Blog Archives

Peer Interactions of Preschool Children With and Without Hearing Loss

Conclusions: Preschool children with SPHL were excluded from interactions by their playmates. Having age-appropriate language skills did not ensure successful peer interactions. Inclusive preschool programs may consider offering classroom-wide social skills training to enhance interaction opportunities.

from the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research

High frequency hearing loss in the elderly: effect of age and noise exposure in an Italian group

Conclusion: The threshold differences between patients with presbycusis with and without noise exposure were limited. Larger studies are needed to assess the relative effects of ageing and noise exposure on hearing thresholds.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Early subclinical cochlear dysfunction in myotonic dystrophy type 1

Conclusions:  Our study indicates that cochlear impairment in DM1 is present, even in patients without evidence of hearing loss at a standard audiometric analysis. Hence, in the current clinical practice, an assessment of cochlear function by TEOAE recording may be useful in DM1 patients to identify precocious signs of cochlear dysfunction.

from the European Journal of Neurology

“I know you can hear me”: Neural correlates of feigned hearing loss

In the assessment of human hearing, it is often important to determine whether hearing loss is organic or nonorganic in nature. Nonorganic, or functional, hearing loss is often associated with deceptive intention on the part of the listener. Over the past decade, functional neuroimaging has been used to study the neural correlates of deception, and studies have consistently highlighted the contribution of the prefrontal cortex in such behaviors. Can patterns of brain activity be similarly used to detect when an individual is feigning a hearing loss? To answer this question, 15 adult participants were requested to respond to pure tones and simple words correctly, incorrectly, randomly, or with the intent to feign a hearing loss. As predicted, more activity was observed in the prefrontal cortices (as measured by functional magnetic resonance imaging), and delayed behavioral reaction times were noted, when the participants feigned a hearing loss or responded randomly versus when they responded correctly or incorrectly. The results suggest that cortical imaging techniques could play a role in identifying individuals who are feigning hearing loss. Hum Brain Mapp, 2011. © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

from Human Brain Mapping

Rehabilitative Online Education versus Internet Discussion Group for Hearing Aid Users: A Randomized Controlled Trial


This study provides preliminary evidence that the Internet can be used to deliver education to experienced hearing aid users who report residual hearing problems such that their problems are reduced by the intervention. The study also suggests that online discussion forums could be used in rehabilitation. A combination of online professional supervised education and online informal discussions could be a promising rehabilitation tool.

from the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology

Maternal smoking during pregnancy: Impact on otoacoustic emissions in neonates

Maternal smoking during pregnancy had a negative effect on cochlear function, as determined by otoacoustic emissions testing. Therefore, pregnant women should be warned of this additional hazard of smoking. It is important that smoking control be viewed as a public health priority and that strategies for treating tobacco dependence be devised.

from the International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

High frequency of autosomal-recessive DFNB59 hearing loss in an isolated Arab population in Israel

Autosomal-recessive nonsyndromic hearing impairment (DFNB) is usually of prelingual onset with a moderate to profound degree of hearing loss. More than 70 DFNB loci have been mapped and ∼40 causative genes have been identified. Nonsyndromic hearing impairment caused by mutations of DFNB59 (encoding pejvakin) has been described in a couple of families in which affected individuals presented with either auditory neuropathy or hearing loss of cochlear origin. We have identified and clinically evaluated three consanguineous families of Israeli Arab origin with prelingual nonsyndromic hearing impairment and absent otoacoustic emissions with a total of eight affected individuals. All the families originate from the same village and bear the same family name. We have identified a c.406C>T (p.R136X) nonsense mutation in the DFNB59 gene in affected individuals from these families. Among the inhabitants of the village, we found an exceptionally high carrier frequency of approximately 1 in 12 individuals (7/85; 8.2%). The high prevalence of hearing impairment can be explained by a founder effect and the high consanguinity rate among the inhabitants of this village.

from Clinical Genetics

Pitfalls in the management of monaural deafness

Conclusion: Cochlear implantation in patients with long-term deafness should be considered carefully, even if deafness is monaural.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology

Protecting the auditory system with glucocorticoids

Glucocorticoids are hormones released following stress-related events and function to maintain homeostasis. Glucocorticoid receptors localize, among others, to hair cells, spiral ligament and spiral ganglion neurons. Glucocorticoid receptor-induced protection against acoustic trauma is found by i) pretreatment with glucocorticoid agonists; ii) acute restraint stress; and iii) sound conditioning. In contrast, glucocorticoid receptor antagonists exacerbate hearing loss. These findings have important clinical significance since synthetic glucocorticoids are commonly used to treat hearing loss. However, this treatment has limited success since hearing improvement is often not maintained once the treatment has ended, a fact that reduces the overall appeal for this treatment. It must be realized that despite the wide-spread use of glucocorticoids to treat hearing disorders, the molecular mechanisms underlying this treatment are not well characterized. This review will give insight into some physiological and biochemical mechanisms underlying glucocorticoid treatment for preventing hearing loss

from Hearing Research

Correlation between the handicap and the benefit of hearing aid use in adults and elderly

