About a year ago, we opened a new office – The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute. This 1200 square foot, state-of-the-art facility is located about 200 feet down the hall from our main office.
We opened The Hearing Center for several reasons. First, and probably most importantly, we needed more space. As our hearing aid, cochlear implant, and implantable hearing device programs continued to grow, so too did our need for more space and more efficient facilities. Secondly, we needed a more defined space where we could work closer together. At The Hearing Center, we have a repair lab, several consultation and fitting rooms, a sound booth, and plenty of room for all the necessary supplies that come along with a full-service Audiology practice within close proximity. Finally, we wanted a place where we could cater to the needs of our hearing aid and cochlear implant patients. At The Hearing Center, we’ve been able to accomplish just that: hearing aid and cochlear implant repair times are faster, patients are greeted by the same familiar faces, the office is set up to be compatible with hearing devices (come by and check our looped waiting room), and we’re working on creating a new hearing ‘store’, where we will have all sorts of hearing device supplies and accessories available.
That brings us to our new website – www.betterhearingjax.com. Like The Hearing Center, this website has been created to better serve those who have trusted us with their care. We hope this site will become a great resource for our patients, and for anyone who happens to stop by online. We have big plans for the site and are just getting started. We’ll soon have plenty of ‘how to’ videos available for patients and their families, an online store where items such as wax filters and hearing aid batteries can be purchased, an active blog with the latest news from the hearing care industry that will be maintained by our own Audiology staff, and a latest news section, where you can stay up to date on what’s going on at The Hearing Center.
Be sure to keep checking in. We have many exciting events planned for the Spring and Summer months, and you can be sure we’ll keep you posted at www.betterhearingjax.com.
Recently, Drs. J. Douglas Green Jr. and William Eblin Jr., both from Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, were invited speakers at the 2013 Weidner Symposium in Callaway Gardens, GA. The Weidner Symposium is hosted annually by the Auburn University Chapters of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Associations and the Student Academy of Audiology. This year’s topic for the Audiology track was vestibular assessment. The audience of around sixty included audiologists from the Southeast region and students and faculty from the Auburn University Doctor of Audiology program. Dr. Green’s sessions included an overview of the anatomy and physiology of the vestibular system and common pathological conditions of the vestibular system. Dr. Eblin presented on one of his specialty areas, vestibular assessment, and moderated a session of case study presentations.
Along with Drs. Green and Eblin, Ann Lienenwever, a physical therapist and the manager of Brooks Balance Center, spoke about Vestibular Rehabilitation.
This article appeared in the Health Section of the Florida Times Union newspaper in Jacksonville, FL, on March 6, 2012. Dr. J. Douglas Green, founder of Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute, comments on the potential causes of dizziness.
Dr. Green is quoted as saying:
“Dizziness is a common complaint experienced by millions of Americans every year.
You can have symptoms ranging from lightheadedness, where you feel you are about to pass out, to whirling vertigo, where the room spins uncontrollably. The cause may be a serious, life-threatening illness, or a minor problem. Evaluation by a medical professional is usually indicated, but, fortunately, effective treatment is available for most causes of dizziness.
Understanding the potential causes of dizziness requires a basic understanding of the balance system. The balance canals, or semicircular canals of the inner ear, are stimulated by turning movements of the head and send electric signals to the back of the brain at the brainstem.” said, Dr. Green.
Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/health-and-fitness/2013-03-06/story/understanding-potential-causes-dizziness#ixzz2MnaY8xjS
To see the article online, click this link:
Tinnitus, or ringing (also commonly described as buzzing/chirping sounds) in the ears, can be a very debilitating problem. Unfortunately, tinnitus treatments are often complex and costly. One of the best, most cost-effective tinnitus treatments involves the use of hearing aids. In many cases, hearing aids are a “kill two birds with one stone” approach, and are helpful in both the correction of hearing loss and the reduction of tinnitus.
Below is a summary of a retrospective review of 70 patients with hearing loss and chronic tinnitus, courtesy of the American Academy of Audiology. The authors found that hearing aids can be a very effective treatment for tinnitus, and we agree. In fact, some of our most successful hearing aid patients initially began using hearing aids as a tool to help their tinnitus, only to later discover the added advantage of better hearing.
