Monthly Archives: June 2009

HearAtLast Combats Hearing Loss Epidemic With Future Sonics Atrio Ear Buds

HearAtLast Holdings, Inc. (PINKSHEETS: HRAL) is pleased to announce that it has formed a strategic alliance with VitaSound to distribute Future Sonics MP3 Ear Buds. Future Sonics is the award-winning innovator of the original professional custom and universal fit earphones for personal monitoring for major tours, venues, artists, engineers, broadcasting and houses of worship worldwide.

Their dedication to the finest audio quality, reliability and personal service continue to serve the industry’s professionals with their Ear Monitors® brand, Atrio® brand, SofterWear™ professional products, HearAtLast’s model within Wal-Mart is the gateway to the first time buyer and experienced user of Ear Buds. All HearAtLast facilities will aid in the proper fitting of this audio devices to ensure an acoustic seal is achieved. HearAtLast will become the consciousness of the Hearing Health Care Industry by focusing on prevention and protection as well as the dispensing of Name Brand Digital Hearing /Aids.

from Medical News Today.com

Advertisements

Can loud noise cause acoustic neuroma? Analysis of the INTERPHONE study in France

Results: Acoustic neuroma was found to be associated with loud noise exposure (odds ratio (OR) = 2.55; 95% CI 1.35 to 4.82), both in leisure settings, particularly when listening to loud music (OR = 3.88; 95% CI 1.48 to 10.17) and at work (OR = 2.26; 95% CI 1.08 to 4.72). This risk increased with exposure duration (>6 years’ leisure exposure: OR = 3.15; 95% CI 1.07 to 9.24). Risk varied according to the type of noise (continuous or explosive vs intermittent).

Conclusion: The present results agree with other recent reports implicating loud noise in the risk of acoustic neuroma.

from Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Innovative Voice and Swallowing Center Opens in Orange County

Newport Beach, CA (Vocus/PRWEB ) June 18, 2009 — Hoag Hospital announces the grand opening of Hoag Voice and Swallowing Center, the most comprehensive program in Orange County. Hoag Voice and Swallowing Center provides the complete spectrum of multidisciplinary care located within the new Hoag Health Center-Newport Beach.

Many individuals being treated for other disorders may also find themselves with complications related to voice and/or swallowing
These patients benefit from expert diagnosis and treatments including medical and surgical therapies as well as voice therapy.
The center offers procedures to improve voice and swallowing function, providing patients with less invasive operating options, and speech. State-of-the-art diagnostics and office-based treatment options include laser surgery using a pulsed KTP laser, a first in Southern California, and unsedated laryngeal procedures–a significant convenience over the conventional procedure.

Specialized care is available for people with hoarseness resulting from various voice and swallowing disorders as well as for professional voice users such as singers, actors, clergy, lawyers, and teachers.

“Many individuals being treated for other disorders may also find themselves with complications related to voice and/or swallowing,” states Steven Feinberg, M.D., director of Hoag Voice and Swallowing Center, whose patients include those suffering from systemic neurologic disorders such as stroke and Parkinson’s disease. “These patients benefit from expert diagnosis and treatments including medical and surgical therapies as well as voice therapy.”

from PRWeb.com

Got ear plugs? You may want to sport them on the subway and other mass transit, researchers say

June 18, 2009 — The U.S. mass transit system, the largest in the world, provides affordable and efficient transportation to more than 33 million riders each weekday. The system is generally considered one of the safest modes of travel. But recent public health studies have identified several sources of environmental hazards associated with mass transit, including excessive noise, a large and growing problem in urban settings.

Now, a team of researchers from the University of Washington and Columbia University have found that Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) subways had the highest average noise levels of all mass transit in New York City, with levels high enough to potentially increase the risk of noise induced hearing loss. Researchers studied the risk of excessive exposure to noise related to mass transit ridership, and conducted an extensive set of noise measurements of New York City mass transit systems. The findings are available online today in the American Journal of Public Health and will be published in the August 2009 issue.

Noise induced hearing loss, a permanent, irreversible health problem, is estimated to affect more than 30 million people worldwide, and as many as 10 million in the U.S. alone.

Using sensitive noise dosimeters, the team of researchers, led by exposure scientist Richard Neitzel from the School of Public Health at the University of Washington and Robyn Gershon, DrPH, an environmental and occupational health scientist and faculty member at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, conducted hundreds of measurements of noise levels at platforms and stations, as well as inside of vehicles on New York City subways (MTA and PATH), buses (MTA), ferries (Staten Island), commuter railways (LIRR, SIRR and Metro North), and the Roosevelt Island tramway.

