Current Research Site Index
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Depression, Hearing Loss, and Treatment with Hearing Aids
Research continues to link hearing loss to depression, loneliness, and many other chronic diseases. It would seem logical that hearing loss might lead to social isolation, then to loneliness, depression, and an erosion in quality of life. However, as this webinar by Victor Bray, PhD, of Salus University points out, the problem may be much more complicated. Please CLICK on the following link: Webinar
Have You Heard About the Cocktail Party Problem?
From cocktail parties to public transit, there are competing sound sources in many everyday environments. If you want to listen to one specific sound, say a friend’s question, in a complex auditory setting, you have to distinguish between the sounds around you and focus on the one of interest. This situation is known as “the cocktail party problem”. Understanding how humans solve this problem can lead to advancements in hearing aid designs. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Cocktail Party Problem
Hearing Technologies Helping To Shape The Ears, Eyes and Minds of Elderly Europeans
Starkey Hearing Technologies is the only American partner, and the only member of the hearing industry, to participate in an ambitious 6.5€ million European project that aims to improve the mental well-being of numerous elderly Europeans. Please CLICK on the following link for details: Hearing Technologies For Europeans
Uncovering A Signaling Molecule That Modulates Avian Hair Cell Regeneration
Mammals including humans cannot regenerate hair cells, but other species such as birds and fish readily regenerate hair cells after damage to restore auditory function. Please CLICK on the following link to read this research article by Rebecca M. Lewis, Au.D., Ph.D., and Jennifer Stone, Ph.D. : Research
Effects Of Hearing Preservation For Cochlear Implant Outcomes
This article talks about hearing preservation with cochlear implants. In the past, the implantation destroyed the residual hearing. This research focuses on maintaining the residual hearing during implantation. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Effects Of Hearing Preservation For Cochlear Implant Outcomes
NIOSH Sound Level Meter App
Have you ever entered a restaurant, business etc. only to become overwhelmed by the noise? Pull out your i-phone and check it out. (Not available for android phones) The NIOSH Sound Level Meter mobile application is a tool to measure sound levels in the workplace and provide noise exposure parameters to help reduce occupational noise-induced hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link for details: NIOSH Sound Level Meter Mobile App
A Clinical Trial For A New Drug To Protect Hearing
David Raible, Ph.D., and Edwin Rubel, Ph.D., members of HHF's Hearing Restoration Project (HRP) and Scientific Advisory Board, respectively, developed an FDA-approved drug that will protect hair cells from ototoxic injury. Raible, Rubel, and team found the drug effectively stops hearing loss in zebrafish, rats, and dogs, which paves the way for a clinical trial in humans. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Clinical Trial For A New Drug To Protect Hearing
Scientists develop method to repair damaged structures deep inside the ear
Researchers at USC and Harvard have developed a new approach to repair cells deep inside the ear - a potential remedy that could restore hearing for millions of elderly people and others who suffer hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Repair of Cells Deep Inside The Ear
The Effectiveness of Hyperacusis Treatment
For the last 20 years, Dr. Formby has conducted two parallel lines of research: hyperacusis studies and clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of Tinnitus Retraining Therapy, which uses counseling and sound therapy to help those with tinnitus to habituate to the condition. The American Tinnitus Association presents the following video on the Effectiveness of Hyperacusis Treatment. Please CLICK on the following link: The Effectiveness of Hyperacusis Treatment
Hearing Aid Use Is Associated With Improved Cognitive Function In Hearing-Impaired Elderly
A study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) found that older adults who used a hearing aid performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who did not use a hearing aid, despite having poorer hearing. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hearing Aid Use And Cognitive Function
Offsetting Hearing Loss' Long-term Consequences With Early Diagnoses
Hearing loss affects about 17 percent of Americans, but screening and referral for evaluation is rarely done. Here is how an electronic intervention may help. Please CLICK on the following link: Offsetting Long-Term Consequences
The Center For Wireless Inclusive Technologies Newsletter
The Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies completed a survey of HLAA/NAD/ and the general population of people with hearing loss. From that information, they made presentations to the FCC. Please CLICK on the following link to read their newsletter. Advocate for yourself by participating in their ongoing surveys: Newsletter
Measuring The Impact Of Hearing Loss On Quality Of Life
Hearing loss is common in the United States. More people have hearing loss than diabetes, cancer or vision trouble.Occupational hearing loss, which is caused by exposure to loud noise or chemicals that damage hearing, is the most common work-related illness. It is also permanent. Hearing loss can have a profound impact on quality of life. The effects begin small and progress as hearing loss worsens. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Measuring The Impact Of Hearing Loss On Quality Of Life
Therapies For Hearing Loss: What Is Being Tested?
