Judy Nelson, one of our physician assistants, has been a member of the Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute team since 2003. Her care and compassion is well-known by her patients. We are very proud to say that in addition to having more than 36 years of experience, she has recently completed her Doctor of Medical Science degree through the University of Lynchburg, with a specialty in Neurotology.
Congratulations Judy Nelson, DMSc, PA-C!
Dr. Nelson works with patients with dizziness, vertigo, imbalance and hearing loss. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 904-399-0350.
Communication difficulties have increased since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic in March with the addition of masks to everyday life. A major part of the connection that we make with others depends on our facial expressions. They are universal – a smile is a smile in every culture and language. Even those who are not hard of hearing can find communicating, while wearing a cloth facemask, difficult.
Having a hearing loss makes even the easiest listening environments difficult to understand conversation. Those who are deaf or hard of hearing often rely on reading lips to communicate. Wearing a mask is one of the recommended strategies to mitigate the current global pandemic, and facemasks that cover the mouth can be a challenging and frustrating barrier. Covering the bottom part of one’s face and mouth makes communication more difficult, especially for persons who are hearing impaired or older adults.
Wearing a transparent mask that allows your mouth to be viewed is a beneficial option to allow those with a significant hearing loss to be better able to understand conversation. Clear face masks make it possible for us to communicate more effectively and maintain that human connection, while still practicing the protective measures necessary during this global pandemic.
Clear face masks can be found from many online websites such as www.Walmart.com, www.Etsy.com, and Safe’N’Clear, Inc. – The only FDA approved mask with clear window made in the USA
An exciting new cochlear implant processor has been introduced by Cochlear Americas. A cochlear implant processor is the external component to a cochlear implant system. A cochlear implant is an implantable hearing device for individuals with significant hearing loss and reduced speech clarity. A cochlear implant can greatly improve your ability to communicate with friends and family and can lead to improved quality of life.
The new processor from Cochlear Americas, called the Kanso 2, is an off-the-ear unit that is:
- Able to directly connect to iPhone and Android smartphones for phone calls and music
- Water resistant
This processor was recently FDA-approved and will be made available for newly implanted patients and current Cochlear patients eligible for upgrades starting this Fall. If you have hearing loss, poor speech clarity, and have been unsuccessful with hearing aids you may be a candidate for a cochlear implant. Call Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute at 904-399-0350 for more information!
Donna Smith, one of our physician assistants, has been a member of the Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute team since 2015. In addition to having 37 years of experience, she has recently completed her Doctor of Medical Science degree through the University of Lynchburg, with a specialty in Neurotology. Congratulations Donna J. Smith, DMSc, PA-C!
Dr. Smith works with patients with hearing loss, ear infections, dizziness, vertigo and imbalance. If you would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 904-399-0350.
A very common complaint for people with hearing loss is hearing within background noise and distinguishing speech. Many patients rely on lip reading to help them understand the conversation and this has become a big obstacle to overcome due to the Covid-19 pandemic and masks being worn.
Virtual communications and tele-health appointments are the newest advancement in “face to face” encounters to help alleviate exposure. This is a great alternative for many to still be able to work and gain access to health care while keeping a safe distance.
People with hearing loss can experience some difficulty with this type of communication and below are some tips to help achieve a smooth appointment.
- Make time for introductions at the beginning of the appointment. This allows you to make sure other users can hear you, and you can hear them.
- Have good lighting. Sitting against a wall is preferred to achieve good lighting to highlight your face for cues. When you sit in front of a window, the back lighting hides your facial features.
- Don’t cover your mouth. Keep your hair, hands, and clothes away from your mouth.
- Wait your turn to speak and project when doing so.
- Mute the microphone if you are not speaking. This helps avoid ambient background noise entering the virtual room.
- If you have Bluetooth devices that are paired to your phone or tablet, make sure they are connected.
In response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, the audiologists at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute would like our patients to know that we are taking all necessary precautions and are following CDC guidelines to reduce the spread of the virus and to keep patients and staff as safe as possible. This includes offering remote programming services for select hearing aids and cochlear implants. During a remote programming session, the audiologist can program the hearing aid or cochlear implant without having the patient come into the office, thereby keeping high-risk individuals safe at home while still having access to hearing healthcare. Programming is done in real time, which allows patients to provide immediate feedback to the audiologist during the session.
