Category Archives: Hearing Aids

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.

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.

What to Expect From a New Hearing Aid

Audiologists from JHBI recommend thorough research, consistent practice and patience

For those with hearing loss, the proper use of a hearing aid can allow easier participation in the most basic daily activities. Hearing aids do not restore totally normal hearing, but with patience and practice they can make communication much easier for you as well as for your friends and family.

Learning to wear a hearing aid requires a period of adjustment. The length of adjustment depends on a number of factors, including how long a you have had hearing loss, how much loss has occurred, and how willing you are to make the necessary effort in order to succeed.

Here are a few things to remember about a new hearing aid:

  • It’s ok to ask people to repeat themselves.
  • There might be some slight tenderness in the ear and/or ear canal at first. This should go away, but if any soreness, redness or scabbing persists, report it to your doctor.
  • Speak normally. It does not sound different to other people, even though it sounds amplified in your head.
  • Wear the hearing aid as much as is comfortable. Gradually increase the wearing time, and by the end of two or three weeks, the hearing aid should be wearable for eight to ten hours per day.

Find a trustworthy, knowledgeable person to fit and maintain a hearing aid that is a good brand, price and fit. New technology allows the hearing aid to monitor the environment and automatically adjust according to your hearing loss and listening needs. At Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute, our audiologists will ensure that you receive quality care and treatment.

And the Winner of Our Hearing Aids Contest Is…

…Sara Clark! Congratulations on winning a set of premium hearing aids!

Scarlett fever damaged her hearing at two years of age. Even though Sara Clark, 46, has been wearing hearing aids for over 30 years, the brand quality has never been strong enough to compensate for her hearing loss. So when Clark heard about JHBI’s hearing aid contest on WOKV radio in June, she called in right away. And as winner of the contest, Clark received a set of premium hearing aids.

“I am very excited about the wireless technology with these,” she said. “I am a project manager in an environment that is varied in noise levels. Being able to hear important details about my projects is critical.”

Clark also received a free hearing aid consultation, which was offered to all contest participants.

“People need to hear to work and function in life,” she said. “It’s the little things one doesn’t hear that can become very big things.”

Patient Testimonial: How a Man Kept His Job

A man with a bad cold he just couldn’t shake woke up one morning, answered his cell phone, and realized he was deaf. With 12 percent hearing in his left ear and 78 percent in his right, Leon Woody, 52, knew he would have to do something quickly to maintain his management position at work.

“When I answered my cell phone that morning, I thought I had a bad connection,” Woody said. “Then I realized it was my left ear, not a bad connection. I went to a lot of doctors and they all said they couldn’t do anything for me.”

But Woody came to Dr. Green at JHBI in hopes that there was still a remedy. Dr. Green performed surgery to give Woody a cochlear implant in each ear. It has been three years and Woody cannot say enough about the “amazing instruments” in his ear.

“I couldn’t do it without them. It took a while, but now I can get back in front of groups. I challenged myself to get in front of people and communicate. Without the hearing aids, I couldn’t be working. I don’t know what would have happened.”

After receiving an internal cochlear implant, a patient wears external speech processors. Woody said that if he is not wearing the processors, he cannot hear anything at all. His co-workers do not understand that he truly cannot hear without them. To get his ears used to hearing noises again and understanding pitch and tone, Woody practiced listening to books on tape and music on the radio.

“I can’t say enough about the staff. They’ve done an excellent job working through the issues and making my wife and I feel comfortable and understanding the process.”

Our professional staff is here to help with hearing loss diagnosis and treatment every step of the way.

JHBI Grants Hearing to a Nigerian Professor

For more than 32 years, a mathematics professor in Nigeria had normal hearing. But after three weeks of fever and medication, his hearing became so bad that he could hardly hear a gunshot.

In 2002, Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin woke up one morning with most of his hearing ability gone. A mathematics professor at the University of Jos in Nigeria, Kutchin spent more than five years with limited hearing ability. He frequently asked people to write what they were saying to him and had several uncomfortable encounters with people who did not understand how to interact with a hearing-impaired person. His partial deafness severely limited his ability to teach his classes in a timely matter.

“My social life suffered immensely; I had to stop attending meetings or social gatherings,” Kutchin recalled. “Radio and musical instruments became useless to me. I had to lose many of my friends. Some of them were those who couldn’t write. There was no way for me to communicate directly to those that could not write. Those included the small children. There was no way I could communicate with even sighted people once it was dark. The worst were my students and friends who were blind. I had to keep away from any function that had anything to do with hearing.”

