Category Archives: In the News

Siemens now offers waterproof 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.

 

Deaf Teen Hears Underwater for the First Time!

What is it like to not hear splashing of water when swimming or not be able to participate fully in Marco Polo with your friends at a pool party?  Imagine hearing only silence.  For Rachel, a 12 year old bilateral cochlear implant recipient and JHBI patient, situations such as these could not be experienced or fully enjoyed.

Rachel lost her hearing completely at age 5 years and quickly received a cochlear implant to each ear. Since her surgeries, Rachel uses her cochlear implant external sound processors to hear again. She has excelled in school and has even learned to play the violin.  Rachel’s original sound processors were water resistant but not waterproof, and she could not use them while swimming or bathing and could not hear to communicate in these situations.

In March 2012, Rachel’s cochlear implant manufacturer, Advanced Bionics, released the first completely waterproof sound processor, the Neptune.  When Rachel and her family learned of this new processor option, she immediately “had to have it”.  After the Neptune was fit to her right ear, she immediately raced home and went swimming in her back yard.

Share with Rachel and her parents as she uses her new external cochlear implant Neptuneprocessor to enjoy swimming and hearing underwater for the first time.

 

The Bionic Ear Association is sponsoring an event in our area on December 8, 2012. Click here if you’re interested in trying or learning more about the Neptune processor while enjoying a guided boat tour of the St. Johns River!

Rock Concerts and Hearing Loss

A small study by the House Research Institute revealed that 72% of teens reported reduced hearing after attending a three-hour show. This type of hearing loss typically disappears within 48 hours, but if it occurs repeatedly, permanent hearing loss can develop, the study authors noted.

Read the Full Story Here

 

Hearing Aid Stigma: An 8 Year Old’s Perspective

“I want the most discrete hearing aid possible so that I don’t look old.”  This is heard almost daily during our hearing aid consultations.  Despite the significant advancements in hearing aid size and technology, there is one thing that hasn’t changed: their stigma.  Although a hearing aid is much less noticeable than the hearing loss itself, people continue to shy away from being properly amplified due to the perceived negative impact that it may have on their daily lives. Well, a young girl named Samantha wants to change your perspective on hearing aid use.

“Sean (her brother) and I were born with hearing loss.  We both wear hearing aids.  It’s not that hard to get used to wearing hearing aids.  All you need to do is think of good things and then you put it in your ear and you hear better.  That’s all there is to it!”

Samantha, age 8,  has written a book about her experience with wearing hearing aids and an FM system at school.  The book, called “Samantha’s Fun FM Unit and Hearing Aid Book” was written to explain why she wore her hearing aids at school and to help other hearing aid users (adults and children alike) feel the positive impact of hearing aids.    The book not only examines Samantha’s perspective of hearing aids, but also teaches about daily use of the aids and FM system.

Read the full synopsis here, courtesy of CNN.com.

Swedish Medical Center Shares Cochlear Implant Surgery Online, in Real Time

Earlier this morning, Dr. Douglas Backous and his team at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA, offered a rare inside look at a cochlear implant surgery, from start to finish. We followed this with great interest, as the surgery generated significant discussion on social media. Thanks to those involved for sharing this experience with us. See below for information on the series from the Swedish Medical center website. Who knows, maybe this will inspire us to do something similar in Jacksonville!

What is it like to have hearing loss? And is there anything that can be done for those with hearing loss?

These are some of the many questions you may have if you know or love someone with hearing loss or deafness. Or, you may have hearing loss and be wondering if there is anything you can do about it.

To help raise awareness around options for those with hearing loss, Dr. Douglas Backous, medical director of the Center for Hearing and Skull Base Surgery at the Swedish Neuroscience Institute in Seattle, developed this video series to increase awareness of cochlear implant surgery as a treatment option for hearing loss. The series will culminate in a live-tweeted and Instagrammed cochlear implant surgery at 7:40 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 2, followed by a live chat on Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 10 a.m and 6 p.m. (Pacific Time) with leading hearing-loss experts.

This series was developed to increase awareness of cochlear implant surgery as a treatment option for hearing loss, to raise awareness of this life-changing surgery and to demonstrate that people who are deaf can have the ability to hear.

Two short videos discussing hearing loss and cochlear implant surgery will be released every week throughout September and early October on this page. (All videos have transcripts that can be viewed on the individual videos’ YouTube pages. Also, closed captioning is available for each video by pressing the CC button located on the video action bar after the video begins playing.)

Watch the slideshow/recap from the live-tweeted and Instagrammed surgery:

http://storify.com/swedish/live-tweeted-and-instagrammed-cochlear-implant-hea/slideshow

Over 36 Million American Adults Have Some Degree of Hearing Loss

That is over 4 times the amount of people who live in New York City!

The statistics are shocking and even more so knowing that over half of those 36 million Americans are under the age of 65.  Hearing loss is an increasing health concern in this nation that is often preventable.  Taking time to see an audiologist for regular hearing screenings and knowing the signs of hearing loss can protect your hearing. Make an appointment with an audiologist this October during National Audiology Awareness Month.

“Hearing loss can be caused by exposure to loud noises, ear infections, trauma, or ear disease; harm to the inner ear and ear drum, illness or certain medications, and deterioration due to the normal aging process,” explains Liz Pearson, Audiologist. The amount of noise Americans are exposed to today plays an important role in the recent increase of hearing loss across the nation. It is no longer just a health concern for seniors.

Have you stopped going to restaurants and social gatherings? Do you keep to yourself when in noisy environments? If you answered yes, you may have a hearing problem.  Some tell signs of hearing loss are: trouble hearing conversation in a noisy environment such as restaurants, difficulty or inability to hear people talking to you without looking at them, and/or a constant pain or ringing in your ears.

On average, most Americans don’t know how to recognize the first signs of hearing loss or which health professional is qualified to diagnose and treat the condition.  If you think you may have a hearing loss, you need to see an audiologist.

An audiologist is a licensed and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is to get your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. A hearing evaluation will determine the degree of hearing loss you have and what can be done. Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.

In response to the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, the American Academy of Audiology in conjunction with Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute has launched National Audiology Awareness Month this October.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us at 904.399.0350.

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