Treatment

Treatment

“Cool” Research in Hearing Loss Prevention

Prevention of hearing loss is a major area of research. Novel approaches for primary and secondary prevention are in various stages of development including pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Therapeutic hypothermia has been long used to protect neural and vascular integrity dating to the pioneering work of Fay nearly 75 years ago (Fay, 1940). However, systematic hypothermia can have unwanted side effects, which restricts application in clinical settings.

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A Futuristic Suit that Mimics Untreated Hearing Loss

An exhibit opened last week at Liberty Science Center in Jersey City that uses data-collecting gear to simulate the vision, hearing, and mobility of an 85-year-old person.


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HIV and Hearing Loss

Several large-scale studies are consistently pointing toward an association between human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hearing loss. Torre and his colleagues have recently reported HIV as a risk factor for hearing loss in children and adults. HIV-infected children have poorer hearing compared to HIV-unexposed but uninfected children as well as those who are perinatally exposed to HIV, but remain uninfected. HIV-infected adults also have poorer hearing compared to HIV-uninfected adults. Further, the magnitude of hearing loss seems to increase with the severity of HIV.

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The Importance of Frequency Regions for Cochlear Implant Patients

Sladen and Ricketts (2015) report that given current cochlear implant (CI) technology, the majority of post-lingually deafened adults achieve 80 percent word recognition (in quiet) after only six months experience with a CI. In their study, CI users were presented with monaural information and the NH listeners had binaural input. The noisy condition was a 10 dB SNR with six-talker babble. Of note, “the average decrease in performance between quiet and noisy conditions was 13% for the NH group and 20 percent for the CI group.”  

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Meclizine: Update Issues and Answers

Desmond (2015) reports that Meclizine (aka Antivert, Nonine, and Dramamine II) is an antihistamine with antiemetic and anti-cholinergic properties (i.e., anticholinergics tend to block the transmission of acetylcholine in the PNS and CNS). MedicineNet.com reports that “Meclizine is an antihistamine with antiemetic and antispasmodic activity. It suppresses the nervous system by blocking the action of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.

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Acoustic Neuroma: Possibly Malignant?

Recently, Maducdoc et al (2015) reported on 12 cases of “malignant transformation” from benign to malignant acoustic neuromas. Of note, some 42 percent of neurotologists treat acoustic neuroma with stereotactic radio surgery (SRS). Indeed, 8 of the 12 cases were noted following SRS and microsurgery (MS), while 4 of the 12 transformed after MS only. The authors note that the mechanism that may lead to a malignant transformation seems “more obvious” for SRS, and is less well understood for MS.

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Questioning APD in 2015

DeBonis (2015) reviewed the literature with regard to central auditory processing disorders (CAPD) in children to assess “whether the degree of uncertainty surrounding CAPD warrants a change in current protocols….” Relevant search terms and topics were evaluated through contemporary electronic search tools and published peer-reviewed texts.


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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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When to Recommend Cochlear Implants vs Hearing Aids?

Lovett, Vickers, and Summerfield addressed the delineation point at which a child is four times more likely to excel with cochlear implants (CIs) as compared to hearing aids. Of note, CI outcomes for an individual cannot be predicted ahead of time as the variation in outcomes (among individuals) is huge (Davidson, 2011). Nonetheless, we can make statistical predictions for the population.

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Repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Tinnitus

Millions of people across the globe experience a reduced quality of life due to tinnitus. “Tinnitus (the perception of ringing or other phantom sounds in the ears or head) is perceived by 10-15 percent of the adult population. Of those individuals who experience chronic tinnitus, approximately 20 percent consider it to be a ‘clinically significant’ problem.”  

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