Starkey’s Livio AI Featured in ‘TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019′ List
The Honiton hearing centre are excited to learn that Starkey’s Livio AI has featured in the ”Time’s 100 Best.
Starkey Hearing Technologies announces that Livio AI, “the world’s first multi-purpose hearing aid,” has earned a place on TIME’s 100 Best Inventions of 2019 in the accessibility category. This list is said to “highlight inventions that are making the world better, smarter, and even a bit more fun.”
TIME uses a multi-step process to assemble the annual list. Contenders from around the world are evaluated on key factors, including originality, effectiveness, ambition, and influence. The result: One hundred groundbreaking inventions that are changing the way we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible, according to Starkey’s announcement.
Honiton Hearing centre
Livio AI features integrated sensors and artificial intelligence, providing what the company says is “superior sound quality and the ability to track both body and brain health.” By providing direct monitoring of physical and cognitive activity, including fall alerts and transcription features, Livio AI helps raise awareness about the connection between treating hearing loss and reducing health risks, like cognitive decline and heart disease.
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“I’d like to thank TIME for this incredible recognition. We are humbled and proud to be on this list and in the company of other innovative companies that are truly making the world a better place,” said Starkey President Brandon Sawalich. “I’m grateful to the entire Starkey team for its relentless dedication to helping people hear better, so they can live better. Thank you for continuing to push us to break technological boundaries and transform hearing health as we know it.”
The new issue of TIME, featuring Starkey and Livio AI, goes on sale November 22.
Source: Starkey Hearing Technologies
Signia Pure Charge & Go X Hearing Aid Exeter
Signia Pure Charge & Go X Hearing Aids are available at the Honiton hearing centre between near Exeter.
Signia Pure Charge & Go X Hearing Aids are available at the Honiton hearing centre. The hearing centre is renowned for the latest hearing devices on the market today. Colin Eaton, the lead audiologist at Honiton is a fully qualified hearing expert that is also a ear wax removal specialist.
If you need ear wax removing or ”Syringing” please call reception and ask for Sam to book an appointment. Or alternatively click here for online booking.
Exeter ear wax removal
You can watch how ear wax is removed by using Microsuction here. This is our very latest Microsuction video to show how easy and quickly it really is.
If you are suffering with hearing loss and need a hearing test, we can test your ears to see if there is any hearing loss at all in either ear and then discuss what the best solution (if needed), would be best for you.
Exeter ear syringing
Honiton hearing news:
Signia Launches Pure Charge&Go X Hearing Aid
Signia (a brand of WS Audiology A/S) announced the general availability of the Pure Charge&Go X. Built upon the recently launched Signia Xperience platform, the new devices are said to provide wearers with “superior hearing even when in motion—all in a sleek, rechargeable hearing aid.”
Pure Charge&Go X is a receiver-in-canal (RIC) device that includes “the world’s first acoustic-motion sensors,” according to the company’s announcement. Since a hearing aid wearer’s sound environment can change suddenly, this technology can reportedly adapt to changes in their soundscape and detect when the wearer is in motion, responding automatically to “deliver natural and personalised sound from any direction, in any situation—even when moving.”
Better hearing for a life in motion
The technology and features of Pure Charge&Go X help wearers navigate everyday life, whether on the go at work or at home with family. For instance, Reed Doughty, a 37-year-old former professional football player and current school athletic director, benefits from the acoustic-motion sensors to help him understand speech from any direction throughout his busy day.
“I go from a weight room, to a board meeting room, to a classroom, to an athletic field, to the loud gym, to home with four kids, to a dinner out with my wife,” Doughty said. “Being able to navigate these settings and not just get through but actually enjoy those experiences is great, because those loud and differing environments can be frustrating for someone with hearing loss.”
Terry Hanratty is another former football pro who, after playing for eight seasons and working on Wall Street for three decades, is used to being on the go. For this active 71-year-old, hearing is important for a good quality of life and staying connected. An experienced wearer, Hanratty found more success with Signia’s Pure Charge&Go X compared to his previous pair.
“They are really a game changer, because with the previous ones, I could hear, but I couldn’t hear everything,” Hanratty said. “The biggest factor is that I can hear every word. I carry on a conversation with anybody and I’m hearing everything.”
Advanced technology in a smaller device
The new Pure Charge&Go X hearing aids deliver hearing technology with the features important to today’s hearing aid wearers like Doughty and Hanratty. They offer Bluetooth connectivity to stream phone calls, music, and TV audio to their hearing aids. Wearers also benefit from Signia’s world’s first Own Voice Processing (OVP), which processes the wearer’s voice separately from other sounds for a “natural sounding own voice.”
Built with lithium-ion recharge-ability, Pure Charge&Go X reportedly holds 20% more battery capacity than Signia’s previous Pure Charge&Go device, giving wearers greater flexibility and convenience as they go about their day, the company says.
A new inductive charger includes a protective lid that also dehumidifies the devices and fits custom earmolds. The charger is also backwards compatible with all Signia lithium-ion inductive charging hearing aids.
Signia Pure Charge & Go X Hearing Aid Honiton
Pure Charge&Go X is also compatible with the newly launched Signia app, which combines all existing Signia apps into one. The new app enables wearers to further personalise the hearing experience, manage streaming activities, and even connect with their hearing care professional remotely.
Additional information about Signia’s new Pure Charge&Go X hearing aids can be found at: https://www.signia-hearing.co.uk/pure-charge-go-x
Devon hearing centre
Tinnitus and hearing loss Devon
Bellow is an informative new paper released in September 2019. If you suffer from hearing loss and Tinnitus it could be something to look at.
