Adult

Adult

What Is the Prevalence of Tinnitus Worldwide?—Part Two

Recently, we reviewed a study that examined the prevalence of tinnitus worldwide (McCormack et al., 2016). At the end of July, another group of investigators (Bhatt et al., 2016) published a study whose aim was to explore the prevalence of tinnitus in the United States, as well as how it is treated. Specifically, these authors were interested in current reports and clinical practice patterns before the release of clinical practice guidelines for adults with “bothersome and persistent” tinnitus (Tunkel et al. , 2014).


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HIV and Hearing Loss

Several large-scale studies are consistently pointing toward an association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hearing loss. Torre and his colleagues have recently reported HIV as a risk factor for hearing loss in children and adults. HIV-infected children have poorer hearing compared to HIV-unexposed but uninfected children as well as those who are perinatally exposed to HIV, but remain uninfected. HIV-infected adults also have poorer hearing compared to HIV-uninfected adults. Further, the magnitude of hearing loss seems to increase with the severity of HIV.

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Hearing Loss and Cardiovascular Risk Factors?

Engdahl et al (2015) examined the correlation between multiple cardiovascular risk factors and hearing loss. The sample of patients included 31,547 subjects from the Nord-Trondelag hearing loss study. Pure-tone air conduction thresholds were obtained at 250, 500, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 6000, and 8000 Hz. Subjects ranged in age from 32 to 99 years (mean age = 57 yrs).

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Tinnitus and Physical Activity

Carpenter-Thompson et al (2015) report their online survey of 1,030 people, of which approximately 630 responses were used in their analysis.

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Adult Aural Rehabilitation Outcomes

Barker et al (2015) report that evidence indicates hearing aid use can reduce rates of depression and anxiety. Further, hearing aid use can improve emotional stability and independence, can reduce social isolation, and improve quality of life. However, non-use after acquisition ranges from 5 to 40 percent. Of note, non-adherence is not a unique problem relating to hearing aids, non-adherence occurs across patients associated with multiple health-care disciplines.

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Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Steroids

Dallan and colleagues (2010) noted that the natural history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is currently unknown. That is, it is unclear how often spontaneous recovery occurs, but spontaneous recovery may occur in 30 to 60 percent of SSNHL cases…and when spontaneous recovery occurs; it usually occurs within the first week or two of onset. They stated no pharmacologic treatments had been shown to be effective using “evidence criteria” and “the lack of actual evidence for this method calls for serious evaluation through a randomized study.

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Temporal Processing Deficits

Helfer and Vargo (2009) noted that, "It is tantalizing to consider that temporal processing may be an underlying cause of problems understanding speech in competing speech." More recently, Fullgrabe et al (2015) investigated the impact of aging with regard to the ability of people with normal audiograms to understand speech, and they sought to determine the impact of cognition and auditory temporal processing on speech understanding.

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Digital Noise Reduction and Just Noticeable Differences: 2015

Pittman (2011) reported modern digital noise reduction (DNR) circuits do not have a negative impact on speech perception, and for older children, DNR significantly improved word learning rates in noise. Dillon (2012) reported that directional microphones and modern DNR circuits are beneficial and should be used all the time for children and adults. Pittman (2013) reported that modern DNR circuits can improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) up to 6 dB.

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Alzheimer’s Disease: 2015

The comprehensive 2015 report from the Alzheimer’s Association states that “Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a degenerative brain disease and the most common cause of dementia…AD is characterized by a decline in memory, language, problem-solving, and other cognitive skills that affects a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. This decline occurs because nerve cells (neurons) in parts of the brain involved in cognitive function have been damaged and no longer function normally.

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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Tinnitus

Millions of people across the globe experience a reduced quality of life due to tinnitus. “Tinnitus (the perception of ringing or other phantom sounds in the ears or head) is perceived by 10-15 percent of the adult population. Of those individuals who experience chronic tinnitus, approximately 20 percent consider it to be a ‘clinically significant’ problem.”  

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