“Dad hadn’t known what he was missing.”

“Because of our dad’s hearing loss, he was becoming more and more of a recluse. We were all frustrated and exhausted from years of trying to communicate with him. Only by double-teaming with my sister were we able to get him to see an audiologist. You can’t imagine the look on his face the moment his hearing were aids programmed. He hadn’t known what he was missing. I think he’s very pleased and grateful; I know I am.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient family member

“Having an audiologist…gives me confidence.”

“I know a thing or two about hearing aids since I’ve worn them for 15 years. Fortunately, they’ve gotten smaller and better over time as my hearing has gotten worse. But there are so many choices now that it’s easy to get confused about what will work best for my particular hearing loss. Having an audiologist with education and experience gives me confidence in her judgment. I know that she’ll make an unbiased selection because she has no financial stake in the decision. It’s the trust factor that is so valuable.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient

Deaf Baseball Player Aims for the Major Leagues

A high-school senior from New Jersey has grabbed the attention of baseball scouts across the nation. As one of the top pitchers in his region, Austin Solecitto is headed to the state playoffs with his team.

But it’s not only his skill on the field that has caught everyone’s attention. The 18-year-old pitcher was diagnosed with profound hearing loss at the age of two. He wears a cochlear implant throughout the day, but when he’s pitching on the mound, he often disables the device. Ironically, Austin explains that the ability to disable his cochlear implant while pitching has proven to be an advantage, since he is able to focus on his pitching and not the other team or parents.

A cochlear implant is a surgically implanted electronic device that provides a sense of sound to a person who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing. Cochlear implants have been an area of major advancement in the arena of hearing rehabilitation over the last several decades. Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute (JHBI) is proud to offer patients an experienced, comprehensive cochlear implant team, consisting of neurotologists, audiologists with special board certification in cochlear implant assessment and rehabilitation, physician’s assistants, and allied health professionals within the Jacksonville community. Through their expertise and dedication, they are helping to restore the gift of hearing to patients both locally and internationally. And some of these patients, like Solecitto, might even set their sights on the major leagues.

“I can’t believe people…do without hearing aids.”

“Hearing loss runs in my family, so I knew when I was pretty young that I would probably need hearing aids. I also knew I wanted to go to a doctor’s office to get them fitted, not just some place at the mall. I’m actually on my third set, and each pair has gotten better. The ones I have now are awesome; I can’t live without them. In fact, I can’t believe people are willing to miss out on what they do without hearing aids.”
—Jacksonville Hearing & Balance patient

Ringing in the Ears

We’ve all had it at one time or another–that sound of ringing in your ears—that can range from subtle to shattering.  Tinnitus (TIN-ih-tuss) is the medical term for the perception of sound in one or both ears when there is actually no external sound present.  It can come and go or be constant, and causes vary.

Common causes of tinnitus:

  • Hearing loss.   Whether age-related or caused by exposure to loud sound, hearing loss can cause tinnitus.  Tinnitus caused by short-term exposure, such as attending a loud concert, usually goes away.
  • Earwax blockage. When too much earwax builds up, it can cause hearing loss or irritation of the eardrum, which can lead to tinnitus.
  • Ear bone changes. Stiffening of the bones in your middle ear may affect your hearing and cause tinnitus. This condition tends to run in families.

Less common causes include:

  • Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder
  • Stress and depression are often associated with tinnitus and seem to aggravate it.
  • TMJ disorders are problems with the temperomandibular joint –where your lower jawbone meets your skull.
  • Ear or sinus infections, but once the infection is healed the tinnitus goes away.
  • Head or neck injuries
  • Acoustic neuroma, a noncancerous tumor in your brain

Some medications will trigger tinnitus as a side effect.  Fortunately, it usually disappears when you stop using these drugs.

  • Antibiotics, including chloramphenicol, erythromycin, gentamicin, vancomycin and bleomycin
  • Cancer medications, including mechlorethamine and vincristine
  • Diuretics (water pills)
  • Quinine and Chloroquine, taken for malaria
  • Aspirin in very high doses (12 or more a day)

Get Started With Hearing Aids

It’s so gradual that you may not even realize you have hearing loss.  You begin to strain to hear loved ones and avoid noisy restaurants.  Not only does your hearing deteriorate, but also your lifestyle, relationships, and general psychological well-being. The sooner you begin treatment for hearing loss, the easier it will be to adjust to hearing aids and to retain some hearing ability.

