May is Better Hearing Month bringing greater awareness to one of the senses that is often taken for granted until the symptoms can't be ignored any longer.
Hearing loss, whether age-related or brought on by other outside forces, tends to be gradual and patients have a tendency to put off dealing with the symptoms until it becomes obvious that something needs to be done.
The Alliance area is fortunate to have an experienced board-certified otolaryngologist in Dr. David Kanagy and a highly regarded Doctor of Audiology in Kim Anthony in the Alliance Community Hospital Professional Office Building, 270 E. State St., Suite 245, to attend to the area's ear, nose and throat needs.
Kanagy, who grew up in nearby Hartville and lives in Beloit, is a graduate of The Ohio State University College of Medicine and has been practicing in the area for nearly 20 years, including eight years with the Alliance Medical Foundation. Anthony, who grew up in Canton and lives locally, earned her bachelor's and master's degrees at Kent State University and Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Sill University of Health Sciences, Mesa, Arizona. She joined the Alliance Medical Foundation team two years ago replacing Robert E. Lee, who died in 2015.
Besides being difficult to pronounce, otolaryngology refers to the practice of medically and surgically managing and treating patients with diseases and disorders of the ear, nose, throat (ENT) and related structures of the head and neck. An otolaryngologist therefore, must be trained in both medicine and surgery.
Anthony, as an audiologist, has extensive skills and training in identifying, diagnosing, treating and monitoring hearing disorders of the auditory system and prevention of noise-induced hearing loss. As an audiologist she is trained to treat hearing loss by prescribing and fitting hearing aids.
Having otolaryngology-audiology under one roof is one-of-a-kind in the Alliance area in that Anthony will see patients after Kanagy has conducted the proper diagnosis and ruled out factors that may not be corrected routinely. Once Kanagy has made the diagnosis, it may or may not be necessary for Anthony to see the patient depending on the results.
"Hearing loss can be the result of many factors," Kanagy said. "People make assumptions that their age or occupation has caused the hearing loss, but a thorough examination may reveal other physiological factors, some of which could be more serious."
Thus, before referring a patient to an audiologist, Kanagy may have to perform surgery or provide alternative treatment to correct the problem.
According to Anthony, people often wait too long to get their hearing tested. "I often tell patients that it is obvious when your vision is going, but hearing loss occurs more gradually," Anthony said. "There is also tendency to put off implementing hearing aids because they are perceived as expensive and insurance benefits are lacking."
Both Kanagy and Anthony are multi-talented with Kanagy having been featured recently in an article about his ability to do an in-office balloon sinusplasty procedure to offer relief for sinus sufferers. Anthony was featured recently for a "Dangerous Decibels" program she has presented to area fourth graders. Anthony hopes to expand this educational program to all fourth graders in the area.
To inquire about more information or to make an appointment, call 330-596-6520.