Hearing Loss And Deafness

Hearing Loss And Deafness

Helping you differentiate hearing loss from deafness can tell you when to see a doctor. Read on to learn the ins and outs of hearing loss and deafness to ensure you get the right treatment.

Hearing loss vs. deafness

We will first discuss the levels of hearing loss to help you distinguish hearing loss from deafness.
Hearing loss is the reduction of your ability to hear sounds when compared to others.
Deafness occurs when you cannot hear speech even when the sounds are amplified.
Profound deafness occurs when you cannot hear any sound at all.
The severity of your hearing loss is categorized by checking how much the volume needs to be turned up before you hear sound.

The three varieties of hearing loss

Gradual hearing loss occurs as you age. Almost half of Americans over 65 experience some form of hearing loss.
Hearing loss comes in three varieties

Conductive involves your middle ear

This type of hearing loss occurs when vibrations do not pass through the outer ear to reach the inner ear. Excessive build-up of ear wax, ear infections, fluid behind the eardrum, and disorders of the bones of hearing are the common suspects of this condition.

Sensorineural involves your inner ear

This type of hearing loss is caused by brain damage, dysfunction of your cochlea, and the auditory nerve. This damage typically occurs as you age and your cells deteriorate.

You can also experience this type of hearing loss because of long-term exposure to loud noises. Your body may also develop this condition because of inner ear infections and head trauma.

Most types of sensorineural hearing loss cannot be reversed, but you can ask your doctor to help improve your hearing.

An important exception is sudden sensorineural hearing loss. If you experience sudden onset hearing loss you should call your ENT doctor immediately to be seen. Sudden hearing loss can sometimes be treated, but only if treatment is started right away.

Mixed hearing loss – a combination of the two

The condition is categorized by a combination of sensorineural and conductive hearing loss. Long-term infections can damage the eardrums. Surgical intervention may help treat a conductive problem, but it’s not always effective if the sensorineural hearing loss is severe.


Here is a list of signs that you are experiencing hearing loss:
1. Avoiding social settings
2. Muffling sounds and speech
3. Withdrawing from conversations
4. Trouble understanding consonants
5. Turning up the volume of electronic devices
6. Frequently asking people to speak clearly, loudly, and slowly
7. Difficulty understanding what others are saying against background noise

When to get checked by a doctor?

You must seek medical attention immediately when you experience a sudden loss of hearing, usually in one ear. Consult with your doctor if your hearing loss is interfering with your daily life. Be aware that age-related hearing loss is gradual, so you may not detect it at first. Getting regular exams should help you identify hearing problems sooner.


There is treatment available to you for all the different types of hearing loss. The treatment you receive will vary based on the cause and severity of deafness.

Hearing Aids

Hearing aids are wearable devices that will assist your hearing. There are a few varieties of hearing aids that come in different levels of power, sizes, and circuitries. These devices do not cure deafness, they just amplify the sound that enters your ear to help you hear more clearly.

They are composed of a loudspeaker, battery, microphone, and amplifier. These devices are very discreet and can help you distinguish speech and background noise. Your audiologist takes an impression of your ear for fitting and adjusts the settings to suit your needs.

Cochlear implants

Should your doctor find your eardrum and middle ear intact, then you may benefit from receiving a cochlear implant. It is a thin electrode inserted into your cochlea. This implant is inserted to help you repair your hearing impairment if it’s caused by hair cell damage in your cochlea. The implants give you better speech comprehension. Newer models can allow you to enjoy music and discern the different types of noises. You can even use some of the models while swimming.

Outside, the implant consists of a microphone, transmitter, and speech processor.

Inside it has a receiver and stimulator.

Children often have implants in both ears, while adults only have them in one.

In conclusion, learning about hearing loss and deafness, their varieties, symptoms, when to see a doctor, and treatment can help you get the right treatment. Dr. Kelley is an expert when handling ear conditions, so visit him to get treatment.

What Is A Laryngoscopy?

What Is A Laryngoscopy?


This procedure is an examination that your doctor performs to get a close-up view of your larynx and throat. Your larynx is your voice box, and it is found at the top of your trachea.

You must protect your larynx because it contains your vocal cords. As the air passes over your vocal cords it, causes them to vibrate to produce a sound, which gives you the ability to talk.

Your ENT or ears, nose, and throat doctor performs the exam. They will pass a small flexible camera through your nose called laryngoscope. 