Untreated hearing loss is linked to a lower quality of life, physical functionality, and communicative ability. The most common type of hearing loss, sensorineural, is often a result of damage to the delicate sensory hair cells in the inner ear. Because hair cell loss is irreversible, and hearing impairment therefore permanent, new treatment strategies are a welcome sign. This article describes the field of emerging therapies for sensorineural hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: Therapies For Hearing Loss
The Impact Of Treated Hearing Loss On Improving Quality Of Life
An effective human being is an effective communicator; optimized hearing is critical to effective communication. Modern hearing aids improve speech intelligibility and therefore communication. The benefits of hearing aids (audiologically defined as improved speech intelligibility) have been demonstrated in rigorous scientific research. It would seem that if one could improve speech intelligibility by correcting for impaired hearing, that one should observe improvements in the social, psychological and physical functioning of the person with the hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link: The Impact Of Treated Hearing Loss On Quality Of Life
Effective Communication Behavior During Hearing Aid Appointments
The skill of the audiologist in communicating with a patient can significantly impact rehabilitative outcomes. Nowhere is this more evident than when an audiologist in engaged in managing a hearing device fitting. Studies have suggested a lack of patient-centeredness behavior by audiologists in audiologist-patient interactions, including domination of speaking time, a tendency to overemphasize the technical aspects of device care, interruptions of the patient, an inability to deal with emotion-laden aspects of rehabilitation, expressing empathy, and not actively listening. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Effective Communication Behavior During Hearing Aid Appointments
Age-Related Hearing Loss and Communication Breakdown in the Clinical Setting
It is not uncommon for older adults to report mishearing a physician or nurse in a primary care or hospital setting, according to a study published by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.The prevalence of medical errors is higher among older patients. Failures in clinical communication are considered to be the leading cause of medical errors. A previous study reported that improved communication between the medical teams and families could have prevented 36 percent of medical errors. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Age-Related Hearing Loss And Failures In Clinical Communication
NYU Study Finds That Few Researchers Consider The Effect Of Hearing Loss In Physician/Patient Communication
Doctors believe that communication with their patients is important, but most studies of physician/elderly patient communication do not mention that hearing loss may affect this interaction. Please CLICK on the following link: Research Findings On Physician/Patient Communication
The Standard Audiogram Is Not A Reliable Indicator Of Hearing Ability
Clinicians and researchers have realized that the standard audiogram hearing test is not a reliable indicator of hearing ability. There are many cases where patients have “normal” audiograms but poor speech understanding, especially in noise. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: The Standard Audiogram And Hearing Ability
Understanding Auditory Processing Disorder
Auditory processing disorder (APD), also known as central auditory processing disorder (CAPD), is an auditory deficit affecting how the central nervous system interprets verbal information. Those living with APD show impairments in sound localization, specifically their ability to isolate a sound source in social environments. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: APD
Changing Music To Vibrations
We were recently alerted to new research to help Deaf/deaf/HOH people enjoy music again. An HLAA Kentuckiana Chapter member is currently contacting the researchers to see if they would be willing to give a presentation at one of the chapter's monthly meetings. Please CLICK here to watch the video: Video
A Balancing Act Before The Onset Of Hearing
The development of the auditory system begins in the womb and culminates in a newborn’s ability to hear upon entering the world. While the age at which hearing begins varies across mammals, the sensory structures of the inner ears are active before the onset of hearing. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: A Balancing Act Before The Onset Of Hearing
important progress in research on gene therapy for the inner ear
In his News and Views essay, “Hearing in the mouse of Usher,” John V. Brigande, Ph.D., provides commentary on two studies in the issue that report important progress in research on gene therapy for the inner ear. Please CLICK on the following link: Commentary
Cortical Alpha Oscillations Predict Speech Intelligibility
In this study, scientists measured brain activity that originates from the cortex, known as alpha rhythms. Previous research has linked these rhythms to sensory processes involving working memory and attention, two crucial tasks for listening to speech in noise. However, no previous research has studied alpha rhythms directly during a clinical speech in noise perception task. The purpose of this study was to measure alpha rhythms during attentive listening in a commonly used speech-in-noise task, known as digits-in-nose (DiN), to better understand the neural processes associated with speech hearing in noise. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Research Study
Home-based Auditory and Speechreading Training
