Recognize the Signs of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss develops gradually. By learning the early signs and symptoms, you can seek help earlier and keep the hearing loss from progressing.

Here are some of the things you should watch out for:

  • Trouble understanding the TV dialogue
    Compared to other sounds, speech can be more challenging to hear if you have hearing loss. It can manifest as trouble following a TV or movie dialogue.
  • Difficulty hearing normal household sounds
    These include doorbells, telephone ringing, or a friend/companion shouting your name from another room.
  • Ringing or buzzing in the ears
    The ringing or buzzing shouldn’t be ignored as it can be a sign of permanent hearing injury.
  • Trouble hearing on the telephone
    If you have to constantly adjust your phone’s volume setting to hear the person on the other line, then you may be suffering from a hearing loss.
  • Depending on non-verbal cues to understand what the other person is saying
    If you find yourself constantly relying on lip movement, gestures, or other cues just to understand what the other person is saying, then you may have a hearing loss.
  • Difficulty hearing in noisy environments
    People with hearing loss often have problems masking the background noise and focusing on speech. If it’s hard for you to hear what other people are saying in a noisy environment, then maybe it’s time to have a hearing evaluation.

    What causes hearing loss?

There are several possible causes of hearing loss. These include the buildup of earwax, aging, ear infection, abnormal bone growths or tumors in the outer or middle ear, and ruptured eardrum.

If you suspect that you are suffering from hearing loss, don’t hesitate to see a specialist. Like other conditions, hearing loss is easier to manage on its early stages.

Greater Knoxville ENT has a team of specialists who can evaluate your condition and suggest appropriate interventions. You can request an appointment online or call us at (865) 521-8050.







Say Goodbye to Allergies

Spring is finally here! While it’s beautiful, it’s also the peak season for allergies. The main culprit? Pollen.

The trees and even the weeds release these tiny grains into the air to fertilize other plants. However, when they get into the nose of someone who’s allergic to them, they can trigger the body’s immune response.

When the immune system sees them as a danger, it releases antibodies to attack them. This leads to the release of histamines into the blood, causing the allergic reaction – runny nose, itchy eyes, sneezing, and coughing.

You don’t have to resort to locking yourself in your home to prevent this. Our specialists at Greater Knoxville ENT suggest these simple strategies that can help you keep the seasonal allergy under control:


  • When it’s dry and windy, stay indoors. This will help reduce your exposure to allergy triggers. The best time to head outside is after it rains. A good period of rain helps clear the pollen from the air.
  • Avoid hanging your laundry outside. Pollen can stick to your sheets or clothes.
  • When working outside, wear a pollen mask.
  • Listen or watch out for high pollen forecasts. If it’s forecasted to have a high pollen count, start taking your anti-histamine medications even before your symptoms appear.
  • Pollen count is usually the highest in the morning, so avoid outdoor activities until later in the day.


  • Take a shower as soon as you get home. This is a good way of ridding pollen and other allergens that you bring in with you from outside.
  • Try herbal drops. Popping a natural herbal throat drop can help ease an irritating cough or scratchy throat.
  • Rinse it out. You can use a rinse kit or a neti pot. A nasal rinse can help in cleaning the mucus from the nose and ease some of the allergy symptoms.
  • Stay hydrated. If you feel stuffy, staying hydrated can help you feel better. The extra fluid can thin the mucus in the nasal passages.

If you don’t find any success from any of these strategies, Greater Knoxville ENT can help. We have ENT specialists who can help you find a solution.

Schedule an appointment with us online or call (865) 244-4396.






When to Get Your Tonsils Out

They’re pink and oval-shaped. You may not pay attention to them most days of the week, but your tonsils are a vital part of your immune system. They are your first line of disease against viruses and bacteria that get through your nose and mouth.

Since they’re the first line of defense, tonsils are at risk of getting infected. The condition is called tonsillitis. It’s very common in children but adults can get them too.

What are the symptoms of tonsillitis?

A painful sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of tonsillitis. This is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as:

  • fever
  • swollen neck lymph nodes
  • stuffy or runny nose
  • bleeding spots on the tonsils
  • difficulty or painful swelling

How is tonsillitis managed?

