Hearing Loss & Deafness - Archive

Management of Hearing Loss Prevention in Live Entertainment

December 19, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Robert M. Ghent Jr., AuD
December 15, 2014

Editor’s Note: This text course is an edited transcript of a live webinar. Download supplemental course materials.

Dr. Robert Ghent: Today I’m going to discuss management of hearing loss prevention in live entertainment. I’ll cover why this area has not been more recognized and what opportunities are available for audiologists. I’ll also talk about what management of hearing loss means in the live entertainment industry. Live entertainment includes sporting events, racing events, and concerts of all types, not just rock and roll, but the primary focus today is on music events.

I work for Honeywell Safety Products. Many of the pictures in your handout are of Honeywell products because I have easy access to those images, but there are other products that are included as well. The use of these images does not constitute an endorsement any of these products. I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge Mr. Nick Mayne of the Canterbury City Council in Kent, England, for providing me with some data from a study that I’ll be discussing. Additionally, portions of this presentation were previously presented at the 47th Conference of the Audio Engineering Society (AES), on Music-Induced Hearing Loss in 2012, as well as at the 38th Annual National Hearing Conservation Association (NHCA) Conference in 2013.


In 1964, the Beatles came to the United States and performed at Shea Stadium. Few fans could hear them, and the Beatles could not hear themselves well because the audience was so loud. There was a problem with getting sound distributed over a crowd of screaming people that large. In the ensuing 10 years, we significantly advanced the technology of concert sound reinforcement.

When I was a senior in high school, I got a job at Tycobrahe Sound Company. They were contracted to provide the sound for a large festival show, second only to Woodstock at the time. So, in 1974, we did The California Jam. A magazine article covering this show touted 54,000 watts of audio power. We generated 105 dB SPL a mile away, and we were awed by such a great achievement. Can you imagine how loud it had to be in front of the speaker tower in order to measure 105 dB SPL at one mile down wind?  This is how I started my career.

Problem Statement

Hearing conservation has never been a part of the live entertainment culture, despite knowledge of the problems and risks. The entertainment industry knows there are some regulations, but those typically apply to brick-and-mortar industries, and entertainment does not know how to apply them in their own industry. Fortunately, we see this starting to change, and this is a good opportunity for audiologists to do something to help this industry.

Read More  . . .


Choir spreads joy to all — with and without hearing

December 12, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Columbus Dispatch
Columbus, Ohio
By Ken Gordon
Dec 11, 2014

Ezra Somnitz couldn’t hear the Christmas carols on Saturday, but the 18-month-old wasn’t held back.

Just minutes into a performance by the seasonal choir Signs of Christmas, Ezra — who was born deaf — began squawking and clapping with delight while perched on his father’s lap at the Grove City Library.

He was reacting to the movements of the choir, whose holiday tunes are interpreted in American Sign Language as the lyrics are piped through a sound system.

“We thought he would enjoy it,” his mother, Melanie, said as her son squirmed in her arms afterward.

“I think he did. Can’t you tell?”

The “blended” family, of Commercial Point in Pickaway County, has attended a Signs of Christmas performance for the past few years, she said.

Like her son, her husband, Chris, is deaf; their two older children, 9 and 6, are not.

The family reflected the makeup of the audience as a whole on Saturday, with about half of the 30 people in attendance able to hear and the other half not.

“It just makes sign language and deafness seem normal and not a disability and not something that separates the community,” Mrs. Somnitz said. “It brings the communities — deaf and hearing — together.”

See Pictures & Read More  . . .

Rome, NY deaf school to host national competition

December 12, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Alissa Scott
Posted Dec. 11, 2014

This is the first time the Rome school is hosting the competition, though it’s been sponsored by Gallaudet University since 1997.

ROME – Kyle Savo has butterflies for the first time in awhile.The 18-year-old student will compete today in the National Academic Bowl at the New York State School for the Deaf in Rome for the first time.