The profession of audiology has its roots in the aural rehabilitation (A/R) programs organized by the US military during WW II. Their purpose was to respond to the needs of servicemen who lost hearing as a result of war service. The medical authorities brought together a number of specialists and asked them to create an optimal A/R program. With little financial restrictions and full access to personnel and available technology, these professionals were able to create what they considered to be an ideal program. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Home-Based Auditory And Speechreading Training
Hearing-impaired people wear hearing aids because they want to hear better. Even with hearing aids, however, many if not most, of them will still have problems understanding speech, particularly in noisy surroundings. Additional help is available for these people if they are able to use their eyes to supplement the information obtained through the ears, that is, by speech-reading. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Speechreading
Hearing Loss, Tinnitus And Mental Health
We regularly receive anecdotal evidence about the negative impact that hearing loss can have on mental health. This article will start with definitions of hearing loss, tinnitus and mental health before going on to consider prevalence rates for mental health problems amongst people with hearing loss and/or tinnitus. The second half of the article will provide an overview of various risk factors identified in the literature associated with hearing loss, tinnitus and mental health. Please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Loss, Tinnitus And Mental Health
Hearing Loss May Be Linked To Mental Decline
Loss of hearing represents more than just difficulty hearing sounds. It can lead to social isolation and depression. A new study suggests that hearing loss may also be linked to loss of memory and thinking skills. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hearing Loss And Mental Decline
Scientists Identify Molecules In the Ear That Convert Sound Into Brain Signals
For scientists who study the genetics of hearing and deafness, finding the exact genetic machinery in the inner ear that responds to sound waves and converts them into electrical impulses, the language of the brain, has been something of a holy grail. Now this quest has come to fruition. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Research
OSU Study: Confusion Surrounds Closed Captioning Implementation Within Higher Education
Motivations and implementation efforts vary when it comes to captioning videos at higher education institutions, new research from Oregon State University shows. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Research Study
A within-subjects comparison of bimodal hearing, bilateral cochlear implantation, and bilateral cochlear implantation with bilateral hearing preservation: High-performing patients
Cochlear implantation with hearing preservation yields significant benefit for speech recognition in complex listening environments
The aim of this study was to assess the benefit of having preserved acoustic hearing in the implanted ear for speech recognition in complex listening environments. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Research Study
Can A Mutation Predict Ear Infections?
Otitis media or middle ear infection is a common disease in childhood; in the United States, it is the most frequent reason for antibiotic use in children and pediatric office visits. Typically when children have otitis media it is usually acute. This means the duration of infection since the start of symptoms is under two weeks, and there is inflammation such as redness of the eardrum and pus in the middle ear, with or without the perforation of the eardrum (a hole in the eardrum). In such cases, what causes the infection is usually a common bacterium such as Streptococcus pneumoniae (“strep”) or Haemophilus influenzae (including type B, or Hib). The infection can become chronic, so there is a persistent perforation that may not heal and a chronic or recurrent ear discharge. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Can A Mutation Predict Ear Infections?
Assistive Listening Study
The most common assistive listening device for the hearing impaired person is the hearing aid instrument. State of the art analog and digital hearing aids provide tremendous benefit to the hearing impaired. Users and researchers agree, however, that because wanted and unwanted sounds are often amplified together, comprehension of amplified speech continues to suffer in difficult listening situations involving distance, indirect sound, reverberation, and noise. The following article relates to a study carried out on Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs). Please CLICK on the following link: Assistive Listening Study
Hearing Preservation Among Patients Undergoing Cochlear Implantation
Despite successful preservation of low-frequency hearing in patients undergoing cochlear implantation (CI) with shorter electrode lengths, there is still controversy regarding which electrodes maximize hearing preservation (HP). The thin straight electrode array (TSEA) has been suggested as a full cochlear coverage option for HP. However, very little is known regarding its HP potential. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hearing Preservation Amoung CI Patients
How Does The Human Brain Respond To Hearing Loss?
Researchers exploring the ways in which the human brain responds to hearing loss have identified patterns of brain 'reorganization' that may be related to a widely reported link between age-related hearing loss and dementia. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: How Does The Brain Respond To Heating Loss?
Future Cures For Hearing Loss?
