Category Archives: In the News

Coming Up: Balance Awareness Week

Balance Awareness Week is September 16th – 22nd, 2012. The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) is launching a campaign to “Defeat Dizziness” through public education and advocacy. Read below for the official press release from VEDA about its 16th annual Balance Awareness Week. Since 1997, JHBI has been helping patients with balance disorders through advanced testing techniques and proper diagnosis.

VESTIBULAR DISORDERS ASSOCIATION SEEKS TO “DEFEAT DIZZINESS” DURING BALANCE AWARENESS WEEK

PORTLAND, OR — The Vestibular Disorders Association (VEDA) celebrates its 16th annual Balance Awareness Week September 16th – 22nd, 2012 by launching a campaign to “Defeat Dizziness” through public education and advocacy.

The vestibular system includes the parts of the inner ear and brain that process the sensory information involved with controlling balance and eye movements.

Illness, injury, and even aging can damage the fragile vestibular organs, and with them, the ability to balance. As many as 35% of adults aged 40 years or older in the United States — approximately 69 million Americans — have experienced some form of vestibular dysfunction.

Receiving effective treatment is frequently complicated by the length of time it takes to diagnose a vestibular disorder, which can be a year or more in many cases. Most vestibular patients visit a doctor 4-5 times before receiving an accurate diagnosis.

In addition to affecting balance, vestibular disorders often provide disabling symptoms that include vertigo, dizziness, hearing and vision problems, and difficulty concentrating. These life-altering symptoms can deeply inhibit a person’s ability to perform basic day-to-day tasks, and are compounded by their invisibility to others, making it difficult to understand that a person with vestibular dysfunction is profoundly struggling to remain oriented and functional.

The goal of Balance Awareness Week is to “defeat dizziness” by helping people recognize the symptoms of a vestibular disorder, and urging them to seek help from a professional vestibular specialist. In addition, VEDA encourages the friends, family and coworkers of those suffering from a vestibular disorder to learn more about how balance dysfunction can impact their loved one’s ability to perform common day-to-day activities.

Fitter International, Inc. (“Fitterfirst”) — a company that designs and distributes fitness products focused on improving the functional elements of balance — is sponsoring Balance Awareness Week.

“Balance is the essence of movement and movement is the essence of life,” says Louis Stack, Founder and President of Fitterfirst, who is sponsoring Balance Awareness Week. “As a competitive athlete I recognize how important core balance is, not only during physical activity but even for everyday functions of life. At Fitterfirst we produce easy to use balance tools that help people maintain or regain better balance for active daily living.”

VEDA invites everyone to participate in Balance Awareness Week — go to www.vestibular.org/BAW to learn more about how you can help.

About VEDA: For over 25 years, the Vestibular Disorders Association has provided objective information, advocacy, and a caring support network to people with vestibular disorders and the health professionals who treat them. For more information, visit www.vestibular.org or call (800) 837-8428.

Grandfather’s Day

September 9th has been officially designated as Grandfather’s Day. For many of us, when we think of our grandfathers (or grandmothers!), we think of their hearing difficulties and our need to shout to be understood. While this is often a source of humor and family jokes, untreated hearing loss has been shown to cause significant social and emotional hardship.

The following article by Janice D’Arcy of the Washington Post highlights the large number of Americans over 50 with some degree of hearing loss. You’ll also see a recent survey by the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA), and a video that is part of a new ASHA public service campaign promoting open family discussion of hearing loss.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/on-parenting/post/grandparents-day-is-coming-say-again/2012/09/05/1978a6a8-f23f-11e1-adc6-87dfa8eff430_blog.html

Announcement: Acoustic Neuroma Association Meeting

The Jacksonville Acoustic Neuroma Association (ANA) support group will meet Saturday, October 13th at 1 PM at Mandarin United Methodist Church. For information, please contact Joan Vanderbilt, the Jacksonville chapter leader, at 904-287-8132 or by email at joanvanderbilt@gmail.com.

About the ANA:

The mission of ANA is to inform, educate and provide national and local support networks for those affected by acoustic neuromas, and to be an essential resource for health care professionals who treat acoustic neuroma patients. The Acoustic Neuroma Association provides information and support to patients who have been diagnosed with or experienced an acoustic neuroma or other benign problem affectine the cranial nerves. Patient founded in 1981, ANA is an incorporated, non-profit organization, recognized as such by the IRS, and is supported by contributions from its members. The association also furnishes information on patient rehabilitation to physicians and health care personnel, promotes research on acoustic neuroma, and educates the public regarding symptoms suggestive of acoustic neuroma, thus promoting early diagnosis and successful treatment.

