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Noisy Toys and How to Protect your Children’s Ears

It’s finally the holiday season and everyone is excited for good food, (socially distant) gatherings, and presents, unless that is, you have young children with noisy toys constantly playing throughout your house. Although most parents can attest to how loud their children’s toys are, you may not know just EXACTLY how loud. 

The Arizona Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH) and the Sight and Hearing Association are two of many organizations that put out an annual list of noisy toys for the holiday season. There are toys on their list that have been tested and shown to have an output of 103 dB! Measurements were taken as if a child had their ear next to the speaker, which is very realistic as anyone with young children would know.  According to the American Speech Language Hearing Association and the American Academy of Audiology, 85 dB is the loudest that a child should be exposure to.  For reference, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that exposure to 90 dB for 8 hours a day is considered a “permissible noise exposure”.  The permissible time of exposure for a 100 dB sound is only 2 hours. Many of theses toys are actually labeled as educational toys.

Here are some tips for testing to see if toys are too loud:

  • Test the toys prior to buying. Many toys have a “TRY ME” button
  • Hold the toy relatively close to your own ear and see if you think it is too loud

Ways to Reduce Volume

  • If there is a volume control, make sure it is set at the lowest volume
  • Put waterproof tape or glue over the speaker to dampen the sound
  • Put tape over the volume control to prevent your child from changing the volume.

The below list was organized by The Arizona Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ACDHH):

Happy Holidays from JHBI!

Everyone at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute would like to wish you a happy holidays!


See below for a message from Dr. Green!


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!

What is severe hearing loss?

What is severe hearing loss?If you think you have severe hearing loss, please consider seeing a specialist. The type of hearing loss depends on which part of the ear is damaged. Please visit Cochlear.com for more important information regarding hearing loss:

  • Sensoineural – can occur as you get older or at birth. Most people say they are able to hear, but don’t always understand what people are saying. This is due to damage of the inner ear. Depending on the amount of hearing loss, a cochlear implant can be very beneficial.
  • Conductive – when hearing loss is due to problems with the outer ear or middle ear
  • Mixed – refers to a combination of conductive and sensorineural hearing loss
  • Single-sided Deafness – Refers to no hearing or very little hearing in only one ear and normal hearing in the other ear. This type of hearing loss can be treated with a cochlear implant or a bone conduction implant.

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A Cochlear Implant – Improved Severe Hearing Loss & Became Life Changing

St. Augustine resident, Harry Zemon, experienced severe hearing loss from two major factors in his life. First, he was in the meat business and that meant dealing with high intensity noises coming from band saws, patty makers and grinders. Pair that with a genetic defect, hearing loss for him at age 70 turned into severe hearing loss – and hearing aids were no longer helpful.

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NOW HEAR THIS: A Hearing Professional Should Be Part Of Your Personal Healthcare Team

Hearing care professionals include Audiologists, hearing aid specialists, and ENTs (Ear, Nose & Throat doctors or doctors of Otology, Otolaryngology or Neurotology). At The Hearing Center at Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, our board-certified Audiologists and audiology assistant are specially trained in all aspects of hearing aids and amplification. These highly trained professionals have years of specific training in hearing technology and are licensed by the State of Florida.

At The Hearing Center, we offer the most appropriate and accurate state-of-the-art equipment to give you a precise read on your current hearing level with a barrage of important tests to help diagnose the cause of your hearing loss.

Also, you can depend on our Audiologists to counsel you and/or your loved one or caregiver on treatment options and equipment.

More importantly, just as you make an appointment for an annual physical, you should take responsibility for your good health and include a hearing test as part of an annual regimen. Hearing care professionals are trained to help you along your journey as you navigate the world of hearing loss and what equipment is best suited to meet your specific needs.

The key is to find out whether or not there is any underlying medical issue behind your hearing loss. It should be identified and addressed. Simply put, a hearing care professional is your best safety net for proper diagnosis and treatment. It’s smart to address any sudden hearing loss IMMEDIATELY.

Be assured, research shows that the majority of people who visit hearing care professionals say they are happy with the quality of service and the counseling they receive. Ask us about how we can better serve you. Check out our websites for further information: www.BetterHearingJax.com and www.JHBI.org.

NOW HEAR THIS: Online Hearing Check – Give it a try!

Just by answering a series of important questions truthfully, you may find that you are beginning to experience a level of hearing loss. The Better Hearing organization offers a free, quick and confidential Online Hearing Check. You can easily take the test in the privacy of your own home or even at work (share it, too).

Test results may indicate you need a more comprehensive hearing test by a hearing care professional – such as a board-certified Audiologist. At The Hearing Center located within Jacksonville Hearing & Balance Institute, our Audiologists help you understand the facts and myths about hearing loss, so you can make your own decision as to what to do next.

Useful information on hearing loss and innovative hearing aid technologies are available on www.betterhearing.org, as well as on www.JHBI.org and www.BetterHearingJax.com. Instead of putting off recognizing and finding out a possible level of hearing loss, once you take the first step, you will likely find an increase in your quality of life.

Addressing any hearing loss early can make a difference in your life. Take the time to find out – you’ll find it worth the effort. It’s a known fact that some people take an average of seven years before they realize they have had a level of hearing loss. When there is mild hearing loss and it’s addressed, usually the person’s quality of life is enhanced. Even if hearing loss results in the need for a hearing aid, people get more pleasure out of life and doing things that are engaging once again.

So, “take the test” – see how you do, and if you need the professionals at The Hearing Center at JHBI, just give us a call. We’re here for you!