Tomorrow, technological advances will undoubtedly give rise to improved prosthetic devices (hearing aids and implant), which will remain, in the short-term at least, the major mode of rehabilitation. However, one can predict the development of local pharmacology (across the eardrum) to protect hair cells and neurons, and to treat tinnitus. And after that? Regeneration? Cell-based or gene therapies? Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Future Cures?
The Hum Test For Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Have you ever had a cold and suffered some hearing loss? Learn about this simple 10 second test called the hum test. The hum test was designed by an otologist to instantly help doctors determine what the underlying problem is. It is a test you can do yourself at any time in order to know whether you have a clogged ear or whether you have an ear emergency on your hands. The test assumes that only one ear feels “blocked” which was your complaint. If both ears are equally blocked, then this test won’t work. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: The Hum Test
Determining How Many Children Have Hearing Loss
Magnetic Pulses To The Brain Deliver Long Lasting Relief For Tinnitus Sufferers
One of the most common health conditions in the country, tinnitus affects nearly 45 million Americans. People with this audiological and neurological condition hear a persistent sound -- that can range from ringing or buzzing to a hissing or white noise hum -- when there is no external sound source. The distraction can impair people's ability to sleep or concentrate and is sometimes disabling.
In the largest U.S. clinical trial of its kind funded by the Veterans Affairs (VA) Rehabilitation Research and Development Service, researchers at the VA Portland Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University found that transcranial magnetic stimulation significantly improved tinnitus symptoms for more than half of study participants. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Lasting Relief For Tinnitus Sufferers
Listening Gets More Effortful In Your Forties
The ability to understand conversational speech in everyday situations is affected by many obstacles. Though understanding speech in noise poses difficulty for hearing-impaired individuals of all ages, several studies have indicated that in the absence of hearing loss, older adults face increased challenges in noisy environments ; some reports suggest that middle-aged adults have significantly poorer speech recognition in noise compared to young adults. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Listening Gets More Effortful In Your Forties
Psychological Effects of Hearing Loss in Teens
Typically hearing loss is a problem we associate with the elderly, or perhaps with long-time operators of heavy machinery. Rarely do we think of it in conjunction with children and teens, and even when we do, we tend to assume that the disability has existed since birth. Please CLICK on the following link to read more: Hearing Loss in Teens
Another Piece In The Puzzle of Hearing Aid Use And Cognitive Decline
Though the ways in which hearing loss is related to cognition and memory deficits are not fully understood, recent evidence suggests that hearing loss may have a meaningful relationship to increased risk of cognitive decline. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hearing Aid Use and Cognitive Decline
Meniere's Disease Explained
In 1861, the French physician Prosper Meniere described a condition which now bears his name. Meniere’s disease is a disorder of the inner ear that causes episodes of vertigo, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), a feeling of fullness or pressure in the ear, and fluctuating hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Meniere's Disease
Please CLICK on the following link to learn about volunteering to take part in the Meniere's Disease Research Study: Research Study
Army Researchers Assess Effects Of Hearing Loss On Soldiers
Army Medicine audiology researchers are studying how hearing loss affects the performance of soldiers on the battlefield. Their findings are intended to give commanders a better understanding of real-world limitations, and help create more realistic hearing standards for active-duty soldiers. Please CLICK on the following link: Effects Of Hearing Loss On Soldiers
Modern Remote Microphones Greatly Improve Speech Understanding in Noise
Wireless hearing aids have made remote microphones more accessible, affordable, and easier to use. As a result, use of these systems has become more common. Please CLICK on the following link for more information: Modern Remote Microphones
Hearing: It Takes Two!
A major challenge in hearing research is to understand how structures known as ‘hair bundles’ are formed in the cochlea. Hair bundles have a crucial role in the detection of sound and the conversion of mechanical signals (that is, sound waves) into electrical signals. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: It Takes Two!
Found: A Likely New Contributor To Age-Related Hearing Loss
Conventional wisdom has long blamed age-related hearing loss almost entirely on the death of sensory hair cells in the inner ear, but research from neuroscientists has provided new information about the workings of nerve cells that suggests otherwise. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: A Likely New Contributor
Silently Suffering From Hearing Loss Negatively Affects Quality of Life
In a National Council on Aging study of 2,304 people with hearing loss, those who didn't wear hearing aids were 50 percent more likely to suffer from sadness or depression than people who did wear them. Additionally, hearing aid users were much more likely to participate in social activities regularly. Please CLICK on the following link for more details: Effects of Silently Suffering From Hearing Loss
How Does The Brain Respond If You Have Hearing Loss?
