Balance Awareness Week

Here at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance, we focus on all aspects of the ears and their functions, everything from ear wax removal to complex balance disorders. Your ears not only control your ability to hear, but also play an integral role in your balance. This system is called your vestibular system.

Balance awareness week, September 13 – 19, was established by the Vestibular Disorders Association (VeDA) in an effort to raise awareness of these types of disorders. There is a broad spectrum of vestibular disorders that can are short in duration but some that can also affect patients throughout their life.  Our goal is to help diagnose and lead you to the correct path of treatment.

According to VeDA, there are more than 69 million Americans who are affected by balance disorders. Patients typically describe themselves as “dizzy” or “off balance”. For some patients, they report difficulty while in the dark.  Although these disorders can present in different ways, all can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. 

Here are a few links talking about Balance Awareness Week and Vestibular Disorders:

If you do have difficulty with balance, here are some tips to help in your daily life:

  1. Speak with your doctor about your symptoms
    • Your primary care doctor can help point you in the right direction
  2. Try to keep track of your symptoms. 
    • What causes it?  What makes it worse? Better?
  3. Remove trip hazards from your home
    • Clear main pathways in your home, i.e. from bed to bathroom,
    • Remove or tape down any area rugs that could have the corners pull up
  4. Make sure there is adequate lighting
    • Use of nightlight in the home in high traffic areas
    • Use of outside lights around steps or uneven surfaces
  5. Footwear
    • Footwear should be of adequate fit, not slide off when walking, and be comfortable

What a hearing test is like during COVID-19

With the introduction of COVID-19, the world has changed in many ways. Masks are the new normal and staying six feet apart is common courtesy. Businesses are shut down or have major restrictions in place. There are many new and different ways each one of us has had to change our own lives. This includes what it is currently like to get a hearing test at JHBI. Here is an example of what to expect at your next hearing test appointment at JHBI:

  1. Wearing a mask is mandatory throughout your entire appointment. Also, every staff member is wearing a mask at all times. This includes clear masks that many staff members have available for our patients who rely on lip-reading.
  2. Your temperature will be taken at check-in using a no-contact thermometer.
  3. Every patient and any person accompanying them must fill out a COVID-19 questionnaire.
  4. Seats in the waiting room are limited in order to maintain social distancing.
  5. Higher risk patients are taken to a different waiting room- for their safety.
  6. Our staff is cleaning constantly to ensure your safety!

As you can see, at JHBI we take the safety and well-being of our patients very seriously. We hope that you feel comfortable coming to our office and we hope to see you and your mask soon!

Hearing Aid Advancements and Remote Programming Updates

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 are interested in learning more about this technology, visit https://www.betterhearingjax.com/ or call our clinic at 904-399-0350.

Maximizing Hearing Aid Benefits – Video Testimonial

Do you watch television with the volume louder than you used to? Do you have trouble understanding conversation when in a restaurant? Do you complain that people are always mumbling? These are common signs that indicate you may have a hearing loss. 

The first step is to undergo a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. If the test shows that you have a hearing loss,  a hearing aid is often recommended to help make communication easier and enjoyable again.

A quick search on the internet can lead to many results regarding which hearing aid is the best. It is easy to become overwhelmed and confused by all the marketing, sales and misinformation regarding hearing aids. 

Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute helps guide you through the hearing aid selection process and to provide you with the tools you need to succeed with hearing aids. 

Cochlear implant for Single-sided Deafness (SSD) patient let’s him hear again

Austin leads a busy life. A professional travel agent by day and a well-respected server at one of Jacksonville’s most distinguished restaurants by night, he came down with the flu. A few days later he woke up and realized he couldn’t hear in his left ear – imagine if that happened to you. He was referred to Dr. Green to see if the hearing could be saved. As a result of diagnostic hearing, it was determined it could not. Since he was in his mid-twenties, Austin wanted to find out if there was a treatment to restore as much hearing as possible to enhance what he hopes will be a long life. There was – it was a cochlear implant.

Dr. Green answers common questions about cochlear implants:

1. What is Single-sided Deafness (SSD)

Complete hearing loss in one ear with normal hearing in the opposite ear in most patients

2. Why/how did a bout with the flu take his hearing?  

Austin had what’s called a Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss.  It will frequently occur after the flu or an upper respiratory infection, but the cause is unknown.

3. Why just one side?  

Since the cause is unknown, we don’t understand why only one ear is affected.

4. How many young or old people loose hearing annually in the U.S. due to the flu? Young or old, does it matter?  

The incidence of Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is between 2 and 20 cases per 100,000 people per year.  There is an increasing incidence with increasing age.