“I’m very nervous,” Savo gestured through American Sign Language. “This is my first year. I have to just stay focused and do what I know.”
This is the first time the Rome school is hosting the competition, though it’s been sponsored by Gallaudet University since 1997.
“This is probably the most prestigious academic event for schools of the deaf and hard of hearing in the nation,” Superintendent David Hubman said. “It brings deaf and hard-of-hearing kids from all over the region.”

Sixteen teams from New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island will compete in the Northeast regional competition — a team of four from NYSSD — and the top four teams will advance to Washington, D.C.
School officials said the bowl promotes “academic competition among school teams and fosters academic excellence and achievement among deaf and hard-of-hearing students across the country.”

The Rome team — which has been practicing for at least three months — consists of students Francesca Zegarelli, 17; Miranda Matthews, 17; Snowy Jenner, 18; and Sova. Their coaches are Gloria Broadbent and Kelli Ramer, both teachers at the school.

Read more: http://www.uticaod.com/article/20141211/News/141219895#ixzz3LhYNaABX


CGF166 Gene Therapy Study for Severe Hearing Loss

December 12, 2014 in Research


Pioneers Recruitment Registry

Study objective: The goal of this study is to assess the safety and tolerability of an inner ear infusion of CGF166, a gene therapy. Another goal is to assess the effectiveness of CGF166 by measuring changes in hearing before and after treatment. Some of the possible benefits that researchers believe CGF166 may provide include improved hearing that may be revealed as improved speech recognition, and the ability to benefit from a hearing aid and avoid the need for a cochlear implant.

Am I eligible? Participants should be 21 to 70 years of age with severe hearing loss in both ears. You will be unable to participate if your hearing loss was caused by genetic/developmental disorders, surgery, or trauma. Also, participants will be excluded if they have cochlear implants, Meniere’s disease, or immunodeficiency diseases.

Read More  . . .

More about Pioneers Recruitment Registry
University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC)

Related News Article:

Denver man gets gene therapy to restore hearing
by Jessica Oh, KUSA


Hearing aids may improve balance

December 12, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Medical Press
by Julia Evangelou Strait
December 12, 2014

Enhancing hearing appears to improve balance in older adults with hearing loss, according to new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Patients with hearing aids in both ears performed better on standard balance tests when their hearing aids were turned on compared with when they were off.

The small study, which appears in the journal The Laryngoscope, involved only 14 people ages 65 to 91 but is the first to demonstrate that sound information, separate from the balance system of the inner ear, contributes to maintaining the body’s stability. The study lends support to the idea that improving hearing through hearing aids or cochlear implants may help reduce the risk of falls in older people.

“We don’t think it’s just that wearing hearing aids makes the person more alert,” said senior author Timothy E. Hullar, MD, professor of otolaryngology at the School of Medicine. “The participants appeared to be using the sound information coming through their hearing aids as auditory reference points or landmarks to help maintain balance. It’s a bit like using your eyes to tell where you are in space. If we turn out the lights, people sway a little bit—more than they would if they could see. This study suggests that opening your ears also gives you information about balance.”

Read More . . .


At East Stroudsburg University, author talks about deaf community

December 12, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness


Pocono Record
By Jacquline Hanna
For the Pocono Record
Posted Dec. 10, 2014

Paul Gordon Jacobs visited East Stroudsburg University for two days recently to talk about his research and his book, “Neither-Nor.” Both presentations were well-received by a huge audience.

ESU faculty member Susan Miller invited Jacobs to speak about his book and his research that he has been doing over the last 10 years in the United States. He taught at Gallaudet, a college with a curriculum for the hearing impaired, for the past year and left because he felt his views differed from the professors who taught there.

In 2009, he received his PhD. at the University of Melbourne in education. During the first night at ESU, he presented his research of what will become his second book. The working title is “Adversity and Resilience.” In this book, Jacobs will discuss how deaf people need to push through their hardships to live in the hearing world. Although many face this difficult time, he has come up with a strategic plan to help the deaf accomplish their goals in life.

