Category Archives: All Blog Posts

Recent Hearing Loss Statistics

Research on hearing loss indicates:

  • 10% of all Americans have some hearing loss
  • 14% of American adults have “a little trouble hearing”
  • 3.4% of American adults have “a lot of trouble hearing” or are deaf
  • 30% of all people over the age of 65 have hearing loss
  • 65% of all people over the age of 85 have hearing loss
  • Over 75% of people with hearing loss lost their hearing after the age of 19
  • 50% of people with hearing loss are of working age (18 – 64)
  • 83 out of every 1000 children in the United States have an educationally significant hearing loss
  • 3 of every 1000 babies born in the United States has a hearing loss
  • 75% of people who could benefit from hearing aids are not using them

Gallaudet Research Institute
http://clerccenter.gallaudet.edu/InfoToGo/

National Center for Health Statistics
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs

Disclaimer:
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.

How To Get the Best Results From Your Hearing Aid

The best way to achieve maximum benefit with hearing aids is to wear them whenever you’re awake, not just when you think you ‘need to hear’.  Those who wear them inconsistently don’t hear as well in different listening situations as those who wear them all the time.

Using your hearing aid only occasionally just sets you up for unnecessary frustration.  Adjusting to the different quality of sound you will hear takes time and practice.  Think of it like your golf or tennis swing—if you only play every now and then, you’ll be out of practice and won’t enjoy the experience.  Your clubs, your racket or your hearing aids will get tossed in the closet.  The more you practice, whether on the course, the court or in listening with your hearing aid, the better you’ll perform and the more satisfied you’ll be.

Disclaimer:
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.

Could You Have Hearing Loss?

  • Do you often feel that people are mumbling or not speaking clearly and have to ask them to speak up or repeat?
  • Do you find it difficult to follow conversation in a noisy restaurant or crowded room?
  • Do you experience ringing noises in your ears?
  • Do you hear better with one ear than with the other?
  • Have you been exposed regularly to loud noise at work, during recreation or in military service?
  • Do people tell you that you play the TV or radio too loudly?
  • Do you sometimes fail to hear your doorbell or telephone?
  • Do you find it difficult to understand a speaker at a public meeting or religious service?

If you answered YES to two or more of the above questions, you may have some hearing loss. Please call for an appointment 904.399.0350 if you suspect that you or a family member may be experiencing some loss of hearing.

Disclaimer:
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.

Spotlight: Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo

Got vertigo?  Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (or BPPV) is one of the most common causes of the disorienting sensation of spinning or whirling.   It is caused by a disorder of the balance center of the inner ear; specifically the displacement of the calcium carbonate crystals that are normally found there.  These crystals play an important role in sensing various head movements.  When they become dislodged from their normal location, they cause abnormal irritation. With subsequent head movements, such as rolling over in bed or looking upwards, these “relocated” crystals will bring on feelings of vertigo.

Treatment for BPPV involves specialized positioning maneuvers, called the ‘Epley’ procedure, that are done in the office.  These can be effective in up to 80% of cases and are very well-tolerated. In rare situations, surgery may be required to help stop repeated episodes of positional vertigo.

BPPV is extremely common in people over 50.  The precise cause is usually not known, but degenerative changes in the inner ear are one possible explanation. BPPV will commonly occur in patients that have sustained a head injury, or in those who have suffered from a viral inner ear infection, such as vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis.

Disclaimer:
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. They are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.

What is Neurotology?

Neurotology is the study and practice of medical and surgical disorders that involve the ear, adjacent brain, and the nerve connections within this region (known as the lateral skull base). In addition to all disorders of hearing and balance, Neurotologists also treat disorders of the facial nerve, tumors of the inner ear and skull base, and abnormal connections between the brain and temporal bone. In actuality, the meanings of the terms Otology and Neurotology overlap quite a bit. Nevertheless, a Neurotologist’s training provides the ability to treat disorders, ranging from simple to complex, that involve the area of the temporal bone and lateral skull base.

What is Otology?

Otology is the study and practice of medical and surgical disorders of the ear. These include disorders related to hearing and balance. Some common problems treated by Neurotologists include infections of the ear canal and middle ear (including cholesteatoma and chronic otitis media), eardrum perforations, hearing loss (including conductive, mixed, and sensorineural types), vertigo, and ear ringing. Neurotologists possess Ear, Nose, and Throat training but go on to complete additional fellowship training focusing on Otology and Neurotology.

Spotlight: Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

What is sudden sensorineural hearing loss?
Sudden sensorineural hearing loss is a term used to describe hearing loss that develops over a very short period of time. Sensorineural hearing loss generally implies damage to the structures of the inner ear or hearing nerve. While there are many possible causes of sudden sensorineural hearing loss, in most cases, the cause is unknown.