5. How does his cochlear implant work?  

A cochlear implant works by taking sound and converting that sound to electrical energy. The electrical stimulation is then delivered to a discreet point within the cochlea to allow hearing.

6. Is it waterproof?  

A waterproof cover can be placed on the processor if the patient so desires.

7. Will he have to have his implant replaced?  

The internal portion of the cochlear implant is designed to last for his lifetime.  The external portion, called the processor, is usually replaced every five years. 

We’re grateful this holiday season – especially to our Veterans

During this holiday season all of us at JHBI and our Hearing Center pause to give thanks to our patients and their families, especially Veterans for their service to protect our freedoms. We’re grateful to all patients for putting their trust in us to help them hear better, especially those with severe hearing loss. 

Also, we thank Clay Today* newspaper for an informative story on our patient, retired Navy Captain Mark Adrick, who had a Cochlear® implant surgically inserted to improve severe hearing loss. After decades of flying helicopters and airplanes, his hearing was completely lost. Most severe hearing loss patients have no idea about the lifelong effects of extended loud noises and how it damages the inner ear’s cochlear nerve and surrounding tissues, sometimes beyond repair. 

As we count our blessings this holiday season, we wish to thank our patients and their families for trusting us to give the best hearing care possible to improve the quality of life. We wish you and your family a healthy and happy holiday season.

* https://www.claytodayonline.com/stories/trapped-in-his-own-silence-for-yearsveteran-can-hear-granddaughters-voice,20098

Free seminar on vertigo, dizziness and spinning includes lunch is hosted by JHBI and WJCT on June 19, at WJCT Studios in Jacksonville, FL

You’re invited to a FREE Seminar on VERTIGO and luncheon hosted by Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute (JHBI) and WJCT on Wednesday, June 19 from 11:30 am – 1 pm. We’ll discuss diagnostic evaluations and treatment for vertigo/dizziness and surgical/non-surgical treatment options. Presenters include J. Douglas Green, MD, FACS (Otology, Neurology, Audiology), founder of JHBI, along with JHBI team members Donna Smith, MPAS, PA-C, and Janelle Kelley, AuD, CCC-A. A Q&A will follow – so bring your questions! Please share this information if you have a friend or relative who may benefit from this event. It will be held at the WJCT Studios at 100 Festival Park Avenue (across from TIAA Stadium).

Reservations are limited, so call 904-358-6322 or go to WJCT.org/jhbi

JHBI diagnoses and treats BPPV or Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, a common inner ear problem and primary cause of vertigo, in Jacksonville, FL

BPPV is a common cause of vertigo, or the sensation that the room is spinning around you. BPPV is caused when tiny particles in the inner ear dislodge from part of the balance that detects body movement. When the particles dislodge, they can float to a different area of the balance system. This gives the brain false information about where your body is in space.  The result is a spinning sensation that typically last for a few seconds. BPPV can be triggered by rolling over in bed, bending over or looking up. In most cases BPPV can be easily treated. Call us now if you have dizziness or vertigo symptoms. 

Let’s define BPPV:

  • Benign: this means non-life threatening
  • Paroxysmal: vertigo may come in short spurts
  • Positional: turn your head back and forth or side to side, it may trigger vertigo
  • Vertigo: feeling your head is spinning or the world around you is spinning out of control and possibly violently 
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Orange Park, FL’s vertigo patient Kim Aures shares her story of living with BPPV to help others in Jacksonville, FL

By Kim Aures, Vertigo Patient at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute

Kim Aures gives her thoughts about having and living with vertigo. The professionals at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute hope you will share this if you or someone you love experiences the signs and symptoms of vertigo. As part of their community education programming, JHBI is presenting a FREE community medical seminar on Wed., June 19 at 11:30 am – 1 pm/including a complimentary lunch. Speakers include J. Douglas Green, MD, FACS, founder of JHBI, and staff Donna Smith, MPAS, PA-C, and Janelle Kelley, AuD, CCC-A. For more information on what you or someone you know who is experiencing vertigo should do, please go to www.JHBI.org or www.WJCT.org/events and make a reservation now.

You are invited to attend a FREE community medical seminar on VERTIGO and luncheon on Wednesday, June 16th from 11:30am to 1pm presented by J. Douglas Green, MD, FACS, founder of Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute at WJCT. Register Now »

Kim Aures of Orange Park shares her story of living with BPPV to help others in Jacksonville, FL

You are invited to attend a FREE community medical seminar on VERTIGO and luncheon on Wednesday, June 16th from 11:30am to 1pm presented by J. Douglas Green, MD, FACS, founder of Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute at WJCT. Register Now »