Jacobs talked about famous deaf people who can be an inspiration for those who need it. The deaf have contributed to society like Thomas Edison and Annie Jump Canon. His goal is to reduce anxiety, so the deaf can think rationally about their choices. –

Read more at: http://www.poconorecord.com/article/20141210/NEWS/141219906/101128/LOCALENT#sthash.RgaiC7xs.dpuf

Cochlear implantation in patients with Meniere’s disease study results

December 11, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology


Maney Online
Maney Publishing’s Online Platform

Few studies have addressed the benefits of cochlear implantation for the small group of patients with bilateral, end-stage Meniere’s disease, or unilateral disease with contralateral hearing loss from another cause. Our retrospective study evaluates the effectiveness and post-operative performance in these Meniere’s disease patients and discusses these findings relative to other post-lingually deafened adults.

Read Method, Results, & Conclusion of Study

Hearing Resource Center Launched by AARP

December 11, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Website Provides Tools and Tips for Living Well with Hearing Impairment

Mark Bagley, 202-434-2504 or mbagley@aarp.org; @AARPMedia

WASHINGTON, DC — To address the needs of the 70 percent of Americans age 50+ who suffer from some level of hearing loss, AARP has launched the AARP Hearing Resource Center.  The platform, online at www.aarp.org/hearing, connects AARP members and other consumers interested in hearing health with helpful tips, information, tools and links to related product solutions and programs.  A Spanish language version of the site is also available.

“Hearing loss results from many causes, and up to 70 percent of those who have hearing loss do not seek treatment,” said Stephanie Miles, Vice President of Member Value, Products and Platforms at AARP.  “Our research shows that hearing loss can impact the income of a working individual and, in certain cases, affects other aspects of health and can even be tied to depression.  The Hearing Resource Center will provide  information, tools and more.”

The Hearing Resource Center includes:

  • Educational content about hearing-related topics, including common causes of hearing loss,  information on maintaining hearing health, tips and solutions for living with hearing loss and for loved ones of the hearing-impaired;
  • Assessment tools for evaluating hearing loss;
  • Maintenance and care tips for hearing-related equipment, such as hearing aids.
  • Links to hearing-related products and programs, including AARP Driver Safety’s “Honk if You Hear Me” program, the AARP Foundation’s Isolation program, and hearing aid discounts.

The site will be updated on a continuous basis with new data, resources such as informational videos and webinars featuring audiologists and other experts, and topical articles. For example, a current feature, “Hearing Well for the Holidays” discusses how to enjoy the best of holiday time with family and friends.

# # #

About AARP:

AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with a membership of nearly 38 million, that helps people turn their goals and dreams into real possibilities, strengthens communities and fights for the issues that matter most to families such as healthcare, employment and income security, retirement planning, affordable utilities and protection from financial abuse. We advocate for individuals in the marketplace by selecting products and services of high quality and value to carry the AARP name as well as help our members obtain discounts on a wide range of products, travel, and services.  A trusted source for lifestyle tips, news and educational information, AARP produces AARP The Magazine, the world’s largest circulation magazine; AARP Bulletin; www.aarp.org; AARP TV & Radio; AARP Books; and AARP en Español, a Spanish-language website addressing the interests and needs of Hispanics. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to political campaigns or candidates.  The AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. AARP has staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Learn more at www.aarp.org.


Prevent Noise-Induced Hearing Loss With A Supplement?

December 11, 2014 in Community News, Research


Researchers Found A Chemical That Protects Cochlear Nerves And Supports Mito Health

The Inquisitr News.
December 9, 2014

Researchers believe they found a supplement that can prevent noise-induced hearing loss. Nicotinamide riboside (NR) is considered a vitamin B3, and scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes say that this compound can protect the nerve that feed the cochlea, which transmits sound information through those nerves to the spiral ganglion, which sends the information on to the brain. With exposure to loud noises, the synapses that connect the nerves to cells in the cochlea get damaged. This results in noise-induced hearing loss, according to Science Daily.

The researchers tested supplementing mice with NR before and after being exposed to loud noises. As hoped, NR was able to prevent damage to the nerves from loud sounds, a press released explained. As a result of the supplementation protecting the nerves, the researchers were able to avoid short term hearing loss and long term hearing loss. Interestingly, the supplementation was successful at preventing the hearing loss whether it was given before or after exposure to the loud noises.