What are the symptoms of sudden sensorineural hearing loss?
In addition to a sudden drop in hearing (which can occur in a brief instant or over a period of hours), patients with sudden sensorineural hearing loss may experience ringing or noise within the ear and some sense of dizziness or imbalance. The presence of any additional neurologic symptoms (such as slurring of speech, confusion, or weakness of the face, arms or legs), although rare, would suggest that a brain stroke might be occurring and would require immediate evaluation at a hospital.

How is sudden sensorineural hearing loss evaluated?
Patients who experience a sudden drop in hearing should be seen immediately, preferably by an ENT physician or Neurotologist, and a complete hearing test should be performed to determine the extent of the hearing loss. Additional tests, including imaging studies such as an MRI, may be required. Oftentimes, patients attribute their ‘clogged ear’ to a cold or allergies. However, if there is any question of a sudden drop in hearing, it is better to have it checked as soon as possible.

What treatments are available?
Treatment is often available, usually in the form of steroid medications, and is much more effective if provided as close in time as possible to the sudden drop in hearing. In addition to oral medication, medication delivered directly into the middle ear (through the ear drum) may be helpful.

Disclaimer:
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. They are not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice or to diagnose health problems. The reader should always consult his or her healthcare provider to discuss the information presented here.

I would highly recommend JHBI to anyone who is having a chronic balance or vertigo problem

Beth Kinney, 64, of Cocoa, Fla., woke up one morning in October 2003 to a spinning room. She had experienced slight vertigo before when she was younger, but never anything this bad. Each doctor she visited said he couldn’t help her.

Kinney was finally referred to Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute. It took almost three months of treatment, but she was eventually able to go back to work full time and regain most of her hearing.

“The P.A., Judy Nelson, was very comforting and gave me assurance,” Kinney said. “She worked with me for months to get me to be able to function normally.”

Kinney still experiences slight dizziness when she is stressed or lacking sleep, but nothing like before.

“I would highly recommend Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute to anyone who is having a chronic balance or vertigo problem” Kinney said. “When you run into something that is repetitive in its nature, over and over, I would just suggest that you get help and get it quickly.”

Restoring Hearing & Lives in Nigeria

Dr. Green returned to Nigeria in October 2011 to train surgeons, perform ear surgeries and follow up with some of his former patients. He and former missionary Dr. Joel Anthis, of Katy, TX, performed ear surgeries (primarily stapendectomies and tympanoplasties with or without mastoidectomies) in Jos, Nigeria. Dr. Anthis also performed a few non-ear surgeries including endoscopic sinus surgery, laryngoscopy, bronchoscopy and the removal of a foreign body in the lung. Dr. Green and Dr. Anthis performed approximately 13 procedures.

Dr. Green trains Nigerian physicians during surgery

Dr. Green also followed-up with Stephen Kutchin, a Nigerian math professor who lost his hearing in 2002 and had cochlear implant surgery in 2007, performed by Dr. Green in Jacksonville, Fla.

“Stephen is doing well with his cochlear implant and had a celebration for the four years that he’s had his implant,” Dr. Green said. “He invited 30 of his friends and family and described how the implant had changed his life.”

The most common problem the physicians saw was chronic ear infections. There were also several patients who were profoundly deaf from medication toxicities, genetics or meningitis. Both Dr. Green and Dr. Anthis gave lectures to the family practice residents at Bingham University Teaching Hospital and demonstrated various ear surgeries for the ear, nose and throat surgeons.

Inside a Nigerian operating room

“The experience of delivering care in a third world country is always a humbling one,” Dr. Green said. “I am always grateful to be living in the U.S.A. I could have been born in a hut in Nigeria, but by the grace of God I was born in the U.S.A. I really enjoy the people of Nigeria. They are incredibly hard-working, devoted and loving people who are grateful for what we do.”

 

 

Watch a slideshow from Dr. Green’s 2011 trip to Nigeria:

Nigeria 2011 from Grace Courter on Vimeo.

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month

An estimated 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease, according to Alzheimer’s Association, causing problems with behavior, memory and thinking for those afflicted with this condition. Alzheimer’s is the sixth-leading cause of death in the United States.

Studies have shown that hearing impairment in older adults is correlated with the progression of dementia. During the month of November, the Better Hearing Institute along with hearing health professionals around the country is raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease.

If you have questions about your own hearing or the hearing of a loved one, call our office today at 904-399-0350 or read about our hearing consultations. If you are a caregiver for someone living with the disease, read the Alzheimer’s Association Alzheimer’s Caregiving Advice for some helpful advice.