Who needs a Laryngoscopy?

A Laryngoscopy may be performed if you exhibit the following:

  • Earache
  • Throat pain
  • Blood in cough
  • Persistent cough
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • An object stuck in your throat

In office awake flexible laryngoscopy usually takes about 2 minutes. Sedated laryngoscopy in the operating room usually takes about 45 minutes.


Flexible Laryngoscopy

The procedure will have you lean forward in a high back chair. Numbing medicine or a localized anesthetic is usually sprayed in your nose and throat. Next, your doctor inserts a small flexible camera into through your nose to the back of your throat to visualize your voice box and all other throat structures. You may be asked to make sounds to have your larynx move.


Are there Side Effects

This exam has a relatively low risk of complications. You may experience minor irritation of the soft tissues in your throat after the exam, but the test is very safe. The numbing medication typically wears off within 45 minutes to an hour during which time we ask you not to eat or drink anything because your throat may remain numb.  


Sedated Operative/Direct Laryngoscopy

This procedure may happen in a hospital or surgery center. You are sedated under expert supervision, and you will not feel the test because of the anesthesia. A small and flexible telescope goes in either your mouth or nose and then down your throat. Your doctor will see through the telescope to get a close view of your larynx.

The procedure allows your doctor to remove growths, objects and collect samples. This test can be done if you are gagging easily or your doctor needs to see harder to see areas.


Results Interpretation

Your doctor may collect specimens during the procedure, remove growths, and retrieve foreign objects. A biopsy may also be performed after the procedure, and your doctor will discuss your results and treatment options.


How to Prepare for a Laryngoscopy

Arrange a ride to and from your procedure. You can’t drive after your procedure because of the anesthesia. Talk to your doctor about the procedure and ask what you need to prepare. Your doctor will forbid you from eating or drinking for eight hours before the exam. Be sure to tell your doctor about the medications you are currently taking. The meds you are taking may need to be stopped. Please check with your doctor to see if stopping your medication is safe before stopping the meds.     


Everything You Need To Know About Nasal Obstruction

Everything You Need To Know About Nasal Obstruction

Nasal obstruction can cause you an inconvenience that can snowball into a life-altering condition. You need to learn the signs of nasal obstruction because it may dramatically improve your life. Read on to find out everything you need to know about nasal obstruction. 


Nasal Obstruction

You may confuse nasal obstruction with a disease. It’s a symptom of underlying problems that obstructs your nasal passages. For your children, the common culprits are nasal allergies and enlarged adenoids. A less common cause for nasal obstruction is nasal tumors, polyps, and congenital malformations of their nose.   


  • Nasal drainage
  • Nasally voice
  • Mouth breathing
  • Difficulty breathing through one or both sides of the nose
  • Recurrent or chronic sinus infections


Nasal Obstruction occurs when your nose becomes inflamed and stuffy. Many minor illnesses can cause you to experience nasal obstruction. Illnesses such as a cold, sinus infection, and the flu can cause your nose to develop obstruction. Obstructions in your nose usually improve within a week. If there is no improvements after a week, that usually means you are experiencing underlying health issues.  

The usual suspects for your prolonged nasal obstruction are the following:

  • Hay fever
  • Allergies
  • Nasal polyps
  • Environmental irritants
  • Chemical exposure
  • Long-lasting sinus infection
  • Deviated septum

You may also experience nasal congestion at the end of your first trimester of pregnancy. The hormonal fluctuations and increase in your blood supply may cause nasal obstruction. 

Nasal Obstruction Self Care

There are a few items you can use if you experience nasal obstruction.

Humidifiers add moisture to your air to help break the mucus gathered in your nose. It can also soothe your inflamed nasal passages. You must check with a doctor first if you have asthma before using a humidifier.

You can also prop up your head to encourage your mucus to flow out of your nose.

Saline sprays and salt water irrigations are a mainstay of treatment.   

When should you visit your doctor?

There are times when remedies and rest do not work, which means it’s time to see your doctor. In cases where nothing works, it usually means you have underlying anatomic obstruction.

You will need medical treatment to treat your symptoms to get you back to a 100%.

Visit your doctor if you manifest any of the following:

  • Your congestion lasts longer than 10 days
  • A high fever accompanies your congestion for more than three days
  • Green discharge from your nose accompanied by fever and sinus pain
  • Your immune system is compromised
  • Asthma or emphysema
  • A head injury may cause you to discharge blood or a constant flow of clear discharge.