from EurekAlert.org

Development of Mandarin monosyllabic speech test materials in China

In this study, monosyllabic Mandarin speech test materials (MSTMs) were developed for use in word recognition tests for speech audiometry in Chinese audiology clinics. Mandarin monosyllabic materials with high familiarity were designed with regard to phonological balance and recorded digitally with a male voice. Inter-list equivalence of difficulty was evaluated for a group of 60 subjects (aged 18-25 years) with normal hearing. Seven lists with 50 words each were found to be equivalent. These seven equivalent lists were used to measure performance-intensity (PI) functions for a group of 32 subjects with normal hearing and a group of 40 subjects with mild to moderate sensorineural hearing loss. The mean slope of PI function was found to be 4.1%/dB and 2.7%/dB, respectively. The seven lists of Mandarin monosyllabic materials were found to have sufficient reliability and validity to be used in clinical situations.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Equivalent threshold sound pressure levels (ETSPL) for Sennheiser HDA 280 supra-aural audiometric earphones in the frequency range 125 Hz to 8000 Hz

Hearing threshold sound pressure levels were measured for the Sennheiser HDA 280 audiometric earphone. Hearing thresholds were measured for 25 normal-hearing test subjects at the 11 audiometric test frequencies from 125 Hz to 8000 Hz. Sennheiser HDA 280 is a supra-aural earphone that may be seen as a substitute for the classical Telephonics TDH 39. The results are given as the equivalent threshold sound pressure level (ETSPL) measured in an acoustic coupler specified in IEC 60318-3. The results are in good agreement with an independent investigation from PTB, Braunschweig, Germany. From acoustic laboratory measurements ETSPL values are calculated for the ear simulator specified in IEC 60318-1. Fitting of earphone and coupler is discussed. The data may be used for a future update of the RETSPL standard for supra-aural audiometric earphones, ISO 389-1.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Spontaneous increases in impedance following cochlear implantation: Suspected causes and management

Modern cochlear implant systems deliver impulse transmission rates up to 50 000 pps. It emerged that the fast stimulation rates led to enhanced speech comprehension. Impedance measurement is an important aspect in cochlear implant testing procedures. Impedance values are a measure of the electrical resistance between the individual implant electrodes. Increased impedances were attributed frequently to inflammatory/tissue-related processes. In recent years, however, we have repeatedly found cases of impedance increase for which the inflammatory model did not provide a satisfactory explanation. The aim of this study is to evaluate increases in impedance in our cochlear implant population, to attempt to find their cause, and to formulate therapeutic hypotheses. In our cochlear implant programme (> 3000 recipients) we screened our database for impedance increases over time during device fitting. We found 16 patients with 18 affected ears in whom impedance increases were clearly demonstrated. We found that especially in cases without any sign of prior inflammation, increasing the pulse width of the stimulation strategy seems to be an effective tool to return increased impedances to normal levels.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Spontaneous increases in impedance following cochlear implantation: Suspected causes and management

Modern cochlear implant systems deliver impulse transmission rates up to 50 000 pps. It emerged that the fast stimulation rates led to enhanced speech comprehension. Impedance measurement is an important aspect in cochlear implant testing procedures. Impedance values are a measure of the electrical resistance between the individual implant electrodes. Increased impedances were attributed frequently to inflammatory/tissue-related processes. In recent years, however, we have repeatedly found cases of impedance increase for which the inflammatory model did not provide a satisfactory explanation. The aim of this study is to evaluate increases in impedance in our cochlear implant population, to attempt to find their cause, and to formulate therapeutic hypotheses. In our cochlear implant programme (> 3000 recipients) we screened our database for impedance increases over time during device fitting. We found 16 patients with 18 affected ears in whom impedance increases were clearly demonstrated. We found that especially in cases without any sign of prior inflammation, increasing the pulse width of the stimulation strategy seems to be an effective tool to return increased impedances to normal levels.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Spontaneous increases in impedance following cochlear implantation: Suspected causes and management

Modern cochlear implant systems deliver impulse transmission rates up to 50 000 pps. It emerged that the fast stimulation rates led to enhanced speech comprehension. Impedance measurement is an important aspect in cochlear implant testing procedures. Impedance values are a measure of the electrical resistance between the individual implant electrodes. Increased impedances were attributed frequently to inflammatory/tissue-related processes. In recent years, however, we have repeatedly found cases of impedance increase for which the inflammatory model did not provide a satisfactory explanation. The aim of this study is to evaluate increases in impedance in our cochlear implant population, to attempt to find their cause, and to formulate therapeutic hypotheses. In our cochlear implant programme (> 3000 recipients) we screened our database for impedance increases over time during device fitting. We found 16 patients with 18 affected ears in whom impedance increases were clearly demonstrated. We found that especially in cases without any sign of prior inflammation, increasing the pulse width of the stimulation strategy seems to be an effective tool to return increased impedances to normal levels.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Semantic encoding in working memory: Is there a (multi)modality effect?