Read more at http://www.inquisitr.com/1666268/prevent-noise-induced-hearing-loss-with-a-supplement-researcher-found-a-chemical-that-protects-cochlear-nerves-and-supports-mito-health/#xJyMHg58Chd2M23K.99


British Deaflympics medallist Cross named Deaf Sports Personality of the Year

December 11, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Monday, 08 December 2014

By Emily Goddard

Donna Cross, who won a bronze medal for Great Britain in football at the 2013 Deaflympics, has been named as the Deaf Sports Personality of the Year for 2014.

The multi-talented athlete, who also plays futsal, squash and golf, scooped the award with 24.75 per cent of the vote after becoming the first English woman to compete at the World Deaf Golf Championships for more than 15 years and placed 11th at the competition in the United States in July.

As well as being last year’s female champion in Four Nations Golf, Cross was a runner up at this year’s National Deaf Squash Championships and was a member of the winning Yorkshire team at the 2014 British Deaf Futsal Tournament.

She was presented with the award at a special ceremony, which featured video speeches from golfer Tony Jacklin, ex-sailor Robin Knox-Johnston and former rugby union player Ben Cohen, at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry.

Read Entire Article  . . . .

Revolutionary earphones aim to help prevent hearing loss in teenagers, musicians

December 11, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology



Malay Mail Online
December 9, 2014

NEW YORK, Dec 9 — In response to increasing reports of hearing loss in teenagers and risk of hearing loss for musicians, audio engineer to the stars Stephen D. Ambrose has revolutionised earphones with his RealLoud technology, which eliminates harmful pressures.

Earphones and in-ear monitors are known to be harmful, although they offer advantages for musicians and audio engineers, such as providing a mix of audio sources to the performer.

Because they seal the ear canal, the acoustic pressure of the sound turns to pneumatic pressure, which causes tiny muscles in the ear to contract in attempts to dull the sound, making the user need an even higher volume.

The secret is a secondary eardrum in the device that absorbs pneumatic pressure that builds up as a result of sound in the ear canal that’s sealed by an ear-bud.

Ambrose has added this second drum into all his ADEL earphones and 1964ADEL in-ear monitors, which were his groundbreaking innovations of the 1960s.

– Read more at:


Nanoplug Surpasses Their $80K Indiegogo Funding Goal

December 9, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Technology


Tech Cocktail
 –  for the Munich Edition

When they started their Indiegogo campaign back in November, Nanoplug reached over $25,000 of their $80,000 goal before the first week was even over. Today, with 21 days left on the campaign clock, Nanoplug officially announced that they have surpassed their funding goal on Indiegogo.

“We have spent thousands of hours developing Nanoplug for those millions around the world with hearing impairments,” says Nevena Zivic, founder of Nanoplug. “We have hit our funding goal of $80,000 with over 300 backers who are suffering from hearing loss.”

The attraction to fund the Nanoplug is due to the fact that it’s a new age hearing aid that offers all the benefits for a hearing-impaired individual but with none of the social stigma attached. That is, it’s nearly invisible in the ear, user programmable, and offers new age sound quality without the outdated look of our grandparents’ hearing aids.

“I envisioned a world where hearing aids didn’t have to be medical devices but instead could be a lifestyle product or accessory, where people with hearing issues didn’t stick out,” says Zivic. “Social stigma still hinders people from taking advantage of ordinary hearing aids, but with the Nanoplug, we could say goodbye to them.”Article link

 Original Article 

Benefits of newborn hearing tests last into teen years

December 9, 2014 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness



Fox News
December 05, 2014 – Reuters

Teenagers whose hearing loss was detected very early in infancy had better reading comprehension than their hearing-impaired peers who were diagnosed later, according to a new study from the UK.

The results suggest that detecting hearing loss, and intervening at a critical early stage, can make a lifelong difference in development, researchers said.