All of these symptoms should be taken seriously because they may indicate other serious issues in your body.


Nasal obstruction is very threatening to infants when compared to adults. The nasal obstruction can hamper feedings and may also cause fatal breathing problems. In this state, your child can also experience impediments to their speech and hearing development.

You must contact your child’s pediatrician right away if they have nasal congestion. The pediatrician can then give you treatment options for your child.


Once your doctor finds the cause of your chronic nasal obstruction, they can come up with a treatment plan. Your treatment plan can include over-the-counter and prescription medication to help relieve your symptoms. 

Here is a list of common medicines to relieve congestion:

  • Oral antihistamines such as Claritin and Zyrtec can treat your allergies.
  • Nasal sprays like azelastine contain antihistamines to help relieve your symptoms.
  • Nasal steroids such as Mometasone or Flonase (Fluticasone)
  • Antibiotics
  • Decongestants

You may also need surgery if you have tumors or nasal polyps.

Please note that these are all just possibilities for your treatment.

In conclusion, nasal obstruction can be a major impediment if not taken seriously. Dr. Kelley has a wealth of experience and tools available to help you.

Tips To Manage Your Sinus During The Winter

Tips To Manage Your Sinus During The Winter

Tips To Manage Your Sinus During The Winter

Winter brings changes in the environment that can mess with your sinus and leave youin pain. Read on to learn what causes your sinus problems and what you can do forrelief during the winter months.



Causes of Sinus Problems During Winter


There are plenty of factors that can trigger your sinus problems during the wintermonths. You should find out what triggers your sinus problems to protect yourself. An examination will determine if you have conditions that harm your sinuses regardless of the season. Narrow sinus passages, nasal polyps, or a deviated septum are all conditions that may cause your sinus problems.If your nasal passages are perfectly healthy, then it’s time to look for external factors.

Here are the most common external factors that can cause your sinus problems:


Dry Air

The air you’ll breathe from outdoors becomes dry during the winter months. When you’re indoors, the air will still be dry because of the heater. Dry air makes it more difficult for the Cilia in your nose to function. Your normal nasal secretions will be unable to wash off the debris and dirt that irritate your nasal cavities.



Your doors and windows will be shut while the heater is running during the winter months. The lack of fresh air in your area may lead others to use candles and air fresheners to remedy the smell. These fragrances will introduce new chemicals and particles to the air you breathe. The foreign material brought by the fragrances can irritate your sinus regardless of your allergies.



Your pets are going to stay inside during winter. Their pet danders may trigger your allergies, sinusitis, and asthma because of the increase in your exposure. Their pet danders can get stuck at the furniture and rugs, leaving you exposed to many allergens.



Your upholstered furniture and rugs can contain a lot of allergens. Molds, dust mites,dust, and other household debris can stick and linger in your furniture. Your home does not get proper circulation during the winter months causing these allergens to pile up. Sitting down on your couch or even walking through your rugs can release allergens up in the air. These particles can trigger your sinus problems or asthma.


Tips to Manage Sinus Problems in Winter


Treat Your Air

The most important measure you can take is to make sure that your air is clean all year round. Your sinus may experience a flare-up because of the air you’re breathing. A High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) air filter should be installed in all of your rooms because they remove allergens from the air. If that is not possible, install the HEPA filter in your bedroom or other rooms you spend extended periods of time. You also need to use a humidifier to add moisture to the dry air.Your sinuses and respiratory system will feel and function better when the air is clean and moist.


Clean Your Home

You must regularly clean your home to keep the allergens away. A vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter can remove the debris and dust from your home. Depending on your allergies severity, you may have to clean your home more frequently. You can also wear a face mask, goggles, and gloves while cleaning to prevent the allergens from triggering your allergies while you clean.


Unclog Your Sinus

You can help unclog your sinus by applying a warm and moist towelette on your face several times a day. Moistening the air without a humidifier can be done in your bathroom. Turn on the hot shower in your bathroom and inhale the steam. Drink plenty of water to thin out the mucus in your sinus, making it easier to expel.


Take Medication

There are many medicines that can help you manage sinus problems.

Here is a list of medicines that can help ease sinus problems:



Decongestants reduce the swelling in your nose, ease sinus pressure, and relieve stuffiness. These medicines can come in the form of nasal sprays and pills.

