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May 26, 2009

Another iPhone (or iPod Touch) Application to Test Your Hearing

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After I wrote a blog article last week on an iPhone/iPod Touch application called uHear to test a person's hearing a few days ago, a few readers have contacted me to inform that there is ANOTHER application that may be a bit more sophisticated.

The application is called Bina and you can download it from iTunes here.

I wish I can test these applications out and see how good they are personally, but I unfortunately do not own an iPhone or iPod Touch (yet)...

From the description, the application will test your thresholds across different frequencies using the headphones and adjusting the volume for feedback.

Has anyone given this app a try yet?

Click here to download and read more about it.

May 25, 2009

Fauquier ENT Consultants Now on Facebook!

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Yes... we now have a presence on Facebook. Be one of our fans! Click here to go to our business profile.

May 24, 2009

RANDOM! The Pod Hotel in New York City (Cheap & Great Location)

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On a totally random note... I'm currently staying at The Pod Hotel in Manhattan this Memorial Day Weekend and what a great hotel! There are TWO key things about this hotel that is great. It is CHEAP and it is located in the middle of Manhattan (Click here to see a google map of the great location). What more can one ask for?

The rooms are clean and the size of a small walk-in closet. There is no private bathroom as the floors are set up in a manner reminiscent of college dorms with shared bathrooms. There is free Wi-Fi and cable TV is provided in each room. In the room, there is a bed, tiny desk, tiny sink, and a secure lock-box (large enough to hold a laptop).

The cost for a night on a Memorial Day Weekend? $124/night. On other nights, prices can be as low as $69/night.

Amazing... Definitely will be planning to stay here again in the future.

May 22, 2009

Why Don't Hearing Aids Help Everyone With Hearing Loss?

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There are a few reasons why hearing aids do not seem to help as much in some patients with hearing loss whereas others love them.

The most important reason is because they purchased a really cheap hearing aid. Such cheap hearing aids can be purchased for a few hundred dollars at stores (ie, Amazon.com). These hearing aids are terrible for most patients suffering from hearing loss because they increase the volume at all frequencies... even frequencies where no hearing loss may be found leading to discomfort.

Furthermore, although cost is an important factor when deciding to purchase a hearing aid, it also has a direct impact on the quality of the sound. To use an analogy, it is unrealistic to expect a Bose-level spectacular sound quality if you purchase the cheapest toy radio from Walmart. Well, the same goes with hearing aids.

Another reason beyond the hearing aid itself is the type of hearing loss a patient suffers from. There is "receptive" hearing loss which is different from "volume" hearing loss. The best analogy to explain this difference is to imagine your hearing to be a radio. A given radio has a volume knob that one can adjust up or down as well as antenna reception which allows one to get a clear signal vs one full of static. If there has been damage to the radio's antenna, it does not matter how much you increase the volume...the signal will still be full of static.

Similarly, hearing loss may be a volume issue and/or a reception issue. Hearing aids can only amplify volume. Hearing aids CANNOT improve reception. The hearing test we perform gives us an idea of both volume (pure tone audiometry or PTA) and reception (speech discrimination scores or SDS) aspects of your hearing loss and provide guidance in how much hearing aids may help. Patients with a good SDS on audiogram with severe loss on PTA will do great with hearing aids. Patients with a poor SDS will never find hearing aids to be that helpful in understanding speech no matter how great a hearing aid they buy.

Our office is able to both provide a comprehensive hearing test and provide guidance on how well hearing aids will work for you. Our office sells only all-digital, fully programmable hearing aids.

Call for an appointment!

Test Your Hearing on Your iPod or iPhone!

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Unitron Hearing Limited has come out uHear, an iPod Touch or iPhone application that tests your hearing to determine if it is within normal range... or if you have a potential hearing loss. Especially in this age where young people expose their hearing to extremely loud noises, more and more people between the ages of 18 and 44 are now suffering from hearing loss, an estimated 6 million!!! In fact, the majority of people (65%) with hearing loss now are less than 65 years old.

uHear lets you assess:

• Hearing sensitivity (pure tone audiometry)
• Speech understanding in the presence of noise (speech discrimination score)
• Performance in common listening situations

Click here to download the program via iTunes!

If you do suspect a hearing loss, please seek the advice of your local ENT or audiologist!!!

May 21, 2009

Fauquier ENT Blog Has a NEW Look!

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We have made some changes to the look and feel of our blog website. Hopefully many of you will appreciate the cosmetic as well as improved functionality of the blog.

