older. Balance problems and dizziness also can result from taking certain medications. However, many balance disorders can begin all of a sudden and with no obvious cause. Your physician may have referred you to our clinic as the balance experts who will help in the process of determining possible causes and best treatment options.
The inner ear is home to the hearing and balance centers. The receptors within the ear allows signals to be received and processed by a variety of locations within the central nervous system and the brain. Unlike imaging studies which show only the anatomy or structures, this family of tests allows your doctor to better understand how the system is working and where a problem may arise.
Depending on your condition, your physician may recommend evaluation of the hearing and/or balance centers as they are all part of the inner ear. All testing is easy, comfortable and use advanced technology.
Find out if a vestibular and equilibrium evaluation should be considered.
Take the Patient Self Quiz Now!
Patient Self Quiz
Do you experience any of the following…?
- A feeling of motion, spinning or falling when moving your head quickly or changing your position? (ex. getting in and out of bed)
- Uncomfortable trying to get around in the dark?
- Walking down the grocery store aisles or through the mall is upsetting?
- Your feet just won't go where you want them to?
- A sense of unsteadiness? A feeling you are not surefooted?
- A fear of falling or stumbling?
- Looking at moving objects such as escalators or looking out the side window of a car makes you queasy?
- Difficulty keeping your balance as you walk on different surfaces? (ex. Tile to carpet)
- A feeling like you are drifting or being pulled to one side when walking?
- No one really understands how frustrating this is?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions, a vestibular and equilibrium evaluation should be considered. To schedule an appointment contact us at….
©2019 The American Institute of Balance – All Rights Reserved
Free Phone Consultation
Call us to discuss any questions or concerns you may have.
You are the reason we get to do what we love to do every day. We promise to make this visit as stress-free as possible.
Print & Fill Out Forms
Patient forms to download can be found below on the Patient Resources tab.
Don't Forget ID & Insurance
Please bring a form of ID and your insurance cards.
We strive to provide our patients with exceptional customer service and patient-centered care on their path towards better hearing. We desire to improve the quality of life for our patients by providing exceptional audiology services in a caring and compassionate setting. Our goal is to improve the quality of life of our patients by providing superior products and services designed to improve your ability to communicate more effectively.
“I had no idea that I was missing so much! My hearing loss over the years had slowly diminished my appreciation of all the sounds that i could not hear. The team at Carolina Hearing and Tinnitus are great to work with, professional, and are really there to help. Would I do it again? Yes, just several years earlier!“