Warning:​ do not use nasal sprays for more than three days and do not use oral decongestants for more than seven days


Anti-inflammatory Medicines and Pain Relievers

These types of medicines can be bought at grocery stores. They can relieve the pain you feel from sinus pressure. You must always read and follow the instructions on the labels. You need to see a doctor if you find yourself using them for more than seven days.


Nasal Steroids

These medicines relieve stuffy noses when your allergies have been triggered. They may also help relieve your nasal polyps. The medicines come in many varieties, some you can buy over the counter and others that require a prescription.

Warning:​ Do not use any medication without consulting your doctor. Doctors will be able to give you the right medication and the correct dosages.



In the end, it is important to understand what triggers your sinus problems during the winter. Dry air, fragrances, pets, and furniture can all be culprits causing your sinus problems. Knowing what measures to take can help you minimize or remove what triggers your sinus problems. Simple measures like cleaning your air and home,clearing your sinus, and taking medications can help bring your sinus relief.

Tips to Manage Your Fall Allergies

Tips to Manage Your Fall Allergies

Tips to Manage Your Fall Allergies


The Fall season invites a whole new host of allergens that can wreak havoc on your body. You should take the right precautions to avoid aggravating your allergies. Read on to find out what are the most common allergens, allergy symptoms, measures to manage your allergies, and what are the common treatments?


What are the common causes of allergies in the fall?



Ragweed pollen is often the culprit of fall allergies. This yellow flowering weed usually comes up in August and induces allergic reactions for many in the fall. It is found en masse in the Midwest and East. You may be thinking that I don’t live in the Midwest or East, but Ragweed pollen travels through hundreds of miles through the wind. It could also be spread to your food. The wind may have spread the pollen through farmlands and affect your fruits and vegetables. You must be wary of where you buy your produce. Thankfully, the pollen tends to disappear in Winter.


Mold and Mildew

The fungi thrive in both indoor and outdoor settings all year round. Homeowners should regularly inspect their homes to prevent health hazards. Indoors they can be found in basements and bathrooms or other damp areas in the house. Outdoors they are usually found in the damp leaves of your yard or compost files. Mold and Mildew are not killed by frost but will go on a dormant phase during Winter.


Dust Mites

These microscopic arthropods sustain themselves primarily on human skin flakes. They appear all year-round and thrive on temperatures in the high 60s to mid-70s, but they will die in extreme temperatures or when the humidity goes down below 70 percent. Be careful when you turn on your heater in the fall. It is important to check your heater because dust mites can be stirred into the air and enter your heater.


Common Allergy Symptoms

  • Your eyes will become watery and or itchy.
  • Mucous starts running out of your nose, followed by sneezing.
  • You may experience wheezing and asthma, as the allergens affect your lungs.
  • An itching throat can be one of your oral symptoms.
  • You may experience an upset stomach or diarrhea.
  • Hives may form in your skin along with itchiness and eczema.


How to Manage Your Allergies

You will spend more time indoors as the temperature drops. Closing your windows will still leave you exposed to indoor allergens such as mold and dust mites. Thankfully, there are plenty of measures you can take to manage your symptoms and get rid of the allergens.


Check the pollen levels before heading out

Checking the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology’s National Allergy
Bureau will let you know the pollen levels. If your area is currently experiencing highpollen levels, then it is best to cancel your outdoor activities. Pollen counts are often highest in the morning. Switch to indoor activities when the pollen count outside is too high to prevent aggravating your allergies.


Wear Protective Gear

Wear long sleeves, a hat, pants, face mask, and sunglasses when you go outside to keep the pollen out of your system. Certain activities in the yard could release pollen in your vicinity. Activities such as mowing and raking should be handled with care.


Get rid of the Pollen

Change your footwear before entering your home. You should also remove your jacket, sunglasses, hat, and facemask before heading inside. Minimize your pollen exposure by washing the pollen off your body as soon as possible. Take a shower as quickly as you can after getting back inside.


Do Not Dry Your Laundry Outside

Your laundry can end up becoming a pollen magnet that aggravates your allergies. Clothing and bedding infested by pollen can trigger your allergies to go out of control. It is important to find other ways of drying your laundry indoors. The indoor setting will minimize the chances of pollen getting into your home.