Dr. Green met Kutchin in 2005 through Dr. Joel Anthis, an American ear, nose and throat physician who was working full-time in a Christian missionary hospital in Jos, Nigeria. Dr. Green brought two cochlear implant systems to Nigeria, fitted Kutchin with an implant, and left him in the care of Dr. Anthis.

“Humanly speaking and going by my income; there was no wisdom for me to even dream of ever having such a surgery,” Kutchin said.

However, the wound did not heal properly and the implant was removed. Back at square one, Kutchin thought it was the end of the road for good. But a year later, Dr. Green again traveled to Nigeria and offered Kutchin the chance to visit Jacksonville, Fla., and have cochlear implant surgery free of charge. Kutchin gratefully accepted and spent his time in the United States as a guest of Dr. Green and his family during his period of medical assessments, surgery and healing.

Before the implant surgery, Kutchin suffered from tinnitus, a continuous ringing in the ears. It often spoiled his days and woke him from his sleep. Now back in Nigeria, Kutchin said both his sound perception and speech perception are remarkable.

“My cochlear implantation system has continued to amaze me,” Kutchin stated. “With the device, my sound perception is more than 100 percent normal. The volume of the speech processor can be regulated so I am able to hear sound as audible as I choose to.”

Dr. Green made Kutchin’s visit to the States memorable and allowed him to become part of his family.

“He did so to celebrate the recovery of my hearing since my family could not be around to celebrate with me this life changing event,” Kutchin remarked. “Dr. Green wishes to do more.”

To read the full report written by Stephen Yaukubu Kutchin, please click here.

For information about Hearing Help for Africa, a non-profit organization with the goal of improving ear-related medical conditions for Africans by expanding medical education opportunities for African physicians, please click here.

Patient Testimonial: BAHA treatment for former NJ policeman

It was mid-morning when a former New Jersey policeman found himself being dragged by his left arm through a window of a car down a narrow street. He was simply trying to ticket the driver; instead, he found himself fighting for his arm and his life.

This incident, along with a history of multiple ear infections, led to mixed hearing loss and severe damage to his ears. After five years of numerous surgeries in various hospitals across the country, Gilsenan, 63, now has an osseointegrated sound processor (bone anchored hearing aid or BAHA) in both ears and can finally hear again. He credits it all to JHBI.

“Dr. Green is a unique man. He is dedicated to people. He takes his time. His mannerism is so gentle, yet his knowledge is so massive,” Gilsenan said.

Gilsenan, of East Orange, NJ, was one of the first patients in Jacksonville to receive the BAHA treatment, which Gilsenan said seems to stop the effects of tinnitus. The BAHA system uses the body’s natural ability to conduct sound through bone. The BAHA sound processors are implanted through osseointegration, which is the process of the bone growing up to the implant surface (similar to a dental implant).

“I’ve never met a doctor who so greatly wanted to help people,” Gilsenan said. “He finds a way. I just know he’s going to take care of me because of the principles he carries.”

JHBI is pleased to offer the BAHA implant to treat hearing loss. Our professional staff is experienced in the medical and surgical treatment of auditory problems.

Siemens Aquaris: The First Waterproof Hearing Aid

Here at JHBI, we only work with hearing aid manufacturers that have proven dependability and feature the most up-to-date technology. When you come to our office for a hearing aid consultation, our certified audiologists will provide you with important information as you consider purchasing a hearing aid. We are here to help you every step of the way.

The Siemens brand has proven its innovative technology with Aquaris, the first dust-proof, waterproof and shock-resistant hearing aid. It is useful for people whose daily life includes water contact and physical activity.

We fit a 13-year-old competitive swimmer with the Aquaris hearing aids, and now the young girl is able to hear the buzzer from the starting block, dive in the water and swim her way to victory with the new ability to hear as she swims.

Aquaris is perfect for golfers sweating all day in the Florida heat or for gardeners weeding around grass and dirt. It’s the solution for runners waiting to hear the starting buzzer before sprinting to the finish line. No matter the sport or activity, Aquaris features the technology necessary for success.

We proudly use and service the Siemens Aquaris here at JHBI.

JHBI Welcomes Dr. Liz Pearson to the Family

Dr. Pearson is a graduate of the University of Florida, where she received her Bachelor of Art degree in Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. She earned her Master of Science degree from the University of South Florida and was later awarded her Doctor of Audiology degree from A.T. Still University.

She earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech- Language-Hearing Association and is also a Fellow of the American Academy of Audiology. Dr. Pearson has worked in the field of audiology for 19 years and her specialties include diagnostic audiology and hearing aids, with a special interest in electrophysiological testing.