CONCLUSION: Adult and elderly subjects showed a reduction of handicap in daily activities with the use of hearing aids. The bigger the benefit obtained in the subscale Ease of Communication for the elderly and in the subscale Background Noise for the adults, the greater the handicap reduction.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Longitudinal pragmatic profile of a child with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder

Human communication depends mostly on the conversion of ideas into language, involving the interaction among all its components – phonological, semantic, syntactic and pragmatic. Pragmatics studies the relationship between the social meaning of language and its semantic content, expressed by the communicative act itself. Auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder generates a dyssynchrony in nerve conduction, contributing to an impairment in speech perception. In hearing impaired children the language acquisition and development process can be stimulated with intervention. The aim of this study was to present a longitudinal follow-up of the use of pragmatic communication abilities by a child with auditory neuropathy spectrum disorder. The child received speech-language pathology therapy during three years in the Educational Audiology area. Video recordings of spontaneous conversation were made in the beginning of each year. These recordings were transcribed and analyzed according to the verbal communicative abilities protocol. In the initial recording, the most frequent ability presented by the child was the direct response; however these were extended to more complex responses during the intervention. In the last recording the child proposes new topics of discourse, produce narratives and arguments. The emergence of more sophisticated communication skills is justified by the language development, which benefits from language therapy with hearing impaired children. This suggests that, for the case study described, speech-language pathology therapy contributed to the improvement of pragmatic communication abilities.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Satisfaction evaluation in users of hearing aid dispensed by the Unified Health System

CONCLUSION: In average, subjects were satisfied with their hearing aids dispensed by SUS. The Brazilian Portuguese version of the SADL proved to be an effective instrument to assess the level of satisfaction among the users of hearing aids dispensed by SUS evaluated in this study. Further research is necessary to complement these findings.

from Revista de Sociedade Brasileira de Fonoaudiologia

Auditory brainstem responses predict auditory nerve fiber thresholds and frequency selectivity in hearing impaired chinchillas

Non-invasive auditory brainstem responses (ABRs) are commonly used to assess cochlear pathology in both clinical and research environments. In the current study, we evaluated the relationship between ABR characteristics and more direct measures of cochlear function. We recorded ABRs and auditory nerve (AN) single-unit responses in seven chinchillas with noise induced hearing loss. ABRs were recorded for 1-8 kHz tone burst stimuli both before and several weeks after four hours of exposure to a 115 dB SPL, 50 Hz band of noise with a center frequency of 2 kHz. Shifts in ABR characteristics (threshold, wave I amplitude, and wave I latency) following hearing loss were compared to AN-fiber tuning curve properties (threshold and frequency selectivity) in the same animals. As expected, noise exposure generally resulted in an increase in ABR threshold and decrease in wave I amplitude at equal SPL. Wave I amplitude at equal sensation level (SL), however, was similar before and after noise exposure. In addition, noise exposure resulted in decreases in ABR wave I latency at equal SL and, to a lesser extent, at equal SPL. The shifts in ABR characteristics were significantly related to AN-fiber tuning curve properties in the same animal at the same frequency. Larger shifts in ABR thresholds and ABR wave I amplitude at equal SPL were associated with greater AN threshold elevation. Larger reductions in ABR wave I latency at equal SL, on the other hand, were associated with greater loss of AN frequency selectivity. This result is consistent with linear systems theory, which predicts shorter time delays for broader peripheral frequency tuning. Taken together with other studies, our results affirm that ABR thresholds and wave I amplitude provide useful estimates of cochlear sensitivity. Furthermore, comparisons of ABR wave I latency to normative data at the same SL may prove useful for detecting and characterizing loss of cochlear frequency selectivity.

from Hearing Research

Oral vs Intratympanic Corticosteroid Therapy for Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss

Conclusion Among patients with idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss, hearing level 2 months after treatment showed that intratympanic treatment was not inferior to oral prednisone treatment.

from JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association

Evoked response audiometry in scrub typhus: prospective, randomised, case–control study

Conclusion: Findings were suggestive of retrocochlear pathology in two cases with normal hearing. In other patients, high frequency hearing loss may have led to altered evoked response results. Although scrub typhus appears to cause middle ear cochlear and retrocochlear damage, the presence of such damage could not be fully confirmed by evoked response audiometry.

from the Journal of Laryngology and Otology