In spite of a large body of empirical research demonstrating the importance of multisensory integration in cognition, there is still little research about multimodal encoding and maintenance effects in working memory. In this study we investigated multimodal encoding in working memory by means of an immediate serial recall task with different modality and format conditions. In a first non-verbal condition participants were presented with sequences of non-verbal inputs representing familiar (concrete) objects, either in visual, auditory or audio-visual formats. In a second verbal condition participants were presented with written, spoken, or bimodally presented words denoting the same objects represented by pictures or sounds in the non-verbal condition. The effects of articulatory suppression were assessed in both conditions. We found a bimodal superiority effect on memory span with non-verbal material, and a larger span with auditory (or bimodal) versus visual presentation with verbal material, with a significant effect of articulatory suppression in the two conditions.

from Memory

The role of anxiety sensitivity and behavioral avoidance in tinnitus disability

The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of anxiety sensitivity and behavioral avoidance in tinnitus distress and functioning. A cross-sectional sample of 283 individuals experiencing tinnitus was obtained from an epidemiological national survey study on hearing loss, dizziness, and tinnitus. The subjects completed a series of questionnaires measuring anxiety sensitivity, anxiety, and depression. They also answered questions regarding tinnitus distress, functioning, and avoidance. Results revealed a positive significant correlation between anxiety sensitivity and tinnitus distress. This relationship was not better explained by anxiety and depression symptoms. In addition, the findings provided support for a model where behavioral avoidance fully mediated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and tinnitus functioning, and partially mediated the relationship between anxiety sensitivity and tinnitus distress. Implications for the role of anxiety sensitivity and behavioral avoidance in tinnitus research are discussed.

from the International Journal of Audiology

Self-motion perception during conflicting visual-vestibular acceleration

Self-motion is known to be falsely perceived during exposure to the movement of visual surroundings. This illusory perception of visually-induced self-motion is known as “vection.” The present study was conducted to examine the relative strengths of vection versus whole-body angular acceleration as they determine perceived self-rotation under conditions in which they individually provide conflicting information. Each subject was rotated for 90 s about a vertical axis at a constant acceleration, and a large-field visual surround in front of the subject was simultaneously rotated at a constant acceleration in the same direction, but at a magnitude of acceleration twice that of the body. This stimulus condition creates a sensory conflict between information from the vestibular/somatosensory systems and information from the visual system with respect to the direction of self-rotation.

The subject eventually perceived self-acceleration in the direction of circular vection (CV), even though he or she was actually being accelerated in the direction opposite to CV. When the magnitude of contradictory chair acceleration exceeded the vestibular perceptual threshold, the onset latency of CV was significantly delayed.

Our results suggest that visual information contributes to the perception of self-acceleration, and that illusory self-motion could overwhelm the feeling of self-acceleration due to inertial motion. CV would thus be a significant factor in determining spatial orientation in certain operational environments and flight conditions.

from the Journal of Vestibular Research

Emotion-focused coping in young children: Self and self-regulatory processes

This chapter explores paths toward emotion-focused coping among typically developing young children and their more or less average parents – portraying characteristic developmental patterns, demands, and stresses. Emotion-focused coping strategies are effortful and aim to decrease negative emotions in stress-inducing interpersonal contexts. The themes here highlight developmental changes of the early years and related parent and child hassles; likely cognitive, social, and linguistic antecedents and correlates of emotion-focused coping; and some self-regulatory processes that enable coping. The chapter concludes by noting that new directions in the study of young children’s coping involve returning to well-crafted, short-term longitudinal research.

from

Incidence of seropositivity to bordetella pertussis and mycoplasma pneumoniae infection in patients with chronic laryngotracheitis

Results:
Thirteen patients (24%) had elevated IgA and IgG to pertussis toxin. Nine patients (17%) had elevated IgM to pertussis toxin. Eight patients (15%) had elevated IgM to mycoplasma pneumoniae. There were no significant differences in symptom duration, RSI score, or Voice Handicap Index-10 score among patients with current infection, recent past infection, or no infection. Subglottic erythema scores were significantly higher for patients with current or recent past infection compared to the no infection group. Patients with current infection or recent past infection had significantly more tracheal erythema than supraglottic or vocal fold erythema.

Conclusions:
Bordetella pertussis and mycoplasma pneumoniae infection play a significant role in the etiology of CLTR. Pertussis can be a mild but chronic presentation and may not produce typical symptoms of severe cough. Symptom duration and severity cannot differentiate between CLTR of infectious or other etiology. Infection should be considered in patients with CLTR that have significant tracheal erythema. Laryngoscope, 2009

from The Laryngoscope

Vestibular evoked myogenic potentials in patients with the mitochondrial A1555G mutation

Results:
Four of the five patients suffered from repetitive vestibular symptoms. Positioning, positional, and spontaneous nystagmus were not observed except in one patient. Three of the five patients had normal caloric responses, but all the patients had abnormal VEMPs. The interpeak amplitudes in the mutation group were significantly lower at the intensities of 95 and 105 dB normal hearing level (nHL) in comparison to the healthy volunteer group. In addition, the amplitudes in the mutation group were significantly lower at the intensity of 95 dB nHL in comparison to the sudden SNHL groups.

Conclusions:
These results indicated that the A1555G mutation can cause vestibular dysfunction, especially saccular dysfunction and cochlear dysfunction. Further studies are necessary to elucidate the pathophysiological nature of the inner ear dysfunction in patients with the A1555G mutation. Laryngoscope, 2009

from The Laryngoscope