Monthly Archives: September 2012

Cochlear Implant 101

Mary Jo Schuh, an Audiologist at JHBI with more than 15 years of experience in the field of cochlear implants, recently appeared on the local television show First Coast Living to discuss cochlear implants. Click below to watch her segment, and to see how cochlear implants have helped JHBI patient James Otis.

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/video/default.aspx?bctid=1861113562001

 

JHBI Deaf/Blind Teenager’s Co-Pilot Experience

“Only the Sky’s the Limit”

Katie Inman, a 15 year old student at Florida School for the Deaf and Blind and patient at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute (JHBI), recently experienced the ride of a lifetime when she was able to assist with flying a Piper PA-28 plane. This opportunity was  arranged by the non-profit group Operation PROP (People Reaching Outrageous Potential). Since then, Katie has not stopped talking about her adventure.  What makes this so special is that Katie has been legally blind since birth, and lost her hearing seven years ago.  Her speech became unintelligible and she struggled to communicate.  She needed to rely on sign language that she “read” by feeling the finger movements within the palm of her hand.  She desired to hear again and wanted a cochlear implant.

Her role model has been her mother, Tracie Inman, who is also blind and who received bilateral cochlear implants at JHBI.  Tracie wanted  her daughter to have this advanced technology to give her back the gift of sound.  Dr. Green successfully implanted her left ear in February of this year and she rapidly adapted to hearing again. She is now enjoying sound and is able to talk on the phone to her friends and family.  Katie immediately requested a second cochlear implant and was implanted in June , two days after her flight in the clouds.  As with her first implant, Katie has excelled and is now using her hearing skills to navigate, reducing her dependence  on her walking cane.  Katie reports that she “loves to hear” and has become a “chatterbox”.  Her father summed up Katie’s future with the family motto, “Only the sky’s the limit”.

Read more about Katie’s flying adventure »

Less Hearing Loss in Future Generations?

Recently, researchers have discovered an association between the prevalence of hearing impairment and year of birth. Specifically, it has been discovered that the percentage of people with hearing impairment is declining with each generation. Researchers expect this trend to continue, and more people are expected to maintain good hearing into their later years.

It has been theorized that this positive trend may be attributed to a transition from blue collar to white collar careers, and the creation of occupational noise regulations.

Read the full synopsis here, courtesy of the American Academy of Audiology.

http://www.audiology.org/news/Pages/20120910.aspx

Unilateral Hearing Loss and CROS Hearing Aid

Some people experience unilateral hearing loss, or hearing loss in just one of their ears.  Dr. Jacqueline Olson and her patient Brian Register talk about the solutions with a CROS hearing aid on another segment of First Coast Living.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-wMCHsmr9Y

Coming Up: Balance Awareness Week

Balance Awareness Week is September 16th – 22nd, 2012. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is launching a campaign to “Defeat Dizziness” through public education and advocacy. Read below for the official press release from VEDA about its 16th annual Balance Awareness Week. Since 1997, JHBI has been helping patients with balance disorders through advanced testing techniques and proper diagnosis.

VESTIBULAR DISORDERS ASSOCIATION SEEKS TO “DEFEAT DIZZINESS” DURING BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

PORTLAND, OR — The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) celebrates its 16th annual Balance Awareness Week September 16th – 22nd, 2012 by launching a campaign to “Defeat Dizziness” through public education and advocacy.

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.

Illness, injury, and even aging can damage the fragile vestibular organs, and with them, the ability to balance. As many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States — approximately 69 million Americans — have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.

Receiving effective treatment is frequently complicated by the length of time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder, which can be a year or more in many cases. Most vestibular patients visit a doctor 4-5 times before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

In addition to affecting balance, vestibular disorders often provide disabling symptoms that include vertigo, dizziness, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty concentrating. These life-altering symptoms can deeply inhibit a person’s ability to perform basic day-to-day tasks, and are compounded by their invisibility to others, making it difficult to understand that a person with vestibular dysfunction is profoundly struggling to remain oriented and functional.

