Adult

Adult

Cochlear Implants and Hearing Preservation

For many patients with poor word recognition abilities, good low-frequency hearing and poor high-frequency hearing, cochlear implantation has historically been dismissed. These patients have typically not been implanted due to the potential for additional hearing loss (i.e., loss of residual hearing) through trauma sustained during deep electrode insertion. Further, It is well known that low-frequency hearing contributes to pitch and spectral resolution, as well as interaural timing differences (ITDs).

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High-Frequency Notch and Noise-Induced Hearing Loss

Osei-Lah and Yeoh (2010) report the common misconception that high-frequency notches necessarily indicate noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL). The authors evaluated 149 consecutive patients. Full clinical histories with particular respect to noise histories (and related factors) were obtained. Eighty-four (84) females and 65 males participated. The mean age of participants was 45 years.

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Noise-Induced Hearing Loss and Musicians

Presbyacusis is the most common sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is the second most common. NIHL has a multitude of possible causes and risk factors including traumatic impulse sounds, repeated exposure to high intensity sounds, chemical exposure, ototoxic medications, smoking, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney failure, and more. However, susceptibility to NIHL varies among individuals.

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Computer-Based AR for Adult Cochlear Implant Patients

Aural rehabilitation (AR) is of tremendous importance with regard to hearing aids, cochlear implants (CIs), and other listening programs. However, effective AR programs can be time intensive and expensive to administer. Medicare and many other insurers generally do not reimburse audiologists for AR services, and so even though the benefits of AR are well known, these same services are often under-utilized.

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Deep Brain Stimulation and Parkinson's Disease

In the June 3, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine, Follett and Weaver report on 300 Parkinson’s Disease (PD) patients from 13 clinical sites who were followed for two years with respect to two bilateral deep brain stimulation (DBS) sites of stimulation—the subthalamic nucleus (STN) and the globus pallidus interna (GPi).


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Screening for NIHL via OAEs?

Helleman, Jansen, and Dreschler evaluated 233 workers exposed to printing office noises via pure-tone (PT) audiometry as well as transient-evoked and distortion product otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs and DPOAEs, respectively) over a 17-month period. The overall median age of the employees was 42 years and included 99 percent males. Two primary issues were investigated: (1) A quality criterion of OAEs based on signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) and (2) the effects of noise exposure with respect to audiograms and OAEs.

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Why Patients Decide What They Decide

LaPlante-Levesque, Hickson, and Worrall (2010) investigated multiple aural rehabilitation interventions and options to elucidate why people make the rehabilitative decisions they make.

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Brain Alterations from Parkinson’s

Wang reports (2010) that the most common and expected signs and symptoms of Parkinson’s Disease (PD) include slow movements and tremors.  However, one often overlooked aspect of PD is cognitive impairment. Unlike Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) patients, PD patients usually do not lose their working memory. However, PD patients are likely to have difficulty planning and controlling their emotions, as well as making decisions. Approximately, one-third to one-half of PD patients are diagnosed with cognitive impairment upon initial diagnosis.

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Cross Modal (Visual/Auditory) Plasticity

Buckley and Tobey (2010) examined the relationship between visual and auditory cross-modal plasticity. They compared data from 10 subjects who were pre-lingual cochlear implant (CI) users, to 12 subjects who were post-lingual CI users (mean age across both CI groups = 46 years) to 10 people with normal hearing (mean age 29 years).  Of note, all participants had normal or corrected vision of 20/30 or better as verified via Snellen eye chart.

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Microphone Array Embedded in Eyeglasses

The advantages of an improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) are well known. When multiple microphones work together in a "microphone array," advanced analysis and processing of sounds, with respect to speech and noise acoustic cues, spatial characteristics, and more, can occur. An improved SNR allows people wearing hearing aids to perceive speech more easily, thus increasing the likelihood of improved (i.e., lower) speech reception thresholds and improved (i.e., higher) speech intelligibility.

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