HEPA Filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA is a special kind of filter installed in air conditioners and heaters to better clean your air. You might think that air pollution is limited to smoke from cars and factories. Spores from mold, dust mites and pollen can travel through the air and into your home. These can aggravate your allergies and asthma. HEPA filters installed in your ventilation system can help prevent pollutants from traveling indoors. HEPA filters will clean your air by forcing air through a filter made of fine mesh. That filter catches allergens such as pollen, dust mites, and tobacco smoke to keep you safe. Most air purifiers you can purchase contain HEPA filters. Air filters are portable units that can filter the air of the room of your choice. When you purchase a HEPA filter, it’s important to know how much air the filter can clean. Buy a filter that is strong enough to handle your room’s size. It is best to put in your bedrooms to keep the allergens away while sleeping. You can find filters in online stores and marketplaces.


Keep Your Home Neat

While purchasing an air filter can help keep allergens outside at bay. You must keep your home clean to remove any allergens present in your home.

  • Vacuum your carpets and floors regularly
  • Put filters in your furnace
  • Cover your mattresses and pillows
  • Replace your curtains with roll up shades
  • Replace your carpet floors with tile or wood flooring
  • Change your bedding regularly and wash your sheets in hot water
  • Keep your pets outdoors to prevent pet dander from triggering your allergy


How to Treat Fall Allergies

There are plenty of different ways to tackle your fall allergies. Before attempting any of the methods, it is best to consult a doctor first.

Here are different treatments to help you manage your allergies:

  • Steroid nasal sprays reduce inflammation in your nose.
  • Antihistamines can mitigate or stop your sniffling, sneezing, and itching.
  • Decongestants can offer you relief for stuffy noses and help remove dried mucus from your nose.
  • Immunotherapy from oral tablets or allergy shots can help bring you relief.

It is ill-advised to self medicate. You must see a doctor and get the right prescription and dosages. Only take the prescribed amounts to ensure your safety.

In the end, the fall brings allergens to wreak havoc on your body. Taking measures such as learning about the most common allergens, allergy symptoms, measures to manage your allergies, and the common treatments can make your life in the fall a lot easier.

Telehealth FAQ

Telehealth FAQ

Telehealth FAQ

Doctor Kelley is now offering Telehealth services to help you get the healthcare you need. Telehealth is a relatively new concept for many but continue reading on to find out what telehealth is and how to schedule your first appointment.


What is Telehealth?

Telehealth is the practice of accessing your healthcare remotely.

Telehealth’s true goal is to improve access to healthcare while lowering costs for everybody.


What Happens During a Telehealth Appointment?

You begin your telehealth appointment by sharing your medical history. Your medical history is very important and will let doctor Kelley assess your current condition. You must share as much information as possible about your previous medical conditions to help doctor Kelley prescribe the most effective treatment.

The next step of the telehealth process is the examination. You must explain what currently ails you to doctor Kelley to help him assess your condition. Be as descriptive as possible while describing your condition to help doctor Kelley accurately diagnose
your health.

The final step of the medical examination is the visual medical exam. Doctor Kelley will examine you using your computer, tablet, or phone’s camera.
Doctor Kelley will be able to diagnose you based on the data gathered. He will instruct you on the next steps of your treatment. Electronic prescriptions are also available to make it easier for you to get your prescriptions.


How Do I Schedule a Telehealth Appointment?

You can schedule your telehealth appointment by calling (925) 254-6710 or send an email through the practice’s contact page. Someone will be in touch with you within 24 hours to help you schedule a time slot that works for you.


How Do I Pay for Telehealth Appointments?

Most insurance plans or cash payments are accepted to pay for your telehealth appointments. You can also call or email to confirm whether your preferred payment method is accepted.


Can I Get My Prescription Electronically?

Yes, you can ask for electronic prescriptions for your treatments. Doctor Kelley can also call in your prescription for an easy pickup. Controlled prescriptions, however, require a paper prescription that you can pick up at the office.


How Do I Begin My Telehealth Appointment?

You must choose a platform for your telehealth appointment. Facetime, Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, Vsee, Doximity, and Doxy.me are all accepted for telehealth appointments. You will then receive either a link or call, depending on your chosen platform.

In the end, telehealth’s purpose is to give you easier access to healthcare. You can see your doctor using communication technology and get treatment quickly in the comfort of your own home. Each practice handles telehealth appointments differently. They may use different apps, have different payment, and prescription policies. You must clarify everything with your provider for an easy telehealth process.

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