Research - Archive

Visual skills, technology key for ad agency’s hearing-impaired co-founder

January 23, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology

 

 

Geoff Akins sees things others don’t.

The Newport Beach visual arts entrepreneur, who co-founded advertising agency AkinsParker 10 years ago, has been the creative force behind campaigns for brands like Toyota Racing Development, Tiger Woods Foundation and Lexus F-Sport.

Akins is profoundly deaf. But he says he can sense what clients and audiences are feeling and translate that into his work. He’s adept at picking up on a client’s actions in subtle visual traits.

“My hearing impairment makes me uniquely skilled at some things as well,” he said. “For example, I’m pretty in tune with body language and unspoken communication, especially interpersonal communication.”

According to research at UC Davis and UC Irvine, deaf people are quicker at recognizing and interpreting body language than those who can hear.

David Corina, professor in the UC Davis Department of Linguistics and Center for Mind and Brain and graduate student Michael Grosvald, now a post-doctoral scholar at UCI, measured the response times of deaf and hearing people to a series of video clips showing people making American Sign Language signs or “non language” gestures, such as stroking the chin.

“The real surprise was that deaf people were about 100 milliseconds faster at recognizing non-language gestures than were hearing people,” said Corina, whose work was published in the 2012 journal Cognition.

Read Entire Article

Prototype Retainer Could Help Hearing-Impaired ‘Listen’ With Their Tongues

January 15, 2015 in Community News, Research

 

PUTTING THE WORDS RIGHT IN YOUR MOUTH

 

Popular Science
By
 Loren Grush
January 14,2015

For individuals with significant hearing loss, cochlear implants have proven to be an incredible tool for regaining some sense of sound. Yet the small, electronic device, which works by stimulating an individual’s auditory nerve, requires both surgical implantation and a hefty wallet. (The combination of the device and insertion procedure can cost upwards of $40,000.)

Now, in the quest to find more practical solutions for the hearing impaired, researchers at Colorado State University are turning to an unlikely organ for help: the tongue. The three-person research team has developed a Bluetooth-enabled microphone earpiece along with a smart retainer that fits on a person’s tongue. The two devices work in tandem to strengthen a partially deaf person’s ability to recognize words.

Make no mistake: The tongue is not some magical conduit to the organs in your ear. The retainer/earpiece system works by reprogramming areas of the brain, helping them to interpret various sensations on the tongue as certain words.

Read More  . . .

Tinnitus, high-frequency hearing loss increase injury risk: study

January 15, 2015 in Research

 

 

Safety & Health
January 14, 2015

New Haven, CT – Workers with a history of tinnitus (ringing in the ear) in conjunction with high-frequency hearing loss are more likely to be injured, according to a study from Yale University.

Researchers analyzed more than 9,900 production and maintenance workers who were employed at six aluminum manufacturing plants from 2003 to 2008. Researchers adjusted for ambient noise exposure as part of the project.

The risk of acute injury was 25 percent greater among workers with tinnitus and high-frequency hearing loss. Workers with tinnitus and low-frequency hearing loss did not face the same risk of acute injury but were more likely to sustain minor injuries.

At-risk workers in noisy work environments might require an additional examination of their communication and hearing protection needs, researchers said.

The Portland, OR-based American Tinnitus Association recommends that people who believe they have tinnitus contact an audiologist, otologist or otolaryngologist for an examination. Tinnitus affects an estimated 50 million people in the United States, ATA said, but only 16 million have sought medical attention for the condition.

The study was published Dec. 30 in the International Journal of Audiology.

Read Original Article . . .

Can Deaf People Hear Voices?

January 7, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

GIZMODO
Jemima Hodkinson – Mosaic
12/29/14

One man experiences a voice projected in his brain “like a ghost”. A woman hears voices “shouting through her stomach” accompanied by “black, shadowy lips”; another hears her sister’s voice talking to her at night when she is in bed “like it is coming from a transmitter or a radio”.

These three people are deaf. They, along with 50 per cent of all deaf people with schizophrenia, ‘hear’ voices. It is hard to imagine an experience more strange, unsettling and counterintuitive. Research carried out recently has begun to unpick this contradictory psychological phenomenon, and may change the way that voice hallucinations are understood in hearing people too.

Trawl back through the research on voice hallucinations in deaf people and you will find plenty of case reports and studies to support their existence. Yet there is little consensus on what they actually consist of. So while plenty of psychologists supported the idea that deaf individuals – even those deaf from birth – could actually hear the voices, one researcher was unconvinced.

Joanna Atkinson is a researcher and a clinical psychologist based at University College London. She is also deaf. The idea that deaf people could really hear the voices that they hallucinated jarred with her day-to-day clinical experience. Whenever she asked a profoundly deaf person that question, she would receive the same incredulous response: “No, of course not – I am deaf.”

Yet when these same individuals were assessed by psychiatrists who could hear, using a sign language interpreter, they would describe their experience using hearing-related terms – loud, or low, or quiet – that suggested they were in fact hearing sound. What could they be experiencing?