How tonsillitis is treated depends largely on what causes it. If it’s caused by a virus, then it would be treated the same way as having colds. If it’s caused by bacteria, then the doctor may recommend antibiotics to clear up the infection.

When to consider tonsillectomy?

If tonsillitis keeps on coming back and it’s causing other problems such as sleep apnea, tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils) may be recommended.

The indications for tonsillectomy in adults are similar to children, although the condition is becoming less common in adults. As one grows older, the tonsils shrink and hence, infection becomes less common.

The following are the key recommendations by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery for tonsillectomy in children:

  • Tonsillectomy may be recommended for recurrent throat infection. This means having at least 7 episodes in the past year, at least 5 episodes per year for 2 years, or at least 3 episodes per year for 3 years. The medical record must reflect each episode of sore throat and 1 or more of the following: temperature > 100.94 degrees F, positive test for group A beta-hemolytic streptococcus, cervical adenopathy, or tonsillar exudate.
  • Tonsillectomy may also be recommended for those with recurrent throat infection, who may not meet the above criteria, but have multiple antibiotic allergy/intolerance, history of >1 peritonsillar abscess, or PFAPA (periodic fever, aphthous stomatitis, pharyngitis and adenitis).

If you think you or your child needs tonsillectomy, call us. The specialists here at Greater Knoxville ENT will assess your condition and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan for you.










Balloon Sinuplasty for Chronic Sinusitis

It can be challenging to live with chronic sinusitis. Sinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses) lasts for at least 12 weeks. Making breathing difficult due to nasal obstruction, affecting how things taste and smell. Sinusitis cause pain, tenderness, and swelling around the areas of the eyes, cheeks, nose, and forehead.

Chronic sinusitis can be treated with medications. However, not all patients respond well to them. As a last resort, an ENT specialist would recommend a sinus surgery.

In the traditional sinus surgery, the bone and tissues are removed to enlarged the sinus opening. This helps in clearing the blocked sinuses and consequently, restores the normal sinus drainage. However, this surgery is usually associated with pain and scarring.

What is Balloon Sinuplasty?

If you have chronic sinusitis but are hesitant to undergo the traditional sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty may be right for you.

Unlike the traditional sinus surgery, Balloon Sinuplasty doesn’t involve any cutting or removal of bones and tissues. It uses a small, flexible balloon catheter to open up the blocked sinus passageways.

How does Balloon Sinuplasty work?

During a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure, a balloon catheter is inserted into the inflamed sinus. The balloon is then inflated to expand the sinus. Saline solution is sprayed in order to flush out pus and mucus. The system is then removed, leaving the sinuses open.

What can you expect during and after a Balloon Sinuplasty procedure?

Many cases of Balloon Sinuplasty use general anesthesia but there’s a growing number of ENT doctors who are using local anesthesia for in-office Balloon Sinuplasty.

As with recovery, you can resume to your normal activities 2 days after the procedure.









Stop Snoring!

About 37 million Americans snore. While it’s very common, snoring is a major deterrent to quality sleep. Knowing what causes it is one step towards getting better sleep at night.

Here are the most common causes of snoring:

1. Aging

As we get older, our throat muscles and tongue tend to relax more during sleep. This causes a vibration on the inhale which leads to snoring.

2. Being overweight

Your mouth’s anatomy can play a role in your snoring. If you’re overweight, you tend to have extra tissues at the back of your throat, which can narrow the airways.

3. Having too much alcohol

You may end up snoring if you consume too much alcohol before bedtime. Alcohol has a relaxing effect on the throat muscles and can decrease the natural defense against airway obstruction.

4. Sleeping on the back

Snoring is usually more frequent and louder when you sleep on your back. This has something to do with the gravity’s effect on the airway (it narrows it).

5. Having obstructive sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to repeatedly stop and start during sleep. It is characterized by loud snoring followed by periods of silence when breathing stops or nearly stops.

6. Having nose and throat conditions

There are several nose and throat conditions that can cause you to snore. These include nasal polyps, a deviated septum, and enlarged tonsils.

Snoring can affect your or your partner’s quality of sleep and eventually, your quality of life. Seeing a specialist can help you find out what causes your snoring and what can be done to remedy it.



