Category Archives: All Blog Posts

NOW HEAR THIS: Educate Yourself and Make a Plan

If you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, slow down, take a breath, and know there are resources to help you at The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute. Research as much as you can on the Internet (go to www.JHBI.org and www.BetterHearingJax.com) and give yourself time to make a decision as to what you want your next step to be. Taking responsibility for your own hearing health is important. Give yourself a timeline to make a decision after you have learned more about exactly what is going on with your hearing and what options you have, such as hearing aids and devices.

If you decide to wait to make a purchase – understanding there are various financial ranges of costs – put a date down in your calendar for reconsidering and re-evaluating your next step. Research has proven that the sooner you treat hearing loss, the better it is for you and your quality of life.

For more information on hearing loss, take a free, quick, confidential and online hearing check to determine if you need a comprehensive hearing test by one of our board-certified Audiologists at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance’s The Hearing Center. Visit www.BetterHearing.org, follow BHI on Twitter @better_hearing, or like BHI on Facebook at www.facebook.com/betterhearinginstitute. You can “like” Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute’s The Hearing Center, too, on Facebook!

Let us know if we can help you in any way! Call the experts at The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute today. We are here for you!

NOW HEAR THIS: Gathering Information on Hearing Loss

Educating yourself on the importance of hearing loss diagnosis and treatment can help you to reach acceptance of that loss and help you obtain peace of mind. One good place to check out is www.BetterHearing.org where you can learn about the causes of hearing loss and what can be done about it. What you will find is that you are not the only person experiencing hearing loss. You are not alone!

It’s difficult to navigate the world of hearing aids. There are many vendors, styles and costs – cheapest may not be the best; the most expensive needs to be vetted to ensure it meets your specific need for diagnosis and needs. New sleek and stylish state-of-the-art hearing aids make it so much easier to manage hearing difficulty without a lot of fuss. Many of the new hearing aids now in the marketplace are virtually invisible – they sit “inside” the ear canal and are out of sight. Investigate the various styles that are available to you offered by The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute. There are many other “hearing devices” available, too, such as those for your phone, office or home.

Treating hearing loss is a balance. As you are looking for a hearing aid to increase your quality of life, it is important to look at your choices and depend on the guidance of your hearing aid professional. At The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, we are here for you. For more information, go to www.BetterHearingJax.com and www.JHBI.org.

NOW HEAR THIS: A Hearing Professional Should Be Part Of Your Personal Healthcare Team

Hearing care professionals include Audiologists, hearing aid specialists, and ENTs (Ear, Nose & Throat doctors or doctors of Otology, Otolaryngology or Neurotology). At The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, our board-certified Audiologists and audiology assistant are specially trained in all aspects of hearing aids and amplification. These highly trained professionals have years of specific training in hearing technology and are licensed by the State of Florida.

At The Hearing Center, we offer the most appropriate and accurate state-of-the-art equipment to give you a precise read on your current hearing level with a barrage of important tests to help diagnose the cause of your hearing loss.

Also, you can depend on our Audiologists to counsel you and/or your loved one or caregiver on treatment options and equipment.

More importantly, just as you make an appointment for an annual physical, you should take responsibility for your good health and include a hearing test as part of an annual regimen. Hearing care professionals are trained to help you along your journey as you navigate the world of hearing loss and what equipment is best suited to meet your specific needs.

The key is to find out whether or not there is any underlying medical issue behind your hearing loss. It should be identified and addressed. Simply put, a hearing care professional is your best safety net for proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s smart to address any sudden hearing loss IMMEDIATELY.

Be assured, research shows that the majority of people who visit hearing care professionals say they are happy with the quality of service and the counseling they receive. Ask us about how we can better serve you. Check out our websites for further information: www.BetterHearingJax.com and www.JHBI.org.

NOW HEAR THIS: Online Hearing Check – Give it a try!

Just by answering a series of important questions truthfully, you may find that you are beginning to experience a level of hearing loss. The Better Hearing organization offers a free, quick and confidential Online Hearing Check. You can easily take the test in the privacy of your own home or even at work (share it, too).

Test results may indicate you need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing care professional – such as a board-certified Audiologist. At The Hearing Center located within Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, our Audiologists help you understand the facts and myths about hearing loss, so you can make your own decision as to what to do next.

Useful information on hearing loss and innovative hearing aid technologies are available on www.betterhearing.org, as well as on www.JHBI.org and www.BetterHearingJax.com. Instead of putting off recognizing and finding out a possible level of hearing loss, once you take the first step, you will likely find an increase in your quality of life.

