Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss

Photo of binkie with the Nigerian flag morphed onto it
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Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2017

Warhol-inspired illustration of CC Bunch

C.C. Bunch: The First Audiologist

I will always regret that I never met C.C. Bunch. I like to think of him as the very first audiologist. Toward the end of his life, he was a member of the faculty of my alma mater, Northwestern University, but he died three years before I entered the school as a freshman in 1945. He was well remembered by the older faculty, especially by voice scientist Paul Moore, who helped Bunch prepare his book, Clinical Audiometry, the first real tutorial on the techniques and interpretations of pure-tone audiometric testing.

Topic(s): CC Bunch, audiology, Clinical Audiometry, Hearing Loss

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today September/October 2017

Photo collage of diverse group of people with hearing loss

Some Observations on ‘Normal’ Hearing and Hearing Loss

What is ‘Normal’ Hearing?

Ask an audiologist what “normal” hearing is and, not surprisingly, you will get a variety of responses (Figure 1). Certainly, normal pure-tone threshold sensitivity does not rule out hearing difficulty or the presence of auditory pathology, including cochlear and auditory neural peripheral or central deficits. Further, a number of non-auditory factors can contribute to a patient’s perceived hearing difficulty (e.g., cognitive capacity, attention, medications, etc.). 

Topic(s): Hearing Loss, Normal Hearing, audiology, Audiometry

Neurocognitive Deficits in Children with Hearing Loss After Cancer Treatment

In a recent study on survivors of childhood cancers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Bess et al (2020) report an increased risk for neurocognitive deficits in children who have hearing loss after treatment. 

The study sample of 1,512 cancer survivors was separated into groups based on the degree of hearing loss and type of cancer treatment. The three groups included those who received cisplatin and/or carboplatin chemotherapy, cochlear radiotherapy (RT) with or without platinum-based chemotherapy, or no exposure. 

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Beethoven: His Hearing Loss and His Hearing Aids

The year 2020 is the 250th anniversary of the birth of the great classical composer, Ludwig van Beethoven (1770-1827). There is no authentic record of his actual date of birth, however the registry of his baptism in the Catholic parish of St. Remigius was on December 17, 1770.

To recognize this historical occasion, Perciaccante et al (2020) provide a review of Beethoven’s hearing loss and his use of hearing instruments of the time.

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Coronavirus: Why We’re Investigating the Long-Term Impact on Hearing

Despite the multitude of ongoing research studies on COVID-19, there are many unknowns about the disease. What is known, however, is that it is more than just a simple lung infection.

Current research suggests that the respiratory system is not the lone organ system bearing long-term effects from the disease. COVID-19 may impact cardiovascular, immune, and nervous systems. Coronaviruses also may cause peripheral neuropathy or Guillain-Barré syndrome, both of which could result in auditory neuropathy.

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Rebecca Krill’s TED Talk: How Technology Has Changed What It’s Like to Be Deaf

By Erin Schafer, PhD


As audiologists, we live and breathe hearing technology, but we don’t always have the opportunity to learn about how a lifetime of hearing technology shaped a person’s life.


I had the distinct pleasure of learning about Rebecca Krill’s journey with congenital hearing loss in her recent TED talk, “How technology has changed what it’s like to be deaf.”


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Cognitive-Processing Issues in Older Patients with ARHL

When serving our older patients, cognitive screenings may provide valuable insight into the listening and communication difficulties in complex environments. However, a recent study by Dr. Christian Füllgrabe (2020) suggests that the results of cognitive screenings may be impacted by the presence of age-related hearing loss (ARHL).

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Abstract Illustration of group building a process of providing Cochlear Implants into your practice

Cochlear Implants in Private Practice…My Practice?

The world of cochlear implants (CIs) is evolving. What was once a treatment pathway for a limited population of patients with profound hearing impairment has expanded to include individuals with moderate to severe hearing loss. CI technology, which began as basic sound processing through an electrode array, has grown to include Bluetooth streaming and cell phone connectivity. 

Topic(s): Cochlear Implants (CI), CI, Hearing Impairment (HI), Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today July/August 2020

Can’t Hear Because of this Ringing!

A very common complaint among tinnitus patients is that their hearing is compromised by the presence of tinnitus. If the tinnitus could be cured then they would hear just fine. Recently, Oosterloo et al (2020) sought to address this issue.

Using data from the Rotterdam Study, a population-based cohort study on aging, they compared participants reporting tinnitus to those without tinnitus in subgroups stratified for hearing thresholds on the digits in noise test.

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