Joanna believed that something had been lost in translation. Through her own observations and experience of deafness, she “realised they were borrowing the language of the hearing majority and psychiatric field, rather than meaning they could hear sound”. These subtle differences in language are what make this research so challenging: for a deaf person, someone could ‘shout’ at them by signing aggressively without making any sound. The inherent difficulty of explaining complex hallucinations and sensations is therefore compounded by the need to translate between different frames of reference.

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Management of Hearing Loss Prevention in Live Entertainment

December 19, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

AudiologyOnline
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.

Background

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  . . .

 

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

http://www.9news.com/story/news/health/2014/11/29/hearing-loss-gene-therapy/19669727/

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 . . .

 

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

CONTACT:
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

 

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 . . . 

 

Drug to restore hearing loss being developed

October 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Zeenews India.com
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Original Article

New York: Boosting the production of a key protein, called NT3, could help restore hearing loss caused by noise exposure and normal ageing, a research found.

The protein plays an important role in maintaining communication between the ears and brain, the findings showed, offering scientists a target to develop drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.

“We began this work 15 years ago to answer very basic questions about the inner ear, and now we have been able to restore hearing after partial deafening with noise, a common problem for people,” said lead researcher Gabriel Corfas from the University of Michigan in the US.

NT3 is crucial to the body’s ability to form and maintain connections between hair cells in the ear and nerve cells that carry signal to the brain, the researchers demonstrated.

This special type of connection, called a ribbon synapse, allows extra-rapid communication of signals, which travel back and forth across tiny gaps between the two types of cells.

“It has become apparent that hearing loss due to damaged ribbon synapses is a very common and challenging problem, whether it’s due to noise or normal ageing,” Corfas added.

Using a special genetic technique, the researchers made it possible for some mice to produce additional NT3 in cells of specific areas of the inner ear after they were exposed to noise loud enough to reduce hearing.

Mice with extra NT3 regained their ability to hear much better than the control mice.

The researchers will now explore the role of NT3 in human ears, and seek drugs that might boost NT3 action or production.

The findings appeared online in the journal eLife.

 

 

 

Screening questions fail to identify teens at risk for hearing loss

October 30, 2014 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research

 

 

Penn State – News
By Jennifer Abbasi
October 23, 2014

HERSHEY, Pa. — Subjective screening questions do not reliably identify teenagers who are at risk for hearing loss, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine. The results suggest that objective hearing tests should be refined for this age group to replace screening questions.

The American Academy of Pediatrics, in partnership with the Bright Futures children’s health organization, sets standards for pediatric preventive care. The AAP recommends screening adolescents with subjective questions and then following up with objective hearing tests for those found to be at high risk of hearing loss. However, the screening questions were not specifically developed for children or adolescents. Studies also show that adolescents are poor self-reporters of hearing status.

“We found that you can’t rely on the Bright Futures questions to select out teenagers at high risk for hearing loss who would warrant an objective screen,” said Deepa Sekhar, M.D., M.Sc., assistant professor of pediatrics.

A study in 2010 using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that one in five adolescents aged 12 to 19 has hearing loss. Most have high-frequency hearing loss, which may be related to increasing hazardous noise exposures from such things as personal listening devices, concert-going, ATV-riding and hunting with firearms.

For the study, eleventh grade students at Hershey High School — located in the college’s community — answered the 10 Bright Futures hearing screening questions and additional questions assessing other potential risk factors for adolescent hearing loss. They also took the Pennsylvania state-mandated hearing test — the familiar hearing screening where children raise their hand when they hear a tone — and a hearing test developed by the researchers to better detect high-frequency noise-related hearing loss. Some of the children underwent additional standard hearing testing in a soundproof booth. The researchers report their results in the Journal of Medical Screening.

Read Entire Article . . .

 

Sleep Apnea Tied to Hearing Loss

October 27, 2014 in Research

 

 

Guardian Liberty Voice
by Janette Verdnik
October 26, 2014.

According to the recent study, sleep apnea does not only affect the quality of sleep, it may also cause the hearing loss. The research linked sleep apnea with hearing loss at both low and high frequencies. After the researchers adjusted the data for other possible causes of hearing impairment, the findings of the study held true.

The study’s findings give further support to the idea that sleep apnea usually does not occur in isolation. However, according to the researchers, it could be a sign of other underlying health conditions. Dr. Neomi Shah, one of the study’s authors, said that sleep apnea is more of a chronic and systematic disease and it is not just something that happens when you are sleeping. Dr. Shah is an associate director of the pulmonary sleep lab at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City and according to her, sleep apnea probably affects multiple different organs. She is urging that people start considering this sleeping disorder as a chronic disease with inflammatory and vascular issues.

According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep apnea, which is a common disorder, affects about 18 million Americans. Person, who is suffering from it, shows typical signs. He or she develops periodic gasping when snoring or makes some particular snorting noises. Therefore, sleep apnea interrupts sleep and can cause several other symptoms, including excessive daytime fatigue. It has also has been associated with generalized inflammation, endocrine and cardiovascular problems.

What is the connection between sleep apnea and hearing loss? According to the study, . . . .

Read more at http://guardianlv.com/2014/10/sleep-apnea-tied-to-hearing-loss/#rmz3rX6W4qOVFTFM.99