The goal of Balance Awareness Week is to “defeat dizziness” by helping people recognize the symptoms of a vestibular disorder, and urging them to seek help from a professional vestibular specialist. In addition, VEDA encourages the friends, family and coworkers of those suffering from a vestibular disorder to learn more about how balance dysfunction can impact their loved one’s ability to perform common day-to-day activities.

Fitter International, Inc. (“Fitterfirst”) — a company that designs and distributes fitness products focused on improving the functional elements of balance — is sponsoring Balance Awareness Week.

“Balance is the essence of movement and movement is the essence of life,” says Louis Stack, Founder and President of Fitterfirst, who is sponsoring Balance Awareness Week. “As a competitive athlete I recognize how important core balance is, not only during physical activity but even for everyday functions of life. At Fitterfirst we produce easy to use balance tools that help people maintain or regain better balance for active daily living.”

VEDA invites everyone to participate in Balance Awareness Week — go to www.vestibular.org/BAW to learn more about how you can help.

About VEDA: For over 25 years, the Vestibular Disorders Association has provided objective information, advocacy, and a caring support network to people with vestibular disorders and the health professionals who treat them. For more information, visit www.vestibular.org or call (800) 837-8428.

Grandfather’s Day

September 9th has been officially designated as Grandfather’s Day. For many of us, when we think of our grandfathers (or grandmothers!), we think of their hearing difficulties and our need to shout to be understood. While this is often a source of humor and family jokes, untreated hearing loss has been shown to cause significant social and emotional hardship.

The following article by Janice D’Arcy of the Washington Post highlights the large number of Americans over 50 with some degree of hearing loss. You’ll also see a recent survey by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and a video that is part of a new ASHA public service campaign promoting open family discussion of hearing loss.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/grandparents-day-is-coming-say-again/2012/09/05/1978a6a8-f23f-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_blog.html

Announcement: Acoustic Neuroma Association Meeting

The Jacksonville Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) support group will meet Saturday, October 13th at 1 PM at Mandarin United Methodist Church. For information, please contact Joan Vanderbilt, the Jacksonville chapter leader, at 904-287-8132 or by email at joanvanderbilt@gmail.com.

About the ANA:

The mission of ANA is to inform, educate and provide national and local support networks for those affected by acoustic neuromas, and to be an essential resource for health care professionals who treat acoustic neuroma patients. The Acoustic Neuroma Association provides information and support to patients who have been diagnosed with or experienced an acoustic neuroma or other benign problem affectine the cranial nerves. Patient founded in 1981, ANA is an incorporated, non-profit organization, recognized as such by the IRS, and is supported by contributions from its members. The association also furnishes information on patient rehabilitation to physicians and health care personnel, promotes research on acoustic neuroma, and educates the public regarding symptoms suggestive of acoustic neuroma, thus promoting early diagnosis and successful treatment.

JHBI Patient Authors Book About Experience with Acoustic Neuroma

Ericia Espenschied, a current patient and former medical assistant at JHBI, has published a book about her acoustic neuroma experience. An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor of the vestibular nerve, and is a condition that is commonly treated by JHBI staff.

The book is available on amazon.com (link below). Ericia offers the following description:

A young woman believes she is going in for a routine eye exam but finds herself launched on a hard journey of being diagnosed with a brain tumor. With fear eventually overwhelming her, she finds strength with faith and hope and within her family and friends.

Fact Sheet: Know the Power of Sound

Check out this interactive loudness scale, available through the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck surgery. Knowing the intensity of sounds you’re exposed to is critical in protecting your hearing.

http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/soundPower.cfm

At JHBI, we offer a wide assortment of hearing protection devices. Make sure you’re taking the proper to steps to protect your hearing!

What do Arnold Palmer, Ronald Reagan, and Mike Singletary have in common?

Answer: All of these well known people have hearing loss and wear hearing aids. In fact, a surprising number of celebrities wear hearing aids and have been very public about their decision to seek treatment with hearing aids.

Click below to see a list of celebrities with hearing loss and hearing aids who have supported the Better Hearing Institute (BHI).

http://www.betterhearing.org/about/celeb.cfm