Meet the Expert »
Coastal Audiology opened in September 2004 to give residents of West Chatham and surrounding counties a choice for their hearing healthcare without having to go into Savannah or visit a large, impersonal chain retailer.  Locally owned and operated by Audiologist, Dawn H. MacMillan, and her spouse, Roy MacMillan.

Coastal is the first local provider to “unbundled” their products and services to allow individual’s seeking hearing healthcare the option to get the same great hearing aids at more affordable prices with the same great customer service.


Contact Information
Phone: 912-748-9494
Fax: 912-748-9495
Address: 138 Canal Street
  Suite 108
  Pooler, GA 31322
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Hearing Questions Answered by Dawn MacMillan »
Section: Hearing
Q:  Hi, I earlier asked about my son saying his ear copies him.... I do not smoke, and he is not around anyone who does. But he does have alot of nose bleeds, could that be the cause? He also has a speech problem. He cannot say his R letter very well. Could the fluid be the problem? Thank you.
A: 

The nose bleeds are a bit concerning. I would certainly make an appointment with his pediatrician or a specialist, such as an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) physician.

The inability to say his "r" sounds could be due to fluid behind his eardrum, as if he is unable to hear how the "r" sounds, it becomes more difficult to say it. The "r" sound is one of the last-acquired sounds a child learns to say, but it is typically mastered by about 5-7 years of age.

Please consider calling for an appointment with an ENT physician. Should you like some receommendations, please do not hesitate to call our office. If you have private insurance, the insurance handbook or website can generally give you a list of providers that accept your insurance. If you do not have health insurance, many physicians will give discounts to individuals without insurance who pay out-of-pocket.  Thank you for asking, I hope you find this helpful.

 

 


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Section: Hearing
Q:  is there ANYTHING that can be used SUCCESSFULLY to stop tinnitis .... ringing in ears?
A: 

Wow! If I could solve the problem of tinnitus...

The most important thing is to try to determine the cause of your tinnitus. Nearly everyone occasionally gets ringing in their ears that lasts 30 seconds or so, but then there are others that have constant, chronic, debilitating ringing that disrupts activities of daily living, such as work and sleep. Noise exposure  and subsequent damage to your hearing are probably the most common causes of tinnitus, but not all the time. Tinnitus can also be present with more serious medical conditions, such as tumors. Therefore, it is important to see your doctor and/or an Audiologist to rule out these more serious conditions.

There are claims that certain dietary supplements help, but most people find a therapy called tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT) the most helpful. Through TRT, you are taught to work through the tinnitus so it isn't so disruptive.

The first step is to have your tinnitus evaluated, then discuss with the Audiologist and/or doctor what treatment options are right for YOU.


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Section: Hearing
Q:  Sometimes my ear squeeks audibly when I "pop" them. While the pain is minimal, I want to know if I am risking damage to my eardrum?
A: 

Thank you for your question. Without looking in your ear and performing middle ear testing, I cannot be for sure, but it is possible that you have a perforated eardrum, or a hole in your eardrum. This "squeak" you hear may be air escaping through a hole in your eardrum when you try to "pop" your ear. Though these holes can be very small and sometimes not visible through an otoscope (the light a doctor uses to look in your ear), I would visit your family doctor, an Audiologist (like at Coastal Audiology), or an ear/nose/throat (ENT) physician. If you do have a hole in your eardrum, you will want to keep water out of your ear by using an earplug.

As for damaging your eardrum, I would be more concerned about the possibility that you have a hole in your eardrum and if so, the reason for it. Is is possible your eardrum ruptured during an ear infection? a diving/jet ski accident? did you have 'tubes' as a child?


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Section: Hearing
Q:  How loud does something have to be before I have to worry about hearing loss?
A: 

That's a tricky question. Some people are more sensitive to noise-induced hearing loss, so the answer varies. Some things to look for when you are in a noisy environment is: Do you have to shout to be heard by someone who is next to you or just a few feet away? If so, it's too loud.  Do your ears ring, buzz, or hum after you been exposed to loud noises? If so, it was too loud. Do your ears feel stopped up or muffled after leaving a noisy environment, such as a concert? If they do, you may have already suffered noise-induced hearing loss.

Whenever you are exposed to loud noises, even something as simple as a lawnmower, you should protect your hearing. Hearing loss is cumulative, meaning that with each exposure, you could sustain more and more hearing loss. And typically when you have symptoms of hearing loss after such an event, as a concert, fireworks show, etc, you've already sustained a permanent loss of hearing.

If you don't like wearing foam earplugs due to discomfort, consider investing around $80.00 for a custom-made pair. They come in a variety of colors, patterns, and for a variety of uses, for general noise protection, to shooter's hearing protection, and musician's earplugs. For more information, contact Coastal Audiology to learn about which style plug may be most approrpiate for you.

Investing a little money now to protect your hearing can save you thousands of dollars later!


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Section: Hearing
Q:  My son says that his ear copies him when he talks. I dont really understand what he means. He is 9. Can this be a normal thing? Thank you
A: 

It sounds as though he may have fluid behind his eardrum(s), also called 'tympanic membrane', which can make him sound as though he is "stopped up". It is not uncommon for children to have fluid behind their eardrums, as they are more prone to middle ear infections due to the orientation of a structure called the Eustachian Tube. In children, it is more horizontal, and as we grown older, it takes a more downward slope, which allows fluid to drain away. Because of it's horizontal nature in children, fluid doesn't drain away as efficiently, and therefore they end up with more middle ear infections and/or chronic fluid behnd their eardrums.

Either way, you should make an appointment with your son's pediatrician and/or an Audiologist or Ear, Nose, & Throat (ENT) physician. They can check his eardrums with a device called a tympanometer to see if fluid is present, and if so, can advise you what to do next.

As an aside, children who live in homes or are around smokers (yes, even if the smoker smokes outside!) are more prone to colds, illness, and chronic middle ear fluid. So, if your child does have middle ear fluid, it could be caused by exposure to secondhand smoke and/or the residual chemicals on the smoker's clothing. Do yourself and your child a favor and quit smoking. Many parents report an improvement in not only their own health, but the health of their families once they are no longer subjected to the smoke and chemicals.

Of course, not all cases of chronic middle ear fluid are 'caused' by smoking. As mentioned above, children are more anatomically prone to ear infections and chronic fluid (called chronic serous otitis media) due to their Eustachian Tube.


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Section: Hearing
Q:  What causes my ears to “ring”?
A: 

Ringing in the ears is called tinnitus. It can originate from many sources, one of the more common being exposure to harmful levels of noise. For other individuals, they may find their ears ring after taking certain medications, such as aspirin. There is currently no cure for tinnitus, but there are ways to make the tinnitus less bothersome.

It is important to have your hearing checked if you suffer from tinnitus, as it may also be caused by a more serious problem, such as a tumor, referred to as an acoustic neuroma.

Ask your physician for a referral to Coastal Audiology if you suffer from tinnitus. We will assess your hearing and decide if a referral to a physician is necessary.  You may visit our website at www.coastalaudiology.com for information about tinnitus and how to schedule a hearing test. For additional information specifically about tinnitus, please visit the American Tinnitus Association's website at www.ata.org


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