Does Tinnitus Get Worse as Hearing Loss Increases in Severity?
“Our results suggest that tinnitus will likely get louder, but not by very much,” write Hashir Aazh, PhD, and Richard Salvi, PhD, in their recent study published in JAAA which shows only a weak association between tinnitus loudness and puretone average (PTA) thresholds.
When patients ask an audiologist or hearing care professional if their tinnitus (ringing in the ears) is going to get worse as their hearing loss progresses, what answer do they usually receive? Most hearing care professionals will reassure the patient by telling them that, although it’s possible for this to occur, it’s generally not a problem they’ve observed in their practice. Now there is some clinical science to back up this answer.
A paper published in the September 2019 edition of the Journal of the American Academy of Audiology by Hashir Aazh, PhD, and Richard Salvi, PhD, shows that the relationship between tinnitus loudness and puretone average (PTA) thresholds are only weakly associated.
Tinnitus and hearing loss Devon
The researchers looked at a retrospective cross-sectional sample of 445 consecutive patients at the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Therapy Specialist Clinic in Guildford, UK, who had been surveyed with audiological and self-report questionnaires. The patients were seen from 2013 to 2016 and had an average age of 54.4 years, with an even split between males (49%) and females (51%). Questionnaires included the visual analog scale (VAS), tinnitus handicap inventory (THI), hyperacusis questionnaire (HQ), hospital anxiety and depression scale (HADS), and the insomnia severity index (ISI).
In the sample, a total of 12% of patients had no tinnitus handicap on the THI, while 32% had mild, 24% had moderate, and 33% had severe tinnitus handicap. Based on PTA for the better ear, 66% of the tinnitus patients had no hearing loss, 29% had mild hearing loss, and 5% had moderate hearing loss. For the worse ear, 49% of patients had no hearing loss, 36% had a mild loss, 13% had a moderate loss, while 0.6% and 0.9% had a severe and profound hearing loss respectively.
When analyzing tinnitus severity and hearing loss via a regression model, a .036 increase in loudness per 1-dB increase in PTA threshold was found at a significant level of confidence. “This relationship is very weak and the linear model explains only 4% of the variance in tinnitus loudness, suggesting that factors other than severity of hearing loss may contribute to self-report tinnitus loudness,” write the authors.
However, correlations were noted between tinnitus severity and the other variables measured in the questionnaires. These included:
- Based on the HQ score, 32% experienced hyperacusis (unusual sensitivity/aversion to louder sounds) with 4% being diagnosed with severe hyperacusis.
- While 31% did not have insomnia, 29.5% had mild insomnia, while 27.5% and 12% had moderate or severe insomnia respectively.
- Tinnitus loudness was more strongly correlated with tinnitus annoyance and tinnitus life effect than PTA.
The authors hypothesise that the weak association between PTA and tinnitus severity could be explained by an increase in spontaneous activity within the central nervous system (CNS) after cochlear damage, as cited in other studies. However, the authors also note the weak correlation “may be due to the fact that threshold measures do not accurately capture some forms of cochlear pathology that may trigger tinnitus.” For example, it’s possible that some forms of tinnitus might arise from damaged inner hair cells or afferent synapses, but these types of cochlear damage are often not reflected in an audiogram (eg, cochlear synaptopathy or “hidden hearing loss”).
Drs Aazh and Salvi conclude, “Tinnitus patients often ask whether the loudness of their tinnitus will increase if their hearing gets worse. Our results suggest that tinnitus will likely get louder, but not by very much.” They note that the study was limited to information gathered in day-to-day clinics and did not include psychoacoustic measures of tinnitus loudness which might be useful in further research.
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Dr Aazh is head of the Tinnitus and Hyperacusis Therapy Specialist Clinic at the Royal Surrey County Hospital NHS Foundation Trust in Guildford, UK. Dr Salvi is the co-founder and director of the Center for Hearing and Deafness at the University of Buffalo. —KES
Original paper: Aazh H, Salvi R. The relationship between severity of hearing loss and subjective tinnitus loudness among patients seen in a specialist tinnitus and hyperacusis therapy clinic in UK. J Am Acad Audiol. 2019;30(8)[Sept]:712-719.
About the author: Karl E. Strom is editor of The Hearing Review and has been reporting on hearing healthcare issues for over 25 years.
Devon Ear syringing centre
We talked ear health very seriously here at our Devon Ear syringing centre. Bellow is some information regarding going away and hitting the beach or pool.
The Honiton hearing centre is a leading ear wax removal centre.
As many people set out for holiday in coastal towns during the hot summer days, more attention should be paid to ear health. With people taking a dip at every opportunity the risk of an outer ear infection can increase significantly. An early diagnosis of external otitis can prevent any serious infection. Here are the causes and treatments of outer ear infections.
Don’t neglect your ear care
Outer ear infection is common in the summer, when more people cool off in the sea or in a pool. The outer ear remaining wet, contact with dirty pool water, seawater or foreign bodies, allergy, other skin conditions and chronic diseases like diabetes are the main factors that increase the risk of an outer ear infection.
Stephen Neal the Bath audiologist specialist based at the Keynsham hearing centre is available for all types of ear wax removal.
Devon Ear syringing centre
This is why patients who have previously had an outer ear infection suffer from the same disease again if attention is not paid. Outer ear infection is often caused by bacