Research - Archive

NIOSH study shows prevalence of work-related hearing loss, tinnitus

February 4, 2016 in Community News, Research



Safety + Health
February 3, 2016

Washington – Increased awareness and targeted interventions may help protect workers from experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus, according to a recent study from NIOSH.

Researchers analyzed national data on hearing conditions among workers who were exposed to elevated levels of occupational noise, as well as workers who were not exposed to such noise.

Researchers emphasized several key findings, including:

  • Workers in agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting faced “significantly higher risks” for hearing difficulty, tinnitus and the occurrence of both conditions.
  • Workers in manufacturing faced significantly higher risks for tinnitus and the co-occurrence of hearing difficulty and tinnitus.
  • Workers in life, physical and social science occupations faced a significantly higher risk for hearing difficulty.
  • Workers in architecture and engineering roles faced a significantly higher risk for tinnitus.

Twenty-three percent of workers exposed to occupational noise had hearing difficulty, compared with 7 percent of workers who had hearing difficulty despite not being exposed to occupational noise, NIOSH stated.

Read more  . . . work-related hearing loss

Research Study Deaf Infant Participants Needed

January 21, 2016 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research


Research Study Participants Needed: Do you or someone you know have a deaf baby between six to 12 months old? Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C. is seeking participants for a study on neuroimaging. See flyer for more details.

DOWNLOAD – Infant-Study-Flyer-all-6-12mo-1

New prosthesis brings hope to patients with hearing loss

December 10, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research
December 10, 2015

A new prosthesis for a traditional ear surgery is bringing hope to patients diagnosed with a hereditary disorder that causes hearing loss. After 63-year-old Diane Duncan was diagnosed with otosclerosis in her thirties, she transitioned into an isolated world where conversations with other people became limited, everyday noises like car engines running and cell phones ringing became almost inaudible.

Diane has conductive hearing loss – a type of condition where the ear drum and the bones in the middle of the ear (including the stapes bone) don’t vibrate properly. The most common form to affect adults is known as otosclerosis. Patients with otosclerosis have abnormal bone growth around the stapes bone. The stapes bone must move freely for the ear to work properly and for a person to hear well.

Typically doctors perform a stapedectomy to treat the condition. It involves removing part or all of the immobilized stapes bone and replacing it with a prosthetic device. The prosthetic device allows the bones in the middle ear to resume movement, which stimulates fluid in the inner ear, and improves or restores hearing.

Read more  . . . prosthesis

Fort Jackson soldiers test drug that could prevent hearing loss

December 3, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



FORT JACKSON, SC (WACH)-The ear-splitting pops coming from a rifle can be the reason why Fort Jackson drill sergeant trainees hearing, will fade away with time.

“Hearing loss and ringing in the ears are two of the most frequently reported disabilities in the VA system”, said R.N. Elizabeth Bullock.

“It feels like someone just slapped you inside of your ear and there’s a very loud ring”, said drill sergeant trainee Denise Rangel.”I can’t imagine having in type of hearing loss. There’s soldiers around here that if you aren’t talking to them in the right ear they can’t hear what you’re saying.”

Read more  . . . soldiers test drug

Participants wanted for a research study

November 30, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Participants wanted for a research study:
Are you a Deaf or Hard of Hearing adult who learned ASL and joined various Deaf communities in adulthood? If yes, you may be able to help other adults by sharing your experience.

You need to be 28 years or older and have been learning and using ASL for ten years or longer. You must have a hearing loss that happened before graduating or leaving high school. You must have been 18 or older when you began learning and using American Sign Language (ASL) and participating in Deaf communities. The interview may take between 20 minutes to two hours, and it will occur in a private room at Gallaudet University.

Your participation will be kept confidential.

(International adults are encouraged to participate, provided that American Sign Language was their first signed language learned and it was learned in adulthood.)

Participants will be given a $15 gift card for participation in the interview.

If interested please fill out a brief survey at this link:

For additional information, please contact Cindy Officer at 571-350-8112 or

This study is being conducted by Cindy Officer, a doctoral candidate in Postsecondary and Adult Education at Capella University.

Approved by Capella University IRB and Gallaudet University IRB.