JHBI Patient Authors Book About Experience with Acoustic Neuroma

Ericia Espenschied, a current patient and former medical assistant at JHBI, has published a book about her acoustic neuroma experience. An acoustic neuroma is a benign tumor of the vestibular nerve, and is a condition that is commonly treated by JHBI staff.

The book is available on amazon.com (link below). Ericia offers the following description:

A young woman believes she is going in for a routine eye exam but finds herself launched on a hard journey of being diagnosed with a brain tumor. With fear eventually overwhelming her, she finds strength with faith and hope and within her family and friends.

Fact Sheet: Know the Power of Sound

Check out this interactive loudness scale, available through the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck surgery. Knowing the intensity of sounds you’re exposed to is critical in protecting your hearing.

http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/soundPower.cfm

At JHBI, we offer a wide assortment of hearing protection devices. Make sure you’re taking the proper to steps to protect your hearing!

What do Arnold Palmer, Ronald Reagan, and Mike Singletary have in common?

Answer: All of these well known people have hearing loss and wear hearing aids. In fact, a surprising number of celebrities wear hearing aids and have been very public about their decision to seek treatment with hearing aids.

Click below to see a list of celebrities with hearing loss and hearing aids who have supported the Better Hearing Institute (BHI).

http://www.betterhearing.org/about/celeb.cfm

Audiology Credentials…what do all those letters mean?!

Patients are often confused by the series of acronyms and abbreviations listed after their audiologist’s name. Listed below are common abbreviations used and a description of what they mean.

  • Au.D.: Au.D. is the abbreviation for Doctor of Audiology. Beginning in 2007, many states adopted the Au.D. as the entry level degree required to practice Audiology. Prior to the Au.D., a master’s degree was required for clinical practice. There are no longer any professional training programs offering a master’s degree in Audiology. To obtain an Au.D., you must obtain a bachelor’s degree and complete four years of graduate school.
  • CCC-A: CCC-A stands for Certificate of Clinical Competency in Audiology. This is a voluntary certificate issued by the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA). Professionals who have been awarded the CCC-A have completed a rigorous academic program and a supervised clinical experience and have passed a national examination.
  • F-AAA: F-AAA is the abbreviation used to delineate those audiologists who are Fellows of the American Academy of Audiology. The American Academy of Audiology is the world’s largest professional organization of, by, and for audiologists. The active membership of more than 11,000 is dedicated to providing quality hearing care services through professional development, education, research, and increased public awareness of hearing and balance disorders.
  • ABA: If an audiologist uses the abbreviation “ABA” after their name, they have been awarded board certification in Audiology by the American Board of Audiology. To become board certified in audiology, one must maintain continuing education credits above and beyond what is simply required for clinical practice. ABA certification demonstrates a commitment to excellence through lifelong learning.

At JHBI, all of our audiologists have their CCC-A, are Fellows of the American Academy of Audiology, and are board certified in Audiology by the American Board of Audiology. When you visit our office Audiology care, rest assured that you will be seen by a professional with extensive training who has demonstrated a commitment to maintaining the highest levels of professional competency.

Hearing Loss: The Largest Disability in the Country?

Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that about 37 million people in the United States have a hearing loss. According to a recent article by CNN’s Jen Christensen, if hearing loss were officially considered a disability, it would rank as the largest disability class in the country.

Though hearing aids are the most widely used treatment for hearing loss, only about 20% of people who need a hearing aid actually get one. One of the biggest obstacles to treatment with hearing aids is cost. Unfortunately, most private insurance plans do not include hearing aid benefits, so most patients are forced to pay for hearing aids out of pocket.

Read below for more information on hearing loss, the “invisible disability”, and the current status of hearing aids as they relate to insurance coverage.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/10/health/hearing-aid-insurance/index.html?hpt=hp_c2

 

Ear Candling: Ineffective and Dangerous

Proper removal of cerumen (ear wax) is a topic that is frequently misunderstood by patients. One of the most dangerous techniques people employ to remove ear wax is known as ear candling. Ear candling is a dangerous and ineffective method of ear wax removal. For more information on ear candling, its myths, and proper ear wax removal techniques, please refer to the following article from the American Academy of Audiology.

http://www.audiology.org/news/Pages/20100622.aspx

How Can Bluetooth Technology Help You With Your Hearing Aids?

Did you know that some of the latest Bluetooth technology can be used with hearing aids? Learn how from one of our audiologists, Dr. Jacqueline Olson, who was featured recently in a live segment on First Coast Living in Jacksonville, Fla.