Author Archives: Anita Carroll

About Anita Carroll

Dr. Anita Carroll is a Board Certified Doctor of Audiology and licensed by the State of NC. She has a lifelong commitment to providing personalized, professional hearing care which began with helping several family members with their hearing loss. This gives her an interesting personal perspective on the needs of her patients - especially with the impact of hearing loss on relationships.

WHAT TYPE OF LISTENER ARE YOU?

Do you know what type of listener you are?  Listening is important to communication success. Listening effects our quality of relationships, job performance and understanding. Almost every aspect of our lives are linked to our ability to listen and communicate.

Listening is a skill that can be improved.  Everyone has a preferred “mode” of listening and there are 5 distinct patterns of listening.  Find out what type of listener you are below:

PEOPLE ORIENTED listeners focus on the feelings and relationships. They enjoy humor and illustrations.

TIME ORIENTED listeners want to be efficient. They just want the facts and the information to be clear and succinct.

CONTENT ORIENTED listeners evaluate what they hear from different perspectives and need evidence to be meaningful.

ACTION ORIENTED listeners focus on tasks and problem solving:  what needs to happen and who will do it, etc.

SELECTIVE LISTENERS filter and summarize before hearing everything.  They switch between active and passive listening by selecting what they will hear without attention to details.

Many good listeners develop a variety of listening styles depending on the situation.  As you improve your listening skills, you will notice improved understanding and better relationships.

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist and owner of Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, PLLC with over 25 years of experience. Have a few questions – she can be contacted here.   If you’re looking to check your hearing range or improve listening skills visit our online scheduling here.

 

 

Pay It Forward

 

Pay It ForwardPay it forward to a friend and help someone hear better!  Spread the word about our Gift of Hearing Award with someone you know who needs hearing assistance.  Encourage them to be a hearing success story like those we have helped in the past.  Learn about a few we have helped to hear in the past:

Louise, who desperately needed to hear to keep her husband safe at home as she cared for him. She is now confident to interact socially, easily hears personal matters and hears her husband when he leaves home un-escorted.

Kelly, a young professional and new mother who needed accurate hearing for co-workers and meetings as well as hearing her infant son.  She has advanced in her career and can now hear and care for her son without worry!

Randy, with many medical issues that overshadowed his hearing problems and needed good communication with his providers and family. He now enjoys confident interactions at his business and home and is very grateful for improving his quality of life!

Note that our Gift of Hearing Award requires NO financial information and is based ONLY upon nomination and compelling communication needs.  So please pass this on and pay it forward before the December deadline!  Details here!

 

Dr. Anita Carroll established “The Gift of Hearing” program so that others could enjoy better communication and improve their quality of life.  She can be contacted here if you have any questions about this program.  

 

Listening is Key

Listen to understand.

Listening is key to understanding what you hear.

We spend more time listening than any other skill.  But, listening takes practice, requires focus and takes all of our senses in order to hear and understand.

Tips for being a good listener:

  • Stop talking.  Listen to what is being said.  Do not interrupt, talk over or finish sentences.
  • Give your full attention.  Relax. Focus on the speaker.  Don’t let your mind wander from other thoughts.
  • Remove distractions.  Turn the TV off. Don’t take that call.  Stop reading that article. Avoid random interruptions as this disrupts how you listen.
  • Let the speaker finish.  Do not jump to conclusions about what you are hearing until they are finished.
  • Finish listening before you speak.  It is hard to listen if you are busy planning what you are going to say.
  • Listen to the tone.  Volume, pitch and tone of voice are important.  They help you understand what is truly being said.
  • Listen for main ideas. Connect the bits and pieces together so you understand the topic.
  • Watch non-verbal communication.  Gestures, facial expressions and eye movements provide additional information and can reveal inconsistencies.

Listening is key to good communication and is a forgotten part of hearing!  Make sure your hearing and listening skills are up to par so you can communicate effectively.

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist and owner of Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, PLLC with over 25 years of experience. Have a few questions – she can be contacted here.   If you’re looking to check your hearing range or improve listening skills visit our online scheduling here.

School Activities and Hearing Loss

As school activities begin, let’s look at children’s hearing risk for hearing loss and encourage healthy hearing habits.  Hearing is a “forgotten” sense when it comes to school activities. Let’s take a look at the rise in hearing loss among children and the factors that play a role.