Addressing any hearing loss early can make a difference in your life. Take the time to find out – you’ll find it worth the effort. It’s a known fact that some people take an average of seven years before they realize they have had a level of hearing loss. When there is mild hearing loss and it’s addressed, usually the person’s quality of life is enhanced. Even if hearing loss results in the need for a hearing aid, people get more pleasure out of life and doing things that are engaging once again.

So, “take the test” – see how you do, and if you need the professionals at The Hearing Center at JHBI, just give us a call. We’re here for you!

Hearing Help For Africa – Update for Northside Rotary

J. Douglas Green Jr., MD, FACS, presented a program to the members of Northside Rotary on his mission work with Hearing Help For Africa, a nonprofit based in Jacksonville, FL. Dr. Green has visited the 150-bed Evangel Hospital in Jos, Nigeria, multiple times throughout the past decade to provide medical and surgical care of patients with ear, nose and throat problems. Through this initial work, it was determined that special ear care was needed, as well as an upgrade to the existing medical facilities and more specialized equipment for the treatment of hearing loss. In fact, companies donate cochlear implants to be surgically inserted in patients at the Nigerian hospital. Subsequently, these implants can be programmed, along with hearing aids and implantable hearing devices, from Dr. Green’s Jacksonville office more than 5,900 miles away from Nigeria!

Hearing loss is extremely common in Africa and the developing world, with roughly double the incidence present in the United States. Patients with disabling hearing loss in Africa have no societal safety nets to help provide for their basic needs. Consequently, patients with hearing loss are generally unable to find gainful employment, and as a result, suffer extreme poverty, hopelessness and even death. Roughly half the patients suffering from hearing loss are the needless victims of a preventable type of hearing loss, only adding to the tragedy.

Sub-Saharan Africa makes up what is sometimes regarded as the “meningitis belt of Africa,” with surviving meningitis patients commonly left with a profound hearing loss. The common use of medications toxic to the inner ear (aminoglycoside antibiotics, antimalarial quinine and others) results in countless patients being hospitalized with a febrile illness and left totally deaf. Hearing loss from untreated infections of the ear is also commonly preventable.

Another focus of the successful nonprofit is to provide African medical professionals the education necessary to run the Temporal Bone Laboratory at the Jos hospital. Plans for a graduate level Audiology and Speech Pathology Program at Jos University Teaching Hospital are being developed and an Oral/Auditory School for the deaf is also in the planning stages.

You are invited to join the group of people who have given The Gift of Hearing through personal or corporate donations to Hearing Help for Africa. This tax-deductible donation provides priceless hearing healthcare for both children and adults. Just imagine a child hearing his or her mother for the very first time. Gifts also cover operational and website costs, travel, and medical and surgical equipment. Giving the gift of sound is a wonderful opportunity to change someone’s life. For further information, go to www.HearingHelpForAfrica.org.

Dr. Green in the news for the Cochlear Hybrid implant

http://members.jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2014-08-19/story/new-hybrid-hearing-device-helps-those-who-find-hearing-aids

New hybrid hearing device helps those who find hearing aids to be ineffective

By Charlie Patton Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 4:51 pm

Traditionally there have been two approaches to hearing loss: hearing aids to amplify sound for those who retained some hearing; and cochlear implants to restore some hearing to those who are totally deaf.
A new device, a Cochlear Nucleus Hybrid Implant System, has been approved by the FDA for use in people who have some hearing but have found hearing aids ineffective.

J. Douglas Green Jr., a neurotologist and founder of the Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute/The Hearing Center, calls the device “an extraordinary melding of technologies.”

The hybrid includes three elements: an implant that Green puts in place during a 90-minute outpatient procedure; a sound processor that converts high-frequency sounds to electric signals and sends them to the implant; and an acoustic component that functions like a hearing aid, amplifying low-frequency sounds.

The cochlear implant component restores the ability of people to hear high-pitched sound.

The hybrid “gives patients a more natural sound quality,” Green said. “People really like that. There is more clarity to the sounds.”

Green will offer free seminars about the implants: a dinner presentation from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Tuesday and a lunch presentation from noon-1:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hotel Indigo, 9840 Tapestry Park Circle.

While seminars are free, seating is limited and a reservation is required. Go to HearingHealthSeminar.com or call (877) 432-7844.

Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413

Take a tour of The Hearing Center

Introducing www.betterhearingjax.com

A bout a year ago, we opened a new office – The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute. This 1200 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is located about 200 feet down the hall from our main office.