Hearing Aids as Tinnitus Therapy
McNeill et al (2012) report that “hearing aids have become common therapeutic tools in the audiological management of tinnitus.” They note that hearing aids are used in tandem with counseling and hearing aids serve as an important part of treatments, such as Tinnitus Retraining Therapy (Jastreboff and Jastreboff, 2000).
McNeill and colleagues performed a retrospective study of 70 patients (48 males, 22 female, mean age 55 years). Each patient had hearing loss and a primary or secondary complaint of “bothersome chronic tinnitus.” Of note, while wearing hearing aids (Oticon, Phonak or Widex) 26 patients reported their tinnitus was totally masked, 28 reported partial masking (i.e., 77 percent, or 54 of 70 reported partial or total masking) and 16 reported no masking. Tinnitus pitch masking revealed (on average) a perceived pitch of 6900 Hz. Of note, for the group that did not achieve masking (n=16, see above)they reported a mean tinnitus pitch perceived at 8000 Hz (the average perceived tinnitus pitch for the partial masking group was 7,600 Hz and for the total masking group was 5,400 Hz). The authors note the patients who had the most tinnitus relief via their hearing aid fittings had tinnitus matching results within the frequency range of the hearing aids.
McNeill et al report that their results indicate hearing aid fittings may be useful in the management of tinnitus because hearing aids reduce the audibility of tinnitus and hearing aids improve the patient’s reaction to tinnitus. The authors recommend hearing aid fittings to treat tinnitus in patients with hearing loss. Further, they note the best results are obtained when the patient has good low-frequency hearing, a strong reaction to their tinnitus and when the tinnitus pitch is perceived to be (i.e., matched) within the fitting range of the hearing aid.
Click here to read the original story.
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.
Taking care of your hearing healthcare investment
One of the most valuable purchases that you may make this year is a pair of new hearing aids. Hearing aids will allow you to reconnect with loved ones and participate in daily activities that you once enjoyed but may be shying away from.
Digital hearing aids are precision instruments, and are sensitive to dust, dirt, moisture, cerumen, hairspray, and other daily influences. Fortunately, there are a few simple care and maintenance steps that when followed regularly can keep your hearing aid sounding and performing optimally. Here are a number of helpful suggestions that you can do at home.
Handle with care
- When removing your hearing aid from its packaging, stand over soft ground so that if it falls, it falls onto a soft surface and not a hard floor.
- Try to never expose your hearing aid to high heat such as leaving it in your car.
- When cleaning your hearing aid, don’t use alcohol or chemical solvents. We suggest the use of baby wipes or Audiowipes instead.
- Apply hair care and styling products before you insert your hearing aid. Hair gels and hairspray can clog the components and can sometimes affect the exterior plastic, too.
Protect it from moisture
- The digital circuitry in your hearing aid is particularly sensitive to moisture.
- Take your hearing aid out before swimming or showering (unless it is a waterproof hearing aid).
- Remove the hearing aid before going to sleep, and store it in a clean, dry place.
- Before you insert your hearing aid, clean and dry your ears as best as possible.
- One of the most common causes of hearing aids having to be returned for service is the buildup of moisture; an inexpensive hearing aid dehumidifier can prevent this, and thus prolong its life.
- To use a hearing aid dehumidifier, which removes any accumulation of moisture, remove the batteries from the unit before storing the hearing aid in the dehumidifier overnight.
Remove excessive ear wax from your hearing aid
- Becoming clogged with ear wax is the second most common reason that hearing aids require service.
- Upon removing your hearing aid, wipe away ear wax using a soft cloth.
- Clean any ear wax from the receiver and microphone areas of the device, using a cleaning brush.
- Change the wax filters frequently (if equipped).
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI) is urging people with diabetes to get their hearing tested, and is offering a free, quick, and confidential online hearing check at www.hearingcheck.org so anyone can determine if they need a comprehensive hearing test by a hearing healthcare professional.
Read more about this story by clicking HERE.
Everyone at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute is so very thankful this Holiday Season. This video highlights many wonderful things that happened in 2012.
Watch the video HERE.
Audiologist Jacqueline Olson’s No. 1 rule — no crying in her office — got broken a lot Thursday afternoon. That’s what happens when you change a life, the way she and her colleagues were changing the life of 26-year-old Samuel Ochenehi.
Ochenehi was in his first year of medical school seven years ago in his native Nigeria when, following hospitalization for typhoid fever, he went deaf. He finished medical school but learned to his dismay that his hearing loss was going to prevent him from being admitted to a residency program.