Wearable ASL Translation Technology

November 19, 2015 in Interpreting & Transliterating, Research, Technology



Language Magazine
by admin34
November 17th, 2015

Roozbeh Jafari, Associate Professor for the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&M University is leading the development of a tool for American Sign Language (ASL) translation. While previous attempts for automatic ASL translation have largely relied on cameras and visual tracking technology, Jafari’s project tracks muscle movement and external motion. “The sensor is based on EMG, or electromyogram technology,” Jafari said. “Combined with the external motion sensors, which show us the overall hand movement, the EMG allows us to discriminate between gestures,” he said. “A fine-grain of interpretation […] motion sensors give us the overall sense and muscle activities give us information about the fine-grained intent.”

The prototype was revealed this past June at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 12th Annual Body Sensor Networks Conference,   . . .

Read More  . . . ASL Translation Technology

Related Article from DOGO News –  By Kim Bussing on October 30, 2015

Hearing loss affects 40% of musicians, says survey

November 12, 2015 in Research



by Matthew Hemley

Four out of 10 of musicians in the UK – including those who work for stage productions – have suffered hearing loss, a survey has claimed.

Charity Help Musicians UK’s survey found that 40.5% of the 692 respondents said they had experienced hearing loss, with 78.3% of these revealing that being a musician was one of the factors that had caused it.

The survey was issued to musicians across the UK, including those working for orchestras in organisations including English National Opera and the Royal Opera House.

Read More  . . . Musicians

Silent Side Effect: Could Your Medication Cause Hearing Loss?

November 3, 2015 in Community News, Research


Certain OTC pain relievers, prescription antibiotics and other drugs may damage hearing.

US News – Health
By Michael O. Schroeder

Drug labels routinely describe myriad potential side effects stemming from taking a given medication.

Yet, one newly recognized risk usually goes unmentioned: hearing loss. “There are a number of common medications that are ototoxic, which means harmful to the ears,” says Dr. Sharon Curhan, a physician and epidemiologist at the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston. That side effect isn’t typically listed on drug labels, she says. “These are relatively new findings.”

Research by Curhan and others finds that some over-the-counter medications, acetaminophen (the generic name for Tylenol), ibuprofen and prescriptions, ranging from certain antibiotics to chemotherapy drugs, can damage hearing. In all, there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market today, according to the American-Speech-Language-Hearing Association, which can also impact the ear’s balance functions.

Read More . . . Drugs


UI Study Highlights Importance of Hearing Aids in Kids with Hearing Loss

November 3, 2015 in Research, Technology




The greater degree a child’s hearing loss, the harder it is for that child to keep up with normal-hearing peers. But a new study by the University of Iowa, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Boys Town National Research Hospital in Omaha, shows hearing aids can make a big difference.

The study, published in the journal Ear and Hearing, looked at 317 kids with hearing loss. It found that hearing aids are important for the language, scholastic and social development of kids with moderate-to-severe hearing loss.

“We have a lot of information on children who are deaf. But we really don’t’ know a whole lot about children who are hard of hearing.” says researcher Beth Walker.

Read More  . . . Hearing Aids

Scientists identify proteins crucial to loss of hearing

October 15, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Proteins play key role in genes that help auditory hair cells grow

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)
October 15, 2015

Baltimore, MD, October 15, 2015 — Almost 40 million Americans suffer from hearing loss. Right now, there is no way to reverse this condition, largely because auditory hair cells, which sense sound and relay that information to the brain, do not regenerate.

A new study led by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UM SOM) has found a key clue to how these hair cells develop. The current study identified a new role for a particular group of proteins, known as RFX transcription factors, in the development and survival of the hair cells.

“This discovery opens up new avenues, not only for understanding the genetics of hearing, but also, eventually for treating deafness,” said the principal investigator, Ronna P. Hertzano, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at the UM SOM.

The study appeared in the latest issue of the journal Nature Communications. The work was done in collaboration with scientists at several institutions, among them Ran Elkon, PhD, an Assistant Professor and computational biologist at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel.

Read more  . . . Scientists identify proteins

Johns Hopkins to create center for hearing loss research, clinical care

October 15, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Center funded by $15M gift from David M. Rubenstein

Hub staff report 
Posted in Health
October 13, 2015

The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will create a new hearing center focused on restoring functional hearing loss with a $15 million donation from David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, to the school’s Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.