Kids ENT Month

Sickness is inevitable especially among kids.  While some conditions can easily be managed at home,  there are those that need to be referred to the specialist.

Ears, nose, and throat infections are common among kids. If your child is showing any of the following, don’t hesitate to take him or her to an ENT doctor.

1. Snoring
Children shouldn’t snore. If you find your child snoring loudly during sleep, he or she may have issues concerning his or her nose. It could be congestion from allergies or a case of sleep apnea. Whatever it may be, it’s always better to see a specialist to find out the underlying cause.

2. Recurrent colds

Colds are very common especially if your kid is usually around other kids. But if your child is getting colds more frequently and longer than the usual, then it’s time to take him/her to a specialist.

3. Persistent nosebleeds
Children can easily end up with nosebleeds from physical trauma or when they’re picking their nose. However,  if your child is experiencing nosebleeds multiple times a week, then it’s worth to give your ENT doctor a call.

Persistent bleeding may be due to inflamed nasal passages,  nasal polyps or deviated septum.

4. Problem in swallowing
It’s never a good sign when your child experiences problems with swallowing. It’s best to take him/her to a specialist to see what’s wrong in his/her throat.

5. Hearing loss
Hearing loss,  whether it’s on one or both ears, should prompt you to consult a pediatric ENT. Ear infections are very common in kids. When left unmanaged, it can lead to more serious complications like hearing loss and meningitis.

Greater Knoxville ENT provides the most advanced care for conditions concerning the nose, sinuses, mouth, throat, and ears. If you need a specialist for your child, don’t hesitate to call us for an appointment.


What is Vertigo?

If you’ve been feeling like you’re spinning or that the world around you is spinning, then you may be experiencing vertigo.

What is vertigo? 

Vertigo is a symptom. It is a sensation that either you or the environment is spinning.  

Some people with vertigo barely noticed it while there are those with severe cases who find it hard to keep themselves in balance and do day-to-day tasks. 

What causes it? 

There are different causes of vertigo and these include: 

  • Meniere’s Disease 

It’s an inner ear problem caused by fluid buildup and changing pressure inside the ear. Aside from vertigo, Meniere’s disease also causes ringing or buzzing in the ears. 

  •  Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo 

BPPV is another inner problem that occurs when tiny calcium particles clump in the inner ear.  

  •  Vestibular Neuritis 

This is an inner problem associated with viral infection. The infection causes inflammation of the nerves that play a role in sensing balance.  

 How does vertigo feel? 

Many people often described vertigo as feeling tilting, unbalanced, spinning, or swaying.  

In some cases, vertigo may come with other symptoms like nausea, headache, vomiting, and ringing in the ears. 

Can vertigo be treated? 

Although many cases of vertigo go away on their own as the brain is able to adapt, there are some that requires treatment. Some of the most common treatment options include:

  • Vestibular rehabilitation 

It’s a form of physical therapy that aims to strengthen the vestibular system. This system has an important role to play in keeping our balance. It sends signals to our brain about our head and body movement relative to gravity.

  • Canalith repositioning maneuvers 

These are movements designed to move the calcium deposits (canaliths) out of the ear canal and into the inner ear chamber, where they will be absorbed by the body.

  • Surgery 

In some cases, surgery may be needed. These are vertigo cases caused by a tumor or brain/neck injury. 

If your vertigo is keeping you from having a normal life, consult a specialist.  








Hear Clear in the New Year!

We often associate hearing loss with aging. While it’s true that hearing loss is more common among older people, it can happen to anyone, regardless of age. It can manifest in different ways, depending on the severity and type of hearing loss.

Regardless of the type and cause of hearing loss, the symptoms are almost the same. These include:

  • difficulty in understanding speech especially in a noisy environment
  • listening to television or radio at high volume
  • difficulty hearing people on the phone
  • ringing or buzzing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • having trouble hearing children and women
  • the perception that others are mumbling
  • feeling stressed out from straining what other people are saying
  • feeling nervous from meeting other people

Greater Knoxville ENT Can Help

If you think you are suffering from hearing loss, we can help.

We perform hearing tests to help determine the type and severity of hearing loss you have, which can also determine the most appropriate treatment for you.

