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Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Sudden Hearing Loss: Audiologist Important Role

The American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation has just published Clinical Practice Guideline: Sudden Hearing Loss (Chandrasekhar et al, 2019). The purpose of the guideline is to provide clinicians with updated evidence-based recommendations in the evaluation and management of patients with sudden hearing loss, in particular idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss.  

Some highlights include the following:

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A Two-Minute Speech-in-Noise Test: Protocol and Pilot Data

Hearing-care professionals (HCPs) and hearing aid wearers report the chief complaint secondary to hearing loss and to wearing traditional hearing aids, is the inability to understand speech-in-noise (SIN; see Beck et al, 2019). Beck et al (2018) reported that, in addition to the 37 million Americans with audiometric hearing loss, 26 million have hearing difficulty and/or difficulty understanding SIN, despite clinically normal thresholds. As such, helping people hear (i.e., to perceive sound) and helping people listen (i.e., to comprehend, or apply meaning to sound) remains paramount.

Topic(s): speech-in-noise, Hearing, Hearing Loss, Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Noise Reduction, Audiometric Test

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Tinnitus in 10: What Every Audiologist Should Know to Provide Research-Based Care

Tinnitus is an invisible condition affecting 10 percent to 15 percent of adults (Hoffman and Reed, 2004). Chronic tinnitus is defined as the persistent perception of sound when there is no external source (Jastreboff, 1990). It generally is accepted that tinnitus is manageable and not bothersome for about 80 percent of those who experience it (Davis and Refaie, 2000; Hoffman and Reed, 2004; Jastreboff and Hazell, 1998). That is, most people who experience tinnitus tend to ignore it and are not interested in receiving specialized clinical services.

Topic(s): Hearing, Tinnitus, Sensorineural Hearing Loss, Meniere’s Disease (MD), tinnitus retraining therapy (TRT), Tinnitus Handicap Inventory (THI), Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI), tinnitus education (TED), tinnitus masking (TM)

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today May/June 2019

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CODING AND REIMBURSEMENT | Coding Update: Contralateral Routing Device

The American Academy of Audiology (the Academy) and others recently requested revisions for codes and code descriptors in the CROS/BiCROS family and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services approved many of the proposed changes. The groups requested the changes to reflect changes in CROS/BiCROS technology. 

Topic(s): Audiologist, Binaural, Behind The Ear (BTE), Bilateral microphones with contralateral routing of signal (BiCROS), Contralateral Routing of Signal (CROS), In The Ear (ITE), Hearing Aids, Coding, Reimbursement, Practice Management, Medicaid, Medicare, Fitting, Sensorineural Hearing Loss

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Publication Issue: Audiology Today March/April 2019

Examining Motivation for Hearing Health Care in those with Self-Reported Hearing Problems and Hearing Thresholds within Normal Limits

At one point or another, you've likely seen a patient in your clinical practice who has reported substantial hearing difficulties but whose traditional audiometric test results are essentially within normal limits. When considering next steps and/or rehabilitation options for these individuals, have you been curious how motivated such individuals are for hearing health-care services? Is it any different than your patients who have had a measurable pure-tone hearing loss?

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Auditory Training Schedules: What Is the Best Strategy?

Are the outcomes of an auditory training (AT) program better if the training is intensive and done close together in time (i.e., massed) or spread apart (i.e., spaced)? Tye-Murray et al (2017) attempted to answer this question.

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Children with ANSD Fitted with Hearing Aids

Intervention for children with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder (ANSD) represents a significant challenge in pediatric audiology. A critical tool for the fitting of amplification in young pediatric patients, the auditory brainstem response (ABR), is compromised in this population for estimation of behavioral thresholds. Despite compromised ABR responses, cortical auditory evoked potentials (CAEP) can often be recorded from ANSD patients, and there is emerging research in the application of CAEP for estimation of behavioral thresholds in this population (He et al. 2013).

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AC/DC Singer Battles Sensorineural Hearing Loss

In an article posted to CNN.com on April 19, AC/DC lead singer Brian Johnson details his battle with sensorineural hearing loss after years of unprotected noise exposure from concert performances. In the article, he refers to his admission of hearing loss and ultimate decision to cease touring with the band as his “darkest day.” Sadly, Johnson is only one in a long line of musicians, including Pete Townshend, Eric Clapton, Ted Nugent, Phil Collins, will.I.am, and many more, who suffer from tinnitus and/or hearing loss as a consequence of their profession.  

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The Sensory-Neural Tango

So how does the central auditory nervous system react when the periphery stops working. The simplistic view of the distant past would suggest that the neural centers between the ears and the brain are nothing but way stations through which information is passed without much additional processing. Over the years we have learned that these way stations perform important steps of feature extraction, temporal coding, and integration of information between ears.

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Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss and Steroids

Dallan and colleagues (2010) noted that the natural history of sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL) is currently unknown. That is, it is unclear how often spontaneous recovery occurs, but spontaneous recovery may occur in 30 to 60 percent of SSNHL cases…and when spontaneous recovery occurs; it usually occurs within the first week or two of onset. They stated no pharmacologic treatments had been shown to be effective using “evidence criteria” and “the lack of actual evidence for this method calls for serious evaluation through a randomized study.

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