Added:
• Common links added to header for easy access
• Improved header banner
• Live feed traffic (from FeedJit)
• Lijit search
• Color changes for improved contrast
Twitter

We have also installed to help support the site:
Kontera In-Line Ads
Chitika Search Directed Ads

May 20, 2009

Office Workers Hospitalized From Filthy Office Fridge

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ABC reported that an office worker cleaning a fridge full of rotten food created a smell so noxious that it sent co-workers to the hospital and made many others ill. The building was evacuated and a hazmat team even got called in.

The "funny" part of the story was that the worker who was cleaning out the refrigerator did not notice the smell because she was suffering from bad allergies.

Click here to read the news article.

New Paper Published by Dr. Chang on Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment in the US

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In the May 2009 edition of ENT Journal, Dr. Chang has published a paper titled "A Survey of Current Practices of Physicians Who Treat Adductor Spasmodic Dysphonia in the US." The paper was published online instead of the print magazine and can be read here for free after registration.

The paper reports on a variety of factors considered when treating patients with adductor spasmodic dysphonia including surgery (what kind), botox type (A or B or both), how much botox, what concentration of botox, whether botox that has been frozen is used, etc. Interestingly, though most physicians treat spasmodic dysphonia with botulinum toxin type A, there is great variation in the concentration and amount of botox utilized.

Dr. Chang treats patients with Spasmodic Dysphonia with botox injection every Friday afternoon.



Books on voice therapy found to be a useful ADJUNCT to botox injections:

May 19, 2009

New Convenient MRSA Antiseptic Gel Product

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It was brought to my attention recently about a product used to help treat and prevent active MRSA skin infections called StaphASeptic. The product contains two ingredients: benzethonium chloride (kills MRSA) as well as lidocaine (numbs the skin). The lidocaine is helpful in that some MRSA skin infections are quite painful. This product can be found and purchased at Amazon.com in varying quantities from 2 oz tube, 4 oz tube, or packets.

May 15, 2009

Exercises of the Mouth and Throat Improves Sleep Apnea!!!

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In the May 2009 edition of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, a research article claimed that regular exercises involving the tongue, soft palate, and lateral pharyngeal wall significantly improves obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) both objectively and subjectively.

The exercises mainly consisted of playing a wind instrument known as didgeridoo. Patients randomized to these exercises had a significant decrease (P < 0.05) in neck circumference (39.6 +/- 3.6 vs. 38.5 +/- 4.0 cm), snoring frequency (4 [4-4] vs. 3 [1.5-3.5]), snoring intensity (3 [3-4] vs. 1 [1-2]), daytime sleepiness (14 +/- 5 vs. 8 +/- 6), sleep quality score (10.2 +/- 3.7 vs. 6.9 +/- 2.5), and OSAS severity (apnea-hypopnea index, 22.4 +/- 4.8 vs. 13.7 +/- 8.5 events/h). Changes in neck circumference correlated inversely with changes in apnea-hypopnea index (r = 0.59; P < 0.001). This may be a great (and non-invasive) adjunctive treatment for OSA! Click here to read more.

Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT 00660777).

May 14, 2009

New Webpage on Articles Relating to Hearing and Deafness

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A new webpage has been created and added to our audiology section of the website. The webpage collates any news articles published relating to hearing, hearing aids, and deafness and lists them all in a single location for perusal. Click here to check it out!

May 11, 2009

Lecture: Dr. Chang to Give Lecture on Spasmodic Dysphonia

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Dr. Chang will be giving a talk on spasmodic dysphonia on June 13, 2009 to the Central Virginia SD Support Group in Richmond, VA at the CJW Medical Center Johnston-Willis Campus in the Board Room (1PM - 2PM).



Books on voice therapy found to be a useful ADJUNCT to botox injections:

May 10, 2009

Social Networking Added to Practice Website!

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We have added the ability to make comments to certain webpages on our website on a test basis. This feature was added using a social networking tool called Google Friend Connect.

Click here to see it in action for one of the webpages where this feature has been added.

May 06, 2009

Spasmodic Dysphonia Treatment of Northern Virginia

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This posting merely serves to provide notice for folks that our practice has been providing Botox injections for spasmodic dysphonia (both adductor and abductor types) since 2005 by Dr. Christopher Chang. We have patients coming from as far away as Norfolk, VA every 3-5 months to obtain this injection for SD relief.

These injections are provided EVERY Friday afternoon (as long as he is not on vacation).

If you have been receiving injections elsewhere and would like to start getting them in our practice, please make an appointment with us as well as bring your entire botox injection history.



Books on voice therapy found to be a useful ADJUNCT to botox injections:

May 02, 2009

New Electronic Patient Registration Form Created!

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We have created a new webpage and electronic forms (using Adobe pdf) to allow new patients to register over the internet without the need to complete forms by hand. Some patients just type faster than write. Furthermore, some patients do not have access to a printer.

Click here to check it out!
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