We have on-site Ear, Nose, and Throat physicians and audiologists who are experts in evaluating and treating hearing loss. All of our patients have customized treatment plans. We also offer sampling of solutions available in our facility, which include custom earplugs, assistive listening devices (ALDs), hearing aids, and earmolds.

Let us help you hear better this year! Call us  to schedule an appointment.







Cosmetic Treatment in the Cooler Months

Have you been considering cosmetic treatment or a facial peel? This may be the perfect time. Colder temperatures are optimal for treatments that can help improve your complexion, as well as for plastic surgery. During other times of the year, like spring and summer, people tend to spend more time outside and in the sun and protecting your skin from the sun post-treatment is necessary for proper healing.

In the fall and winter, your skin is more likely to protected from complications that can occur from receiving too much UV exposure while skin is still in the recovery stage. Because there are lower UV levels during these months, it’s a great time to consider cosmetic treatments. Most people also find it easier to recuperate indoors during the colder months, without the added pressure of beach vacations, pool time, and other outdoor activities.

Patients at Greater Knoxville ENT can choose to begin or continue cosmetic treatment through a number of pharmaceutical grade products. Our products are carefully chosen to provide patients with the best options to allow their skin to change in the best possible way.

Call (865) 244-4396 to schedule an appointment, or contact us online.

3 Tips to Protect Your Hearing

Can you imagine what life would be like without hearing?

If you have normal, healthy hearing, you may wonder what you can do to keep it that way. Don’t wait until it’s too late! Here are 3 tips to prevent hearing loss and protect your ears:

  1. Turn the volume down
    If you like to enjoy music through headphones, use the 60/60 rule. This rule suggests to listen on your headphones at no more than 60% volume for no more than 60 minutes per day. Don’t let your jam sessions now, keep you from jam session in the future!
  2. Use earplugs
    Approximately 15% of Americans have noise-related hearing loss because of loud work or leisure environments. Whether you’re around loud machines at work all day, or you’re playing music on the weekends, custom-fitted ear plugs can help filter extra noise while maintaining the original sound quality as closely as possible.
  3. Get your ears checked
    Be sure to make hearing screenings a part of your regular checkups. Because hearing loss can happen gradually, it’s also recommended that you have annual hearing consultations with a hearing healthcare professional. That way, you’ll be more likely to recognize signs of hearing loss and take action as soon as you do.At Greater Knoxville ENT, we provide comprehensive hearing care with onsite Ear, Nose and Throat Physicians and Audiologists. Our solutions are customized to fit the needs of each individual patient. Call 865-244-4396 to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today.

Audiology Awareness Month

Did you know that hearing loss affects one in ten North Americans each year? Every October is recognized as Audiology Awareness Month. The purpose is to increase awareness of audiology and to educate the public on the importance of healthy hearing and the professionals who dedicate their lives to helping others hear again.

What is Audiology?

Audiology is known as the science and study of hearing. Audiologists are experts who help to prevent, diagnose and treat hearing and balance disorders. Through treatment with an audiologist, patients can not only improve their hearing, but improve their quality of life.

Audiology at GKENT

At Greater Knoxville ENT, we provide the best hearing care services available, including comprehensive diagnostic hearing evaluations, as well as hearing aids and Bluetooth accessories to help you get the most out of life. Our audiologists have met state and national requirements and have attained the highest level of preparation for providing healthcare to those with hearing problems.

Our talented group of physicians can help you uncover a new world of improved hearing and overall ear health! We treat a number of conditions related to audiology and hearing. Call 865-244-4396 to schedule an appointment or contact us here.

Dr. Elise Denneny Named TMA President-Elect

Greater Knoxville ENT is proud to announce that Dr. Elise Denneny has been named President-elect for the Tennessee Medical Association, effective in May.

When she takes office as the 2019-2020 TMA President, Dr. Denneny will be the third female president in TMA history.

“In thirty years of practicing medicine across every kind of practice setting I’ve seen the relevance and impact of organized medicine. It impacts the lives of physicians, patients families and communities. The Tennessee Medical Association fights for those interests along with federal, state and local societies. TMA has momentum on the back of recent legislative successes,” says Denneny.

Dr. Denneny is a current member of the TMA Board of Trustees and is past president of the Knoxville Academy of Medicine.

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