  • Earbuds and headphone use has led to a spike in hearing loss for children aged 6 – 19 years.  12.5%  have developed hearing loss because their earphones are turned up too high for video games, music and other media. Average wear time is steadily increasing.
  • Head trauma through improper sports protection can cause hearing loss as well as brain function.  A helmet can protect both!
  • Band, orchestra practice and drum lines are popular activities for school-age children. They are exposed to daily damaging levels of sound during practices and performances which cause permanent hearing loss.
  • Chemistry labs, shop classes and many sports require eye protection but we need to realize the hearing risk by exceeding the safe limits of sound in these school activities. Hearing loss can result from exposure to these activities.

What to Do?

  1.  Turn down the music and limit wear time for earbuds or headphones – in and out of school.
  2.  Wear the right sports equipment to prevent head trauma for contact sports at school and at home.
  3.  Play instruments with caution and keep music enjoyable for future years. Provide earplugs and show them examples of popular musicians performing with ear protection. There are inexpensive specific earplugs for musicians to use. Find out more here.
  4.  Provide earplugs or earmuffs for your child to use in labs, shop class and sports to protect their ears for this school year and in the future.

Back-to-school season is the perfect time to get kids aware of their hearing and encourage healthy hearing habits. Parents should request hearing screenings by their child’s physician to monitor their hearing and preserve it for the future!

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist and owner of Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, PLLC with over 25 years of experience. Have a few questions about your child’s school activity – she can be contacted here.   If you’re looking to check hearing or improve listening skills visit our online scheduling here.

Tinnitus: Do Your Hobbies Put You At Risk

guitar player

 

Tinnitus may start (or worsen) after the sounds of your favorite hobby. Some hobbies are really hard on your ears. Here are some of the top hobbies that can cause ear damage:

  • Motorcycle riding
  • Home Improvement
  • Woodworking
  • Sporting or music events
  • Part-time musicians
  • Landscaping/gardening
  • Hunting/target shooting

Most people know that loud sounds can cause hearing loss.  But did you know that it can also cause tinnitus and other symptoms listed below? Think about how this will impact you several years from now.

  • Tinnitus– ringing in the ears that sounds like a tone or hissing.
  • Hyperacusis– sensitivity to sound.
  • Diplacusis– the pitch of sound is abnormally flat or sharp.
  • Processing Disorders– difficulty hearing speech in the presence of background noise.

What Should You Do?

Don’t give up the fun things you do – just be smart!  If your hobby uses drills or hammers, wear ear plugs or hang muffs around your neck, ready to use. If you love live music out at a local bar or arena, use musician earplugs that preserve sound quality but reduce the noise exposure.

You only have two ears, so take care of them now – before they are damaged.

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist who enjoys assisting others with all types of ear protection products to keep your ears healthy and hearing well.  Book an appointment for your hobbies now! 

Tinnitus: Relieve the Ringing in Your Ears

Tinnitus is a ringing, buzzing, roaring or chirping high-pitched noise in your ears.  At Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, we know how disturbing tinnitus can be.  It causes tension, sleepless nights, depression and isolation.  tinnitue

Head noises can begin for many reasons:

  • High noise levels.  Ringing in your ears often begins after exposure to high noise levels. Going to concerts or sporting events or working in a loud environment can have permanent effects on your ears.  If you are often exposed to high noise levels, consider using custom ear protection to protect your ears and reduce your tinnitus.
  • Obstruction in the ear canal.  Head noises may begin from the buildup of fluid, earwax, ear infections and other blockages in your ear canal.  Medical treatment can typically treat the cause and reduce the tinnitus.
  • Health conditions.  Tinnitus  may begin from a head injury, certain medications, and chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and poor diet.  Medical treatment can usually reduce the head noises resulting from these conditions.
  • Hearing loss.  Hearing problems related to damage of the delicate structures of the inner ear can cause the auditory nerve to create sounds that are not actually present. The most effective way to treat tinnitus caused by hearing loss is with hearing aids that have special technology features.

At Hearing Solutions in the Triangle, we provide a full audiological exam along with completing an extensive individual tinnitus profile before determining your treatment options.  Depending on what is causing your tinnitus, you may benefit from a hearing aid, a sound machine to help you sleep, and even therapeutic exercises to help you cope with the stress of tinnitus.

Our Audiologist will provide the personalized care you need to treat your tinnitus in Chapel Hill, NC.  Schedule an appointment today to seek the treatment options that will best suit your concerns.

4th of July Tips For Ears

4th of July:  Prepare Your Ears 4th of July fireworks

The 4th of July means backyard parties, concerts and fireworks.  And, it’s going to be a loud celebration.  After all, fireworks are designed to make as much noise as possible!