According to the National Institutes of Health, almost 25 percent of Americans ages 65 to 74 and 50 percent of those who are 75 and older have a disabling form of hearing loss, and about 15 percent of Americans between 20 and 69 have high-frequency hearing loss due to noise exposure. Also impacted is economic well-being, with an estimated annual cost of $122 billion to $186 billion in lost productivity and tax revenues in the United States.

Read more . . . Johns Hopkins . . .hearing loss

Younger Adults More Likely to Use New Gadgets for Hearing Loss

October 6, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research, Technology



Consumer Reports
by Sue Byrne
October 01, 2015

If you have hearing loss, like one in six adults in the U.S., you probably haven’t done anything about it: Less than half have gone to a doctor or audiologist about the problem in the last five years, perhaps because they don’t want to wear a hearing aid or try a different technology. But that may be changing.

A new report on hearing trouble in adults released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that people age 18 to 39 with hearing loss are more likely than people age 40 and up to use some sort of assistive technology to cope with the problem, such as headsets, FM microphone systems, text messages, amplified telephones, or live video streaming.

Room for Improvement

“There’s a lot of untreated hearing loss in this country,” says Carla Zelaya, Ph.D., a survey statistician for the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics and lead author of the report, which surveyed more than 36,000 U.S. adults.

“We found that people of middle age were the least likely to use assistive technology, perhaps because their hearing loss is not that bad yet and they are uncomfortable with using the newer devices. But the younger adults seem to recognize their hearing limitation and are using new technology to help themselves.”

Read more Younger Adults


Older Adults’ Hearing May Be Tied to Earlier Death

September 29, 2015 in Community News, Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research



Findings don’t prove that impaired hearing is to blame, but draw attention to quality-of-life issues

By Amy Norton
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, Sept. 24, 2015 (HealthDay News) — Older adults with impaired hearing may have a shorter life span than their peers without hearing problems, a new study suggests.
Researchers found that among nearly 1,700 U.S. adults aged 70 and up, those with hearing loss were 21 percent to 39 percent more likely to die over the next several years.
Experts stressed that the findings, published in the Sept. 24 online edition of JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, do not prove that hearing impairment, itself, shortens people’s lives.
“This is an interesting observation, but it also needs to be taken with a grain of salt,” said Dr. Ana Kim, director of otology research at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in New York City, who was not involved in the research.

Read Article  . . . Hearing Loss

Advanced microscopy helps NIDCD pinpoint key proteins for hearing and balance

September 15, 2015 in Research, Technology




NIH – National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders
September 10, 2015

Using powerful microscopy techniques, a research team led by scientists at the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has pinpointed in mice the precise cellular location of two proteins known to be important for hearing and balance. The discovery provides additional evidence that the proteins, TMC1 and TMC2, are part of the channel complex that is essential for the inner ear to process sound and the signals that are key to balance.

Read more  . . . key proteins 

Credit: Bechara Kachar and Andrew J. Griffith, National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institutes of Health (NIH).

A pill to prevent hearing loss holds promise

September 8, 2015 in Hearing Loss & Deafness, Research




Military Times
By Patricia Kime, Staff writer
September 7, 2015

The crack of an M16 shot rings out at 156 decibels. A jet engine at takeoff blasts about 140 decibels. Submarine engine rooms drone along at 120 decibels.

Given that 85 decibels is the threshold for preventing permanent hearing loss, military service is unquestionably hard on hearing.

But what if troops could take a daily pill to protect themselves from noise-related hearing loss?

A researcher from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine is looking into the prospect, testing a common antioxidant found in fermented dairy products on the firing range at the Army’s Drill Sergeant Instructor Course at Fort Jackson, South Carolina.

Kathleen Campbell, an audiologist and SIU professor, has been studying the protective properties of D-methionine — an antioxidant found in cheeses and yogurt — for well over a decade, testing its effectiveness in preventing damage caused by excessive noise and other sources.

Noise-related hearing loss occurs when cells in the inner ear, which vibrate when exposed to sound, become damaged from overstimulation. The response to the noise causes cochlear cells to release free radicals, damaging electrons which can kill off the cells.

Read more  . . .