Category Archives: Hearing Aids

New Hearing Aid Technology for Severe Hearing Loss

One of the industries leading hearing aid manufacturers, Phonak, has released their newest product for patients with severe to profound hearing loss that enables users to experiences a unique sound quality as well as the perks of new technology.

The Naida Paradise is designed to enhance soft speech as well as reduce background noise, making it functional for users in both quiet and noisier environments.

These devices can be connected to Bluetooth enabled devices such as cell phones and tablets, allowing users to have access to all aspects of their life in which communication and understanding is important. Phone calls, videos, music, and even audiobooks can be streamed from a connected device right into the hearing aids. Connectivity to the myPhonak app also enables users to have a remote-control right on their smart devices, allowing them to make adjustments for their particular listening situations.

The Naida Paradise is now also available in a rechargeable option! The hassle of changing batteries and always keeping some on hand when out of the house is now eliminated!

Presidential Hearing Aids

Did you that Ronald Reagan was the first President to wear hearing aids while he was in office? He was 72 years old and was fit with a device that was considered “barely visible”.  According to the famous article from the New York Times in September of 1983, President Reagan started losing his hearing after a pistol was fired in close proximity to his right ear. The change in technology and size is what prompted the President’s decision to wear hearing aids and the public announcement. Prior to this, reporters had to speak loudly during interviews, particularly if they were on his right side. Thanks to President Reagan, there was a decrease in the negative stigma towards hearing aids.

REAGAN BEGINS TO WEAR A HEARING AID IN PUBLIC – The New York Times (nytimes.com)

President H.W. Bush also was an advocate for those with hearing loss. In 1990, President Bush passed the American Disabilities Act which helped provide assistive listening options in patrons in public venues. Although, he did not wear hearing aids during his presidency, he did after he served.

The second sitting President to be fit with hearing aids was Bill Clinton. He was much younger than President Reagan at age 51. Because he was much younger, he encouraged others in his generation to get their hearing tested. He also shed light on the effects of noise induced hearing loss as he was an avid saxophone player. In 2013, he and his daughter Chelsea volunteered with the Starkey Hearing Foundation in Africa, where nearly 400 people were provided with hearing aids.

History of Presidents with Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids (lifestylehearingsolutions.com)

30 Years Later, Ronald Reagan’s Hearing Aid Fitting Still Reverberates Around the World | Business Wire

What To Do If Your Hearing Aids Get Wet

As things start warming back up in Jacksonville, it is likely that you will be heading to the beach or pool (or may get caught in bad rainstorms!). Whether you are new to hearing aids or have worn them for years, one thing almost all hearing aid wearers should know is that these highly advanced technological devices can be damaged by too much moisture. Here is what to do if your hearing aids get wet.

1.Don’t panic! Most hearing aids have a special coating to protect them from moisture damage. While this coating isn’t waterproof, it is water-resistant so that small amounts of water such as from perspiration or rain will be repelled.

2. Try to determine how much water damage has occurred.
Did you get caught in a rainstorm, or did they fall into the deep end of the pool? Regardless of the amount of water exposure, try your best to remove them from the moisture source right away.

3. Wipe away any visible moisture the best you can with a dry cloth or tissue. If you have a battery door you should open it, remove the battery, and wipe inside the battery compartment as well. If you have rechargeable hearing aids, wipe the outside down as best you can.

4. Use special hearing aid dryers and drying “jars” for hearing aids. Drying jars use moisture-absorbing beads to soak up any water that may have gotten into the hearing aids. Electric dryers plug into a wall outlet and are generally more effective than the jars (although the jars are more portable and don’t require electricity). Sometimes, even your charging case doubles as a de-humidifier.

5. See if they still work. If they are not working, or do not sound as good as they once did, contact your audiologist.

6. Check your warranty. If your hearing aid is relatively new, water damage may be covered under the warranty; ask your provider.This may also a good reason to get an extended warranty. If the damage is severe, the hearing aid may be replaceable using your insurance under loss and damage.

7. Try your best to not accidentally submerge your hearing aids again. Try leaving a note taped to the shower door or inside your beach bag that says, “Take out hearing aids!” is very helpful. Sometimes just a reminder is all that is needed to avoid a sticky situation!