1.  See an audiologist

If you have noticed any symptoms of hearing loss (or your friends or family have noticed) you may be among the one in five Americans 1 suffering with this problem.  Seeing an audiologist is the first step in evaluating your hearing loss and how it may be treated.

Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute audiologists have doctoral degrees and are board certified by the American Board of Audiology. They specialize in fitting hearing aids and work with patients and physicians to create effective hearing solutions.  Our Hearing Center is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated exclusively to serving our hearing aid and cochlear implant patients.

2.  Get educated

Being informed about your hearing health and the many treatment options available is essential.  Web searches, books, and consulting friends and family are an important part of the learning process.  Besides the professional and personal one-on-one assistance of our team members, we also provide a number of resources that can help you determine the best hearing solution for you and your lifestyle.

3.  Take charge of your hearing

Hearing aids come in many styles and have various features.  Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute team members listen to individual needs and lifestyle when determining the right hearing aid for you.  Things to consider include:

  • Type of hearing loss
  • Severity of hearing loss
  • Size and shape of the ear and ear canal
  • Patient preference
  • Patient dexterity
  • Financial investment

Don’t miss out another minute!  Contact us to set up a hearing consultation or come into our new Hearing Center on Thursdays in May for a free hearing screening!

1 According to a study by Johns Hopkins researchers, published in Nov. 14, 2011 Archives of Internal Medicine

Hears to Thursdays!

JHBI Opens State-of-the-Art Hearing Center

Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute has just announced the opening of a brand new, state-of-the-art Hearing Center. The 1,180 square foot Hearing Center is located right across the hall from our existing offices in the Center One building on Centurion Parkway North just off Gate Parkway.

The Hearing Center will be dedicated exclusively to serving our hearing aid and cochlear implant patients. The center features three new exam rooms, a new testing room and a waiting area with the loop system.

Join us for “Better Hearing Thursdays!” in May (May 10th, 17th, 24th, 31st) between 9am-noon for a free hearing screening, video-otoscope session, gift bag and tour of the new Hearing Center with an audiologist! Let us know you are coming; reserve your Thursday!*

*Offer only valid through the month of May.

May is Better Hearing Month

May is Better Hearing Month

In an effort to raise public awareness for the growing number of Americans suffering from hearing loss, May has been designated Better Hearing Month.

On average, most Americans consider hearing loss a condition that is simply associated with aging, and don’t know how to recognize the condition or who is qualified to diagnose and treat it. “Hearing loss can be caused by all kinds of things:  loud noises, ear infections or disease,  certain medications, and just normal aging,” explains Dr. J. Douglas Green, Jr.. founder  of Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute.   “It can affect patients of all ages—children, teens, adults, and the elderly.”

The first step in treatment of a hearing problem is a hearing evaluation by an audiologist. An audiologist is a highly educated and clinically experienced health-care professional who specializes in evaluating, diagnosing, and treating people with hearing loss and balance disorders. JHBI’s audiologists have areas of expertise that include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing hearing evaluations
  • Prescribing and fitting hearing aids
  • Conducting cochlear implant programming and counseling
  • Providing hearing rehabilitation training such as:
    • Auditory training
    • Speech reading
    • Listening skills improvement
    • Assistive listening device fitting and dispensing

You may need to see an audiologist if you have trouble hearing conversation in noisy environments, are unable to hear people talk without looking at them, or have constant ringing or pain in your ears.   Although most hearing loss is permanent, an audiologist can determine the best treatment, which may include hearing aids, assistive listening devices, and hearing rehabilitation.

Take advantage of our Free Hearing Screenings on Thursdays in May!  For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us.


Hearing Loop Makes Headlines

In a world filled with new technology, hearing loops bring old technology back to life. The Washington Post reported that this “old technology could have the most profound impact in the decade to come on millions of people with hearing loss.” (The Washington Post) Telecoils were first put in hearing aids in the 1940s, and hearing loops were used in the 1960s and 1970s.

However, two challenges arise from the returning use of this old technology. First, a user’s hearing device must be equipped with a telecoil in order for the person to benefit from the hearing loop. Telecoils are common but not universal. Second, public areas have to be “looped,” but in the United States, very few are.

In Jacksonville, Fla., the only places currently looped (of which we are aware) are our waiting rooms at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute and one check-out lane at Whole Foods Market in Mandarin.

The Hearing Loss Association of America and the American Academy of Audiology are encouraging performance venues to install temporary loop systems to let people try them out.