To find out if your hearing aid or cochlear implant is eligible for remote programming, or if you are interested in learning more about this technology, call the clinic at 904-399-0350 to find out more.
We can’t always know when a natural disaster or other unexpected event will come our way but we can take steps to ensure that when something does happen, we are prepared.
It is normal to experience anxiety or apprehension during a natural disaster or crisis and this can be compounded by a hearing loss and the concern you may not hear announcements or alerts coming from community leaders.
It is important to prepare ahead of time to ensure your hearing aids and/or cochlear implants are in optimal condition. The following are tips to help you prepare for when the unexpected happens.
Check your battery supply.
- Disposable batteries: it is important to have extra disposable batteries on hand in the event you cannot get to a store to purchase more. Be sure to regularly check the expiration dates especially if you purchase in bulk. Batteries have a shelf life of 2-3 years.
- Rechargeable batteries: purchase a portable battery pack (and be sure to charge it) to be able to charge your batteries on the go or in the event the power goes out. Be sure you have more than one battery so you can always have fully charged battery on hand.
Review your equipment
- Check the status of your equipment and ensure you have extra parts and pieces in the event your hearing aid or cochlear implant stops working and you can’t immediately get to your audiologist. Hearing aids users should take care to a supply of wax filters and domes at home to easily replace if needed. Utilize a de-humidifier to lower the risk of moisture damage. Cochlear implant users should ensure they have an extra coil and cable to swap out if necessary.
Enhance your communication
- Utilize a captioned telephone to assist with understanding important information over the phone. Captioned applications are also available for smartphones.
- Sign up for text or e-mail alerts when possible to ensure you receive and understand any announcements or alerts.
See your Audiologist
- If you have enough notice, try to make an appointment with your audiologist for a clean and check of your equipment as well as re-programming to ensure you are able to hear your best.
On March 26th, Dr. Green and his team at Jacksonville Hearing and Balance Institute will be taking their yearly medical mission trip to Jos, Nigeria.
Begun in 2010, Hearing Help for Africa is the brainchild of Dr. Douglas Green, his wife Kelley and Dr. Joel Anthis. The Greens and their family made several mission trips to Lusaka, Zambia with Family Legacy Missions in the early 2000s. They were struck by the incredible joy exhibited by the African people in the midst of extreme poverty, profound loss of the family structure due to AIDS, and the hardships imposed by governmental corruption. Dr. Green was subsequently invited to visit Nigeria by Dr. Anthis, an American ear, nose and throat physician who was working full-time in a Christian missionary hospital in Jos, Nigeria. While there Dr. Green witnessed firsthand the scope of the need as he performed surgery and helped provide medical care for patients with ear-related problems.
***If you would like to donate old hearing aids to Hearing Help for Africa, please contact our office at 904-399-0350
A cochlear implant is a hearing device that is implanted in the inner ear to help restore volume and clarity of speech. They lead to better communication with friends and family when hearing aids no longer help. Recent advances in technology have even made it possible to listen on a cell phone through a cochlear implant with ease.
The N7 cochlear implant allows users to
- Connect to iPhone and Android phones to wirelessly stream phone calls and music or videos.
- Use an app to adjust volume and manipulate settings for better hearing in noisy environments.
- Connect to the Apple Watch for seamless volume and program adjustments!
The ‘Connect’ is a small receiver coupled to the battery of a Naida Q90 cochlear implant.
- Connects to any Bluetooth enabled device (iPhone, Android, tablet etc) for easy, hands-free calling.
- A button on the receiver allows the user to answer and hang up phone calls as well as start and stop music and videos.
The ‘AudioLink’ connects to the Sonnet and Rondo 2 cochlear implants.
- Streams phone calls and music or videos from any Bluetooth enabled item.
- Allows the user to make changes to their volume and programs for enhanced listening in various environments.
Cochlear implants can lead to better speech understanding for people who don’t benefit from hearing aids. Evolving technology allows cochlear implant users to further communicate with friends and family.
For more information regarding whether you are a cochlear implant candidate call JHBI at 904-399-0350.