NEWSLETTER 8380 Old York Road, Suite 120 Elkins Park, PA 19027
8380 Old York Road, Suite 120 Elkins Park, PA 19027
IN THIS EDITION Protect Your Ears This Summer Prevent Painful Falls Wireless Technology and Hearing Devices
PROTECT YOUR EARS AND STAY COMFORTABLE THIS SUMMER
Student Spotlight Faculty Focus
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is easy. Pools, concerts, motorcycle rides, fireworks…there is no shortage of fun to be had in the summer. However, many people do not realize how often they put their ears at risk during popular summer activities.
PEI Winter Wrap Up Upcoming Events at PEI
PEI Winter Wrap Up At PEI, we’re always looking for ways to help people hear their best. In January, we launched our very first Coffee Talks lecture series.
Fortunately, swimmer’s ear and other infections associated with water activities are easily prevented by wearing swim plugs made of waterproof silicone. These create a tight seal that prevents water from entering the ear canals.
The free educational sessions featured mini lectures from our expert audiologists on hearing aids, tinnitus and balance. In addition, guests were offered complimentary hearing screenings and treated to light refreshments.
Many popular summer activities can also be hazardous to our ears due to high decibel levels. Prolonged exposure to the sounds of lawn mowers, power tools, motorized vehicles, sporting events, concerts and fireworks can all lead to irreversible hearing damage. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to keep your ears safe and prevent long-term damage.
The series was a resounding success and many who attended say they walked away with a wealth of new knowledge. “As I was listening to the doctor, I realized that a lot of the things she described were issues that I’ve been experiencing,” said Robert Witherspoon. “I’m so glad I came because I received a lot of helpful information.”
Upcoming Events at PEI
The Pennsylvania Ear Institute is excited to bring their popular “Gear Up for Summer” campaign back, just in time for the warm weather. A common summer complaint is irritation and pain in the ears after swimming. Although that lake or swimming pool may appear inviting, danger often lurks beneath the surface in the form of microscopic bacteria. These germs can enter the ear canals and cause a painful infection known as otitis externa, or swimmer’s ear.
For more information on our upcoming events, see below.
Gear Up for Summer: Prepare for the warm weather with custom ear protection, swimming plugs, sleeping plugs and custom earphones, which will have you all ready to take the warm weather by storm. Whether you’ll be swimming laps or attending concerts, PEI can help protect your ears so you can relax all summer long.
THE FOLLOWING TIPS ARE RECOMMENDED BY THE BETTER HEARING INSTITUTE. Use earplugs. Wear disposable earplugs or custom earmolds to prevent damage to your hearing. Leave fireworks to the professionals. Fireworks represent an extreme noise hazard and should be restricted to professionals. Enjoy them from a distance and wear earplugs for an extra level of hearing protection. Protect against swimmer’s ear. Invest in a pair of swimmer’s plugs to keep water out of your ears. Dry ears thoroughly afterwards, tilt your head to drain any residual water and avoid swimming where bacterial counts are high.
8380 Old York Road, Suite 120, Elkins Park, PA 19027 | 215.780.3180 | SalusUhealth.com/PEI
PREVENT PAINFUL FALLS BY PRESERVING YOUR SENSE OF BALANCE
While hearing loss is one of the most common problems associated with getting older, imbalance and vertigo can sometimes be overlooked in the aging population. Chronic balance disorders affect nearly eight million people in the United States and can contribute to falls, which may lead to serious injuries. In addition, difficulty maintaining balance can also lead to loss of independence and confidence.
Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV, is the most common condition that causes dizziness in people over the age of 65. BPPV occurs when small inner ear calcium carbonate crystals break loose and fall into another part of the inner ear. This leads to abnormal fluid movement and brief but intense sensations of vertigo. Vertiginous attacks associated with BPPV are triggered by specific motions - most commonly when tilting your head back, getting out of bed, looking for something on a low shelf or reaching up in a tall cupboard.
Student Moves Cross-Country to Pursue Audiology Dream
Imagine packing up all your belongings, leaving behind your hometown and moving across the country. That’s exactly what Sam Johnson, a first-year student in the Salus University Osborne College of Audiology (OCA), decided to do in order to pursue his dream. Johnson graduated from California State University, Northridge in 2013. During this time a professor piqued his interest in audiology. “I had a professor who was an audiologist and he would lecture for three hours’ straight while never looking at slides,” Johnson said. “You would think that would be boring but for me, it was really inspiring, and I was always fascinated.”