3 Reasons Why Your Hearing Aids are Whistling

If you wear hearing aids, you’re going to experience whistling, or feedback, at some point in the life of the device. Here we will discuss some common causes of feedback and what you can do about it.

How does hearing aid feedback occur? 

Hearing aid feedback occurs when sound that was supposed to go into your ear canal leaves your ear and goes back into the hearing aid microphone for a second time. The sound then gets reamplified, and this causes your hearing aids to whistle. This feedback can happen in different contexts, like when you put your hearing aids on in the morning and take them off in the evening. This is perfectly normal because the hearing aids are reacting to the sound bouncing back from your surroundings.   

However, hearing aid feedback could also be a sign that something could be wrong with your hearing aids, or they need to be cleaned. In that case it’s best to consult your hearing care professional. 

What causes my hearing aids to whistle and what can I do about it? 

Hearing aids come with feedback cancellation systems, but this doesn’t completely safeguard you from feedback. A number of things can cause your hearing aids to whistle. Here are the most common reasons for feedback and how to resolve them.

  1. A poor fit: In general, if your hearing aids are not put properly in your ear, it gives the sound a chance to escape and re-enter the hearing aid microphone. Make sure they are sitting nice and tight in your ear when you put them on in the morning. The shape of your ears can change over time, and if they do, the earmolds can become loose and no longer seal properly. To fix it, you may need to get new earmolds fitted to your ear. Weight gain or weight loss can also affect your ears and the fit of the earmolds. 

  2. Too high volume: It can sometimes be tempting to turn up the volume on your hearing aids. But turning it up too loud can force the sound to re-enter your hearing aids, which causes whistling. Turn down your hearing aid volume and avoid the point at which sound gets so loud that it creates feedback.

  3. Too much earwax: If your ear canal is blocked by too much earwax, the sound can’t get through. So instead, sound bounces back into your hearing aids and they start to whistle. It is recommended to get your ears cleaned out regularly by a professional (no Q-Tips!) to avoid this problem.

If you continue to experience problems with hearing aid feedback and can’t figure out the reason, make an appointment to see your hearing aid audiologist for further assistance to address the issue.

Hearing Aid Issues?

If you wear hearing aids and continue to struggle to understand your friends and family you may be wondering where to turn. There may be a few reasons why you find yourself asking others to repeat despite the use of your hearing aids

  • Hearing aids may be in need of cleaning or reprogramming.
    • Wax build-up in a hearing aid can cause the hearing aid to sound muffled leading to difficulty hearing. It is also possible the hearing itself has decreased and the hearing aids are no longer set to the level needed to hear your best.
  • Realistic expectations
    • A common belief is that when someone wears hearing aids they will be able to hear normally. Hearing aids amplify sound which allows easier hearing, but they do not replace normal hearing. This means that you may still miss out on words especially when in a noisy room or when the talker is standing far away or behind you.
  • Severe hearing loss
    • Hearing aids amplify sound and then the sound travels to the organ of hearing (the cochlea) which stimulates the hearing nerve. If the cochlea has a lot of damage sound will likely be distorted and unclear even when amplified.
    • In this case you may receive more benefit from a cochlear implant than a hearing aid. A cochlear implant directly stimulates the hearing nerve and bypasses the portion of the cochlea that has been damaged. With time and therapy this leads to clearer sound.

If you wear hearing aids and feel that you are still not hearing your best give our office a call at 904-399-0350 to further evaluate your hearing and treatment options. Perhaps it is as simple as cleaning and updating the hearing aid settings or perhaps your hearing has declined to a level where a hearing aid can no longer provide benefit. 

Hearing Aid Advancements and Remote Programming Updates

At Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute, we are pleased to offer the newest technology in regards to hearing healthcare. Hearing technology has vastly improved over the years with advancements including rechargeability and Bluetooth compatibility.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the audiologists at JHBI have started offering remote programming for our hearing aid patients to alleviate the need to come into the office for appointments. The newest hearing aids offer remote programming through the use of a smartphone application.  An appointment time is then set for you to meet with your audiologist via a video call through the applications. During your virtual appointment, your audiologist can make real time changes to your hearing aid settings.  You are able provide feedback on sound quality and volume, just as if you were in our office.  Remote programming is a great option if you travel often, have transportation issues, or have difficulty leaving home.