Did you know that if you stand within just three feet of your neighbors fireworks, you are exposing yourself to 150 decibels of sound? That’s equivalent to a jet engine!   Keep the following tips in mind when you celebrate:

  1. Keep a safe distance from fireworks and loud speakers at any picnic or backyard party you attend. You’ll still enjoy the fun with less damage to your ears.
  2. Bring and wear ear plugs. Ear plugs are an inexpensive way to protect your hearing and a good idea to have on hand for the 4th of July!  We like these by Etymotic.  We have plenty on hand at our office so give us a quick call.
  3. Protect you children’s ears! Children and babies’ ears are vulnerable to loud sounds.  Hearing damage is cumulative and adds up over time. We recommend BANZ earmuffs for kids in cool colors and graphics. Kid love them! This will save them hearing loss down the line.
  4. Use an app.  If you’re unsure how loud it is, keep track on a cell phone app. This will protect you from hearing loss in the future.
  5. Cover your ears and move away. If for any reason you are near loud sounds and don’t have earplugs, cover your ears and move away.  It is better than doing nothing.

FYI:  Please see a hearing professional if you have these symptoms.  Exposure to noises such as loud fireworks can result in:

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist who enjoys assisting others with all types of custom ear products to keep your ears healthy and hearing well.  Book an appointment for recreational activities such as hunting, concerts, swimming or musicians.    

 

 

Swim Plugs for Summer

swim plugsSwim plugs will keep your summer activities fun and your ears water-free! Hate water in your ears?  Keep that water out of your ears and enjoy water-free ears this summer!

Waterproof swim plugs are custom made to offer protection for those who suffer from water sensitivity and ear infections. Some will float and all are designed for maximum comfort.

Custom fitted swim plugs help to avoid swimmer’s ear infections.  The most common cause of swimmer’s ear is bacteria inside your ear canal from water that remains in your ear. The less moisture in your ear, the better your ears will feel and fewer visits to the doctor!

Summertime FunWe are excited to offer custom fitted swim plugs in an array of colors here at Hearing Solutions in the Triangle.   We recommend our patients thoroughly dry their ears after swimming or showering.  The less moisture in your ear, the better your ears will feel!

Invest in a good pair of swim plugs and enjoy summer fun with water-free ears!  Schedule an appointment today and get them for your summer fun!

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist who enjoys assisting others with custom recreational ear products to keep your ears healthy and hearing well. If you’re looking to improve the health of your ears, contact her for advice on custom swim plugs.

 

Why A Hearing Exam Matters

Hearing Exams Matter

Hearing exam

Most people don’t realize how even a little hearing loss impacts their overall health.  Usually the decline in hearing is slow and gradual.  It’s hard to realize there is a problem because the brain adapts.  Everything from medications, head injuries, noise, heredity and infections can play a role in hearing loss.

A hearing exam will assess your current hearing and ear health and monitor any decline.  Some issues can be simple fixes such as a buildup of wax.  But no matter what the cause, the garbled hearing puts stress on the brain.  Quickly addressing any hearing issue reduces the deprivation to the brain and hidden health issues.

Bottom line:  The faster you deal with hearing decline, the better the brain will function over time.

Not hearing well brings surprising health risks:

  • Memory / cognitive decline
  • Unexplained fatigue
  • Depression
  • Decreased overall health
  • Social isolation
  • Increased risk of dementia

Hearing exams are important for your health!  We recommend a baseline hearing exam at age 30 and monitoring every 3 – 5 years until age 50.  Bi-annual exams are recommended for those over 50.   Take our Online Hearing Test or talk with our Audiologist and find out if you have hidden hearing loss!

 

Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

Sleep plugs help you get the good night’s sleep you’ve been missing!

Sleep is important to disconnect, recharge and heal.  It helps us to function properly each day and is vital to maintain your health.

Effects of Poor Sleep

Poor sleep is linked to memory problems, increased stress, decreased attention along with thousands of traffic accidents.  Chronic sleep loss increases your risk for heart attack, obesity, stroke and diabetes.

Noise Effects Sleep Quality

A good night’s sleep can be interrupted by noisy neighbors, barking dogs or a snoring partner.  City noises and construction may also interrupt our sleep. Sleep plugs help prevent the health consequences of poor sleep and allows you to get an undisturbed night’s rest!

Comfortable Fit

Sleep plugs are custom molded for your ears.  They are easy to insert and fit perfectly in your ears.  Custom sleep plugs are made of a soft silicone material and comfortable to wear all night.  They are easy to clean and don’t buildup bacteria that can occur with foam earplugs.

Get a restful night’s sleep!  Schedule an appointment today to get your custom molded silicone sleep plugs.

Dr. Anita Carroll is a licensed Audiologist who enjoys assisting others with all types of custom ear products to keep your ears healthy and hearing well. If you’re looking to improve the quality of your sleep, contact her for advice on custom sleep plugs.