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.
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413
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.
Got vertigo? Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (or BPPV) is one of the most common causes of the disorienting sensation of spinning or whirling. It is caused by a disorder of the balance center of the inner ear; specifically the displacement of the calcium carbonate crystals that are normally found there. These crystals play an important role in sensing various head movements. When they become dislodged from their normal location, they cause abnormal irritation. With subsequent head movements, such as rolling over in bed or looking upwards, these “relocated” crystals will bring on feelings of vertigo.
Treatment for BPPV involves specialized positioning maneuvers, called the ‘Epley’ procedure, that are done in the office. These can be effective in up to 80% of cases and are very well-tolerated. In rare situations, surgery may be required to help stop repeated episodes of positional vertigo.
BPPV is extremely common in people over 50. The precise cause is usually not known, but degenerative changes in the inner ear are one possible explanation. BPPV will commonly occur in patients that have sustained a head injury, or in those who have suffered from a viral inner ear infection, such as vestibular neuritis or labyrinthitis.
The information and reference materials included on this website are intended solely for the general information and education purposes of the reader. They are 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.