Many people who experience symptoms of BPPV are unaware there is an easy, effective solution. Canolith repositioning is a non-surgical procedure in which the vestibular specialist, audiologist or physical therapist repositions the patient’s loose calcium crystals to a part of the inner ear where they are either absorbed or no longer cause symptoms. Canolith repositioning is completed through several head maneuvers and results in an 80 percent cure rate for BPPV. The procedure can be repeated if symptoms return.
After earning his bachelor’s degree, Johnson went on to work as a hearing aid dispenser.
The benefits from a simple procedure like canolith repositioning are immeasurable. Good balance is important to maintain independence and daily routines, especially with aging. Regaining a sense of control and reducing the fears of motion-provoked vertigo can enable patients to live with less restriction, in addition to reducing the overall fear of falling. Ensure you get the healthiest years you can by talking to your doctor if you experience dizziness or vertigo.
OCA students begin their clinical rotations at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute (PEI) within their first year. During the first semester, students do observations at PEI. However, by their second semester, they are already practicing hands-on skills and conducting basic tests.
“As a dispenser, I found that there would be questions that I didn’t have the answer to and I would have to refer patients back to their doctor. Finally, I thought to myself, ‘Why don’t I go back to school and become the doctor,” said Johnson.
For Johnson, working with patients at PEI has helped reinforce his passion to learn. “Now I’m able to learn why things are done. As a hearing aid dispenser, I learned how to do things, but I didn’t always understand the why,” he said. Upon graduation in 2021, Johnson plans to go into private practice as an audiologist. “As an audiologist, it’s about more than just hearing aids,” he said. “Ultimately I want to be in a position where I can help patients with their complete hearing and balance needs and improve their quality of life.”
To make an appointment with a balance specialist at the Pennsylvania Ear Institute, call 215.780.3180.
FACULTY FOCUS: DR. BRE MYERS
WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY AND HEARING DEVICES Hearing aids have become very sophisticated over the years, with features undreamt of just a generation ago. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the advent of wireless connectivity. Thanks to the proliferation of Bluetooth® technology, today’s hearing devices are more versatile than ever, and feature unparalleled sound quality and convenience. Bluetooth is a wireless communications system that allows a variety of electronic devices, including computers, smartphones and personal
audio players to communicate with one another. By sending data through the wireless spectrum instead of over the airwaves, there is no need for the internal microphone to pick up and amplify sound. The result is a clearer, more natural sound. When paired with hearing devices, Bluetooth allows the user to stream signals from their own electronic devices directly to the hearing instruments. Hearing aids can connect with many different devices including television sets, cell phones, GPS systems and even other medical devices.
Designed to be smaller and built to be smarter, Made-for-iPhone devices stream music, phone calls and other sounds directly from your iPhone®, iPad® or iPod touch®. Other devices can connect via internet to communicate directly with technology in your home including baby monitors, smoke detectors, doorbells and more.
Call us to schedule an appointment or visit SalusUhealth.com/PEI
Dr. Bre Myers is an audiologist at PEI who specializes in vestibular science. She earned a master’s degree in Audiology at Bloomsburg University, followed by a Doctor of Audiology degree from Salus University. In addition, she recently completed a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from Salus University. As a child, Dr. Myers found herself intrigued by how certain songs, sounds, and lyrics could generate such intense feelings. With a profound love for music at an early age, studying the ear appeared to be a natural fit. Along the way, Dr. Myers was introduced to vestibular and balance testing, and truly found her calling. The vestibular system, which includes the inner ear, is what gives us our sense of balance.
“I love all things involving the hearing side of audiology; however, the complexity of balance and the vestibular system keeps me interested in learning and growing,” she said. When Dr. Myers is not seeing patients, her perfect day off would include a combination of relaxation and exercise. “On an ideal day off, I’d cook myself a really amazing breakfast, then I’d go for a run,” she said. “I also love to exercise and I enjoy playing roller derby so I would have to fit that in.” Dr. Myers also enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter and three dogs.
8380 Old York Road, Suite 120, Elkins Park, PA 19027 | 215.780.3180 | SalusUhealth.com/PEI