That possibility strengthens the case for implementing universal newborn hearing screening programs in countries that have not adopted such programs as national policy, the study authors write in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

“Permanent bilateral childhood impairment is the commonest congenital impairment and affects considerably more than one in 1,000 newborns,” Dr. Colin Kennedy, the study’s senior author, told Reuters Health in an email.

“There is a sensitive period in early infancy when if the brain receives the right input, language will develop in a way that it rarely does if the right input is not received until later in life,” said Kennedy, a pediatric neurologist at the University of Southampton and University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

Kennedy said there is an effective and very acceptable screening test that can be done on newborn babies.

“If this picks up permanent deafness early, this will greatly improve the babies’ chances of learning to read and communicate as well as a child with normal hearing,” Kennedy said.

Universal newborn screening programs have been implemented in the UK and Germany. About 90 percent of babies born in the U.S. are screened.

For the new study, Kennedy’s team followed up with 76 teenagers with permanent hearing impairment whose reading skills had been assessed between the ages of 6 and 10, and then again nine years later.

Read entire Article



Vitamin Supplement Successfully Prevents Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research



Weill Cornell Newsroom
Press Release

NEW YORK and SAN FRANCISCO—December 2, 2014—Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institutes have found a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss in a mouse using a simple chemical compound that is a precursor to vitamin B3. This discovery has important implications not only for preventing hearing loss, but also potentially for treating some aging-related conditions that are linked to the same protein.

Published today in Cell Metabolism, the researchers used the chemical nicotinamide riboside (NR) to protect the nerves that innervate the cochlea. The cochlea transmits sound information through these nerves to the spiral ganglion, which then passes along those messages to the brain. Exposure to loud noises damages the synapses connecting the nerves and the hair cells in the cochlea, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss.

The researchers set about trying to prevent this nerve damage by giving mice NR before or after exposing them to loud noises. NR was successful at preventing damage to the synaptic connections, avoiding both short-term and long-term hearing loss. What’s more, NR was equally effective regardless of whether it was given before or after the noise exposure.

“One of the major limitations in managing disorders of the inner ear, including hearing loss, is there are a very limited number of treatments options. This discovery identifies a unique pathway and a potential drug therapy to treat noise-induced hearing loss,” says Dr. Kevin Brown, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and first author on the paper. Dr. Brown conducted the research while at Weill Cornell.

Read entire press release  . . .


Research Aims to Help Veterans with Hearing Loss

December 4, 2014 in Research, Technology



Science Blog
December 1, 2014

Many combat veterans suffer hearing loss from blast waves that makes it difficult to understand speech in noisy environments – a condition called auditory dysfunction – which may lead to isolation and depression. There is no known treatment.

Building on promising brain-training research at the University of California, Riverside related to improving vision, researchers at UC Riverside and the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research are developing a novel approach to treat auditory dysfunction by training the auditory cortex to better process complex sounds.

The team is seeking public support to raise the estimated $100,000 needed to fund research and develop a computer game they believe will improve the brain’s ability to process and distinguish sounds.

“This is exploratory research, which is extremely hard to fund,” said Aaron Seitz, UCR professor of neuropsychology. “Most grants fund basic science research. We are creating a brain-training game based on our best understanding of auditory dysfunction. There’s enough research out there to tell us that this is a solvable problem. These disabled veterans are a patient population that has no other resource.”

Seitz said the research team is committed to the project regardless of funding, but donations will accelerate development of the brain-training game by UCR graduate and undergraduate students in computer science and neuroscience; pilot studies on UCR students with normal hearing; testing the game with veterans; and refining the game to the point that it can be released for public use.

Auditory dysfunction is progressive, said Alison Smith, a graduate student in neuroscience studying hearing loss in combat vets who is a disabled veteran. Nearly 8 percent of combat veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq suffer from traumatic brain injury, she said. Of those, a significant number complain about difficulty understanding speech in noisy environments, even though they show no external hearing loss.

“Approximately 10 percent of the civilian population is at risk for noise-induced hearing loss, and there have been more than 20,000 significant cases of hearing loss per year since 2004,” added Smith, who served in the Army National Guard as a combat medic for five years.

Read more . . .