Orchestrating Hair Cell Regeneration
The older we get, the less likely we are to hear well, as our inner ear sensory hair cells succumb to age or injury. Intriguingly, humans are one-upped by fish here. Similar hair cells in a fish sensory system that dots their bodies and forms the lateral line, by which they discern water movement, are readily regenerated if damage or death occurs. A new study zeros in on an important component of this secret weapon in fish. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Hair Cell Regeneration
Cochlear Pathology, Sensory Cell Death and Regeneration
Loss of cochlear hair cells leads to permanent hearing loss. Hair cells may degenerate due to hereditary or environmental causes, or a combination of the two. Cochlear supporting cells actively participate in the process of hair cell elimination and scar formation by rapidly expanding and sealing the reticular lamina, the barrier between endolymph and perilymph. This scarring process helps preserve the remaining hair cells and hearing. Anti-apoptotic agents, anti-oxidants and several growth factors have been shown to protect hair cells and hearing against environmental insults. Characterization of the genes that regulate the development of the inner ear and its response to trauma has been helpful in designing strategies for enhancing protection of the inner ear and for inducing hair cell regeneration. This article discusses the potential for some of these approaches. Please CLICK on the following link: Cell Death and Regeneration
Mondegreens and Hearing Loss
Have you ever heard of a Mondegreen? In simple terms, it is defined as a misunderstood or misinterpreted word or phrase, mostly experienced by people with hearing loss but also occurs with people who have normal hearing, where our brains take what we have already heard and understood, and rework the “gibberish” with similar-sounding words to come up with a plausible rendition of what we missed. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Mondegreens and Hearing Loss
Listening Is More Effortful For New Hearing Aid Wearers
This research study proposes that working memory and cognitive processing may have more of an impact on speech recognition for new hearing aid users than for experienced hearing aid users. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more: Listening is More Effortful
Ototoxicity - The Hidden Menace You Need To Know About!
Recent Research Into Factors That Lead To Successful Hearing Aid Use
Hearing aid success can generally be defined as an outcome in which the patient wears the instruments regularly and reports benefit from them. Please CLICK on the following link to learn more about the findings of a recent research study on this subject: Factors Leading to Successful Hearing Aid Use
Clinical Studies Summary On Trials Carried Out With HiResolution Sound
In 2003, Advanced Bionics released HiResolution® Sound (HiRes®), a family of strategies that doubled the number of spectral bands and increased temporal rates tenfold over conventional sound processing strategies. Clinical trial results revealed that adult subjects demonstrated significant improvement on all speech recognition tests with HiRes compared to their performance with conventional strategies. Please CLICK on the following link to find out more: Clinical Studies Summary
Cognitive Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction
This article relates to a recent study to investigate the relationships among noise reduction, listening effort and speech recognition in middle-aged to older adults with hearing loss. Please CLICK on the following link to find out more: Cognitive Benefits of Digital Noise Reduction
How Hearing Loss and Hearing Aids Affect Cognitive Ability
How does what you hear affect your pain receptors and perception of pain? We are starting to understand that all aspects of perception are linked together, and hearing is linked in many ways to other things that we do and how we live our lives. It is because of the complex interaction within the cognitive system. This is where we are starting to focus our effort to understand that relationship.To learn more, please CLICK on the following link: Hearing Loss & Cognitive Ability
Effects of Denied Hearing Loss on the Signifcant Other
Patients with similar hearing losses often display differing degrees of communication problems. It has been demonstrated that even mild hearing losses in an elderly person may result in reduced personal satisfaction because of loss of independence, reduction in emotional well-being, and other limitations that are not seen in normal hearing elderly persons. Therefore, it is likely that even some elderly patients who deny their hearing impairment may experience the same limitations but do not seek intervention.To learn more, please CLICK on the following link: Effect on the Significant Other
Hearing Loss Linked to Accelerated Brain Tissue Loss
Although the brain becomes smaller with age, the shrinkage seems to be fast-tracked in older adults with hearing loss, according to the results of a study by researchers from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging. The findings add to a growing list of health consequences associated with hearing loss, including increased risk of dementia, falls, hospitalizations, and diminished physical and mental health overall. To learn more, please CLICK on the following link: Link to Brain Tissue Loss
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