In spring 2020, the Academy’s Research Initiatives Committee launched the new Music and Hearing Research Grant Program. Funded by the American Academy of Audiology Foundation (AAAF) through the generous sponsorship support of Dr. Michael Santucci, this program supports research that will expand the body of knowledge to shape best practices in this area of audiology practice.
Remember the words Alport syndrome from your textbooks? Perhaps this seemed an attempt to stump you on an exam. As an audiologist and Alport patient with hearing loss, I hope to emphasize the role audiologists can play in helping provide critical early diagnosis for patients.
Alport syndrome is a rare, genetic renal disease, often accompanied by hearing loss. The mechanism of hearing loss remains understudied. Misdiagnosis is common. Recent research suggests Alport syndrome may be more common than initially thought.
A 10-year-old female presented to the audiology department at a large pediatric hospital. She recently failed a hearing screening in both ears at her pediatrician’s office. The patient reported she was unable to hear. She stated that sounds were muffled and she was unable to understand when spoken to. The audiologist attempted to converse with the patient; however, she responded inconsistently and frequently looked to her mother for clarification.
A baby fails a newborn hearing screening and an auditory brainstem response (ABR) indicates profound bilateral hearing loss. From an audiologist’s perspective, fitting for hearing aids and an evaluation for cochlear implant candidacy are often the next steps. But for parents the lag time between identification and implantation is often a stressful time that involves waiting and worrying. This lag, during which infants do not have access to auditory linguistic input, occurs during a sensitive period of prelinguistic communication development (Ruben and Schwartz, 1999).
Since 2005, the Marion Downs Lecture in Pediatric Audiology has been the highlight for pediatric audiologists attending AudiologyNOW!, the annual convention of the American Academy of Audiology. This lecture series is supported with a grant from The Oticon Foundation. The inaugural lecture was given by Anu Sharma, PhD. Many pediatric audiologists, myself included, can remember sitting in that session, captivated and inspired by the groundbreaking work that Dr. Sharma presented on the biological markers of auditory development and the impact of early intervention.
Audiologists see a variety of hearing losses, mild sloping to severe, flat, and precipitous. We do not question to recommend amplification for a patient with a moderate hearing loss or a high-frequency, mild-to-severe hearing loss. But what about a mild, high-frequency hearing loss? What determines whether a patient chooses a hearing aid?
We recently had the opportunity to visit with Shelly Chadha, MBBS, MS, PhD, medical officer, WHO Program for Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss. Dr. Chadha is a native of India. She was trained as an otolaryngologist at the University of Delhi, India, and subsequently undertook doctoral studies in public health at the same university.