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.
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.
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 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 implantcan 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.
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.
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 →
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!
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.
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.
Living in Florida can get pretty humid, especially in the summer months. Hearing aid users are frequently worried about sweat, rain, and moisture accumulation in their new hearing aid. Well, now there is a solution! Siemens has introduced its first waterproof and dustproof hearing aid: The Aquaris. The device is capable of working as deep as three feet under water and can be connected to their Minitek Bluetooth system. This allows the user to listen to bluetooth-streamed music while swimming, showering, or exercising. JHBI is a provider of Siemens instruments. Give us a call to learn more about this new and exciting product.