We opened The Hearing Center for several reasons. First, and probably most importantly, we needed more space. As our hearing aid, cochlear implant, and implantable hearing device programs continued to grow, so too did our need for more space and more efficient facilities. Secondly, we needed a more defined space where we could work closer together. At The Hearing Center, we have a repair lab, several consultation and fitting rooms, a sound booth, and plenty of room for all the necessary supplies that come along with a full-service Audiology practice within close proximity. Finally, we wanted a place where we could cater to the needs of our hearing aid and cochlear implant patients. At The Hearing Center, we’ve been able to accomplish just that: hearing aid and cochlear implant repair times are faster, patients are greeted by the same familiar faces, the office is set up to be compatible with hearing devices (come by and check our looped waiting room), and we’re working on creating a new hearing ‘store’, where we will have all sorts of hearing device supplies and accessories available.

That brings us to our new website – www.betterhearingjax.com. Like The Hearing Center, this website has been created to better serve those who have trusted us with their care. We hope this site will become a great resource for our patients, and for anyone who happens to stop by online. We have big plans for the site and are just getting started. We’ll soon have plenty of ‘how to’ videos available for patients and their families, an online store where items such as wax filters and hearing aid batteries can be purchased, an active blog with the latest news from the hearing care industry that will be maintained by our own Audiology staff, and a latest news section, where you can stay up to date on what’s going on at The Hearing Center.

Be sure to keep checking in. We have many exciting events planned for the Spring and Summer months, and you can be sure we’ll keep you posted at www.betterhearingjax.com.

Drs. Green and Eblin Invited Speakers at 2013 Weidner Symposium

Recently, Drs. J. Douglas Green Jr. and William Eblin Jr., both from Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, were invited speakers at the 2013 Weidner Symposium in Callaway Gardens, GA. The Weidner Symposium is hosted annually by the Auburn University Chapters of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Associations and the Student Academy of Audiology. This year’s topic for the Audiology track was vestibular assessment. The audience of around sixty included audiologists from the Southeast region and students and faculty from the Auburn University Doctor of Audiology program. Dr. Green’s sessions included an overview of the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system and common pathological conditions of the vestibular system. Dr. Eblin presented on one of his specialty areas, vestibular assessment, and moderated a session of case study presentations.

Along with Drs. Green and Eblin, Ann Lienenwever, a physical therapist and the manager of Brooks Balance Center, spoke about Vestibular Rehabilitation.

 

Hearing Aids for the Treatment of Tinnitus

Tinnitus, or ringing (also commonly described as buzzing/chirping sounds) in the ears, can be a very debilitating problem. Unfortunately, tinnitus treatments are often complex and costly. One of the best, most cost-effective tinnitus treatments involves the use of hearing aids. In many cases, hearing aids are a “kill two birds with one stone” approach, and are helpful in both the correction of hearing loss and the reduction of tinnitus.

Below is a summary of a retrospective review of 70 patients with hearing loss and chronic tinnitus, courtesy of the American Academy of Audiology. The authors found that hearing aids can be a very effective treatment for tinnitus, and we agree. In fact, some of our most successful hearing aid patients initially began using hearing aids as a tool to help their tinnitus, only to later discover the added advantage of better hearing.

Hearing Aids as Tinnitus Therapy

 

McNeill et al (2012) report that “hearing aids have become common therapeutic tools in the audiological management of tinnitus.”  They note that hearing aids are used in tandem with counseling and hearing aids serve as an important part of treatments, such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (Jastreboff and Jastreboff, 2000).

McNeill and colleagues performed a retrospective study of 70 patients (48 males, 22 female, mean age 55 years). Each patient had hearing loss and a primary or secondary complaint of “bothersome chronic tinnitus.” Of note, while wearing hearing aids  (Oticon, Phonak or Widex)  26 patients reported their tinnitus was totally masked, 28 reported partial masking (i.e., 77 percent, or 54 of 70 reported partial or total masking) and 16 reported no masking.  Tinnitus pitch masking revealed (on average) a perceived pitch of 6900 Hz. Of note, for the group that did not achieve masking (n=16, see above)they reported a mean tinnitus pitch perceived at 8000 Hz (the average perceived tinnitus pitch for the partial masking group was 7,600 Hz and for the total masking group was 5,400 Hz). The authors note the patients who had the most tinnitus relief via their hearing aid fittings had tinnitus matching results within the frequency range of the hearing aids.

McNeill et al report that their results indicate hearing aid fittings may be useful in the management of tinnitus because hearing aids reduce the audibility of tinnitus and hearing aids improve the patient’s reaction to tinnitus. The authors recommend hearing aid fittings to treat tinnitus in patients with hearing loss. Further, they note the best results are obtained when the patient has good low-frequency hearing, a strong reaction to their tinnitus and when the tinnitus pitch is perceived to be (i.e., matched) within the fitting range of the hearing aid.

Click here to read the original story.