Here’s what Gail D., one of our new hearing aid patients, has to say about remote programming:

Being an older patient, I am not technologically savvy. My Audiologist thoroughly explained how to access the appointment. I was able to voice all my concerns and questions, which were answered, as well, as if I had been in the office. She was able to make an adjustment in my hearing aid and evaluate the change. I clearly was able to notice a difference right away…. It’s nice to know some things can be resolved this way.”

If you are interested in learning more about this technology, visit https://www.betterhearingjax.com/ or call our clinic at 904-399-0350.

What is severe hearing loss?

What is severe hearing loss?If you think you have severe hearing loss, please consider seeing a specialist. The type of hearing loss depends on which part of the ear is damaged. Please visit Cochlear.com for more important information regarding hearing loss:

  • Sensoineural – can occur as you get older or at birth. Most people say they are able to hear, but don’t always understand what people are saying. This is due to damage of the inner ear. Depending on the amount of hearing loss, a cochlear implant can be very beneficial.
  • Conductive – when hearing loss is due to problems with the outer ear or middle ear
  • Mixed – refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss
  • Single-sided Deafness – Refers to no hearing or very little hearing in only one ear and normal hearing in the other ear. This type of hearing loss can be treated with a cochlear implant or a bone conduction implant.

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A Cochlear Implant – Improved Severe Hearing Loss & Became Life Changing

St. Augustine resident, Harry Zemon, experienced severe hearing loss from two major factors in his life. First, he was in the meat business and that meant dealing with high intensity noises coming from band saws, patty makers and grinders. Pair that with a genetic defect, hearing loss for him at age 70 turned into severe hearing loss – and hearing aids were no longer helpful.

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My Hearing Aids No longer Work – Is a Hearing Implant Right for Me?

Is a Hearing Implant Right for Me?

Is a Hearing Implant Right for Me?

The first step is seeking treatment for your hearing loss is recognizing that you may not be able to hear your friends and family as well as you used to. You may find yourself missing out on fun social events or meaningful conversations. A hearing implant is a very successful hearing loss treatment that provides the ability to hear when hearing aids no longer work for you. 

Whether your hearing loss is caused by noise exposure through work or recreation, or simply genetics, a hearing implant allows speech to be not only louder but clearer.

A hearing implant is a device that is surgically implanted under the skin behind the ear and works together with an external device to collect and transmit sound to the brain. Continue reading

NOW HEAR THIS: Navigating the Waters of Hearing Aid Purchasing

Once you have been diagnosed with hearing loss, it’s important to know we are here to help you make a purchase that meets the level of hearing loss you are experiencing. We have plenty of choices to choose from at The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute. Conveniently located at CenterOne just off JTB and by Town Center, our professionals are dedicated to ensuring you a good fit and an appropriate purchase for your aid or hearing device.

Our board-certified Audiologists are here to serve you. Also, you might want to visit “Hearing Aids Can Help” at www.BetterHearing.org. It’s easy – and you don’t have to leave home if you want to  check out online what is in the marketplace on that site. The most important thing to remember is that our professionals are here to make sure you buy one that makes sense for your level of hearing. The cheapest may save you dollars, but may not result in meeting your expectations to hear better. Be up-front with our professionals, if you are shopping elsewhere besides at our Hearing Center. Please take into consideration the education background and board certification, such as the level of professionalism our Audiologists offer, as part of the consideration. Also, if you purchase a hearing aid from us, we offer a free clinic to help you get used to it or need it recalibrated for any reason. Let our Audiologists know you are “ready” to learn about the best hearing aid technologies available for you and ask what they recommend. Also, our Audiologists will be happy to give you a demonstration on how they work. Remember, only purchase a hearing aid by a licensed hearing care professional.

True hearing aids are designed to treat hearing loss and are cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Once purchased, the hearing aid will need to be fitted, adjusted and tuned to your ears and specific needs, in addition to appropriate follow-up.

The professional Audiologists at The Hearing Center are here to help and show you how leading-edge hearing aids can be beneficial and add to your quality of life. Be sure when you are seeking information on hearing aids that you check out the credentials – a board -certified Audiologist, such as those professionals at The Hearing Center, are here to help you hear better – the first time!