Imagine Anna, a 20-year-old woman with a severe hearing loss. While in the waiting room of her audiologist's office, she notices a brochure. It asserts, “With our hearing aids, you will have a normal hearing!” As Anna reads these words, she becomes emotional as her dream has always been to hear like everyone else. Not surprisingly, Anna selects these hearing aids, but once she is fitted with them and experiences "less than normal" hearing, she leaves the office with tears of disappointment rather than tears of joy. This is a true story.
Cardiovascular health status is a commonly recognized determinant of hearing loss in adult populations. A recent study out of Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) has demonstrated pediatric populations are not immune to hearing-heart concerns. Madison et al. (2018) followed a group of 348 children that underwent infant surgery for congenital heart defects. The study team found that 21.6 percent of the children had hearing loss; risk was associated with pre-maturity, confirmed genetic anomaly, and longer postoperative length of stay.
As audiologists, we are uniquely aware that the elderly are disproportionally impacted by hearing loss and are aware of solutions that might be beneficial for those with hearing loss. Is this knowledge shared by all professionals who work with the elderly?
The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) convened in Las Vegas, January 9-12, 2018. Roughly 4,000 exhibitors presented their latest technology and services to nearly 200,000 attendees from 150 countries in what has become the world’s largest electronics trade show. Participants were able to experience self-driving cars, 8K televisions, “smart” home accessories, biometric sensors, and, of course, hearables.
Hearing difficulty (HD) and tinnitus in the presence of normal audiometric thresholds represent a clinical challenge. So-called, hidden hearing loss (HHL) has captured significant interest from clinicians and researchers in attempts to understand factors that contribute to this phenomenon. Etiologies ranging from cochlear synaptopathy to central auditory processing deficits have been suggested. Most audiologists have come across these patients with complaints of hearing problems (particularly in noise) but normal hearing.
Real-ear measures (REM) are recommended in hearing aid fitting. However, reports suggest that only approximately 30 percent of audiologists routinely perform REM. Rationale (or excuses) for not performing REM are numerous, but little peer-reviewed research has been conducted to support or refute the use of REM in regards to benefit in speech understanding and subjective quality of fitting.
In the Service of Others: An Interview with Kamal Elliot, AuD By Bre Myers, AuD, PhD
Kamal Elliot, AuD, is a person to be admired. Her desire and dedication to providing the best quality of care led her on journeys into private practice ownership as well as multiple international and local humanitarian missions. She has served on state and national audiology organization boards. Recently, I was fortunate to catch up with Dr. Elliot.
Hearing Aids for Mild-to-Moderate Hearing Loss in Adults
A recent systematic review concluded that hearing aid use in older adults with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss was beneficial in improving everyday situations, general health-related quality of life and improve listening ability with little evidence of harm.
A recent paper by Wilson et al (2017) addressed the growing global burden of disease (GBD), which indicates an increasing—and now alarmingly high—burden of hearing loss worldwide. According to the authors, hearing loss is the fourth leading contributor to years lived with disability (YLD) worldwide in 2015, up from the 11th-leading cause in 2010.
A new meta-analysis published by the Lancet Commission focused on the rising rates of dementia globally. Currently, an estimated 47 million people worldwide suffer from dementia, with that number expected to triple by 2050. The global cost of dementia in 2015 was estimated to $818 billion, with nearly 85 percent of that total attributed to family and social costs, rather than medical care.