Then he met Doug Green, a Jacksonville neurotologist, who is founder and president of the Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute. Green, who also founded Hearing Help for Africa, regularly does medical missionary work at Evangel Hospital in Jos, Nigeria, where Ochenehi lives.
Green considered both Ochenehi and 19-year-old Emmanuel Odido, who lost his hearing at two as a result of meningitis, good candidates for cochlear implants. Both had sustained damage to the cilia, hairlike cells inside the ear that receive sound, which the cochlea translates into electrical signals. The implant takes over that function.
But because of sectarian violence in Nigeria and a lack of adequate medical facilities there, Green decided the best approach was to bring the two young men to Jacksonville.
“I kept having to postpone the trip because bombs kept going off, ” Green said. “It was easier to bring them here.”
In October, Ochenehi and Odido flew to Jacksonville and moved into an apartment Green rented for them. Green did surgery on Odido Oct. 16 and on Ochenehi on Oct. 23, implanting in each a device beneath the skin. A second piece fits over the ear, with a magnet that attaches to the implanted device linking them. Normally, the procedure costs about $50,000. But Green waived his surgical fees, and MED-EL Corp. donated the cochlear implants.
During the time they’ve spent in Jacksonville, Ochenehi and Odido have grown close to many of the people who work at the institute.
“They’re incredibly gracious people, ” Green said. “It’s really fun for me and for my office to be a part of this.”
“It’s been so awesome to see him blossom, ” Olson said of Ochenehi.
Thursday, Olson did tests to check how well Ochenehi was hearing and then made adjustments, creating four different hearing programs Ochenehi can switch to using a remote control. Ochenehi had been having trouble hearing male voices clearly but the adjustments seemed to solve that problem. Following the adjustments, Olson did a second round of tests.
“You’re in the normal range, ” she told Ochenehi,
“Wow, ” he responded.
Knowing what was coming next, Olson reminded Ochenehi about her “no crying” rule. Then she gave him the stethoscope Doug and Kelley Green had bought for him, a stethoscope that can be connected directly to the external earpiece.
As he put on the earpiece, Olson began crying. As he listened to the heartbeat of Allison Jeffries, the institute’s front office manager who has been den mother to Ochenehi and Odido during their visit, Jeffries started crying. As he listened to his own heartbeat, Ochenehi started crying, laying his head on his hands on Olson’s desk.
He looked up briefly, reproaching Olson: “You shouldn’t have made me cry.”
Then, placing his hands together as if in prayer, he closed his eyes and cried some more.
With damp tissues littering the desk — audiology extern Lindsay Oldham, assisting Olson, was also in tears — Jeffries lightened the mood by promising Ochenehi his favovite American meal, Bono’s babyback ribs and French fries.
“French fries, that’s my favorite, ” Ochenehi said with a grin.
Jeffries placed a call to Nigeria, where it was early evening. Ochenehi’s father answered and she handed Ochenehi the phone. For the first time in seven years, he heard his father’s voice.
“You’re hearing me, ” Ochenehi said. “I’m hearing you, too.”
That led to more tears and more damp tissues. Ochenehi told his father he’d be flying home soon, leaving Jacksonville on Thanksgiving Day so he can resume his medical education.
Odido will stay longer in Jacksonville while he works with a speech therapist. He lost his hearing as a young child and so is having difficulty with speech, having communicated all his life with sign language.
Leaving will be hard, Ochenehi said.
“It’s becoming difficult to say goodbye, ” he said. “They taught me what it means to care for people. I think this has been one of the best periods of my life. I don’t want to wake up from this dream.”
But he’s decided he has a mission to perform in Nigeria and he’s chosen a medical specialty he wants to pursue in order to fulfill that mission.
“I’ve decided to go for ENT [ears, nose and throat], ” he said. “This has been a life-changing experience for me. … I hope one day I’ll be able to put a smile on a child’s face like they did for me.”
Charlie Patton: (904) 359-4413
Dr. J. Douglas Green and Samuel Ochenehi
Charlie Patton, writer for The Florida Times Union, wrote a front page article about the Cochlear Implant surgery that was recently performed by Dr. J. Douglas Green. This amazing story was published on November 19th and is titled “Sound procedure brings pure joy”. Read the Full Story here.