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Conditions/Diseases

Conditions/Diseases

Tinnitus Primary Function Questionnaire

Tyler et al (2014) have developed a new questionnaire, the Tinnitus Primary Function Questionnaire (TPFQ,) for use with tinnitus patients. The TPFQ focuses on the primary handicaps related to tinnitus. Although each person manifests tinnitus uniquely, the primary activities impaired by tinnitus are (1) thoughts and emotions (including depression and anxiety), (2) sleep difficulties, (3) hearing difficulties, and (4) concentration.

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Aging and Speech Perception

Jin, Liu, and Sladen reported on the 1988 Working Group on Speech Understanding and Aging Committee on Hearing, Bioacoustics and Biomechanics (CHABA), which stated three likely factors for age-related listening problems: (1) changes in the peripheral auditory system, (2) changes in central auditory processing, and (3) changes in cognitive performance.

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Amplification: Spectral Resolution, Working Memory, Audibility, and More

Davies-Venn and Souza (2014) report hearing thresholds (in isolation) do not provide enough information to predict an individual’s success with amplification. Spectral resolution, audibility, and working memory appear to be significant factors, too. Previous studies have shown individual differences in susceptibility to distortions secondary to non-linear amplification are likely to impact outcomes. Although a multitude of previous publications have shown compression systems are superior to linear systems when the compression system provides substantial improvements in audibility.

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Caffeine and Balance Tests

McNerney, Coad, and Burkard (2014) report clinicians often request that patients undergoing balance and vestibular tests should refrain from their daily coffee and caffeine intake.

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Expanding Cochlear Implant Criteria?

Hughes et al (2014) retrospectively evaluated post-cochlear implant (CI) performance for CI recipients who had better hearing than the established FDA criteria. Charts from 37 patients (26 adults, 11 children) from 1991 to 2013 were included and three groups were established as follows.

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Cochlear Implantation with a Normal Hearing Contralateral Ear

Blasco and Redleaf (2014) note that otologists around the world have used cochlear implants (CIs) as an effective therapy for people presenting with severe-to-profound sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) even though the contralateral ear presents with normal hearing. Blasco and Redleaf report that more traditional therapies such as bone-anchored devices and contralateral routing of signal (CROS) provide only minimal benefit for users and those users do worse in noisy backgrounds. 

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Patients and their Psychosocial Concerns

Poost-Foroosh, Jennings, and colleagues (2011) reported eight key factors occurring between the patient and clinician that influence the decision to purchase hearing aids:

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Tinnitus Characteristics

Gilles, Goelen, and Van de Heyning (2014) report that for patients with tinnitus as their primary complaint, hyperacusis and hearing loss are generally accompanying symptoms. Their report included some 588 patients evaluated during calendar year 2012, and each patient filled in the Tinnitus Questionnaire (TQ) and the Hyperacusis Questionnaire (HQ). The authors’ state that tinnitus is perceived by 15 percent of the population and is “severely bothersome” for approximately 2.5 percent. Gilles, Goelen, and Van de Heyning report “a remarkable finding…was…tinnitus type differs with age.

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Amplification for Children with Normal Hearing

Schafer et al (2014) evaluated 12 children with essentially normal hearing. The children were ages 6 to 11 years, and presented with a multitude of disorders including auditory processing disorders (APD), listening problems, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), language disorders, intellectual disability, and specific language impairment (SLI). All children were fitted with bilateral FM receivers and small, open domes.

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Localization and Amplification

Kuk and Korhoen define localization as “the ability to tell the direction of a sound source” in three dimensional space. They report that the ability to localize sounds presents a more comfortable and natural listening experience, enhances safety, and allows the person listening to face the sound source, thus enhancing visual cues, too. Of note, sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) reduces localization ability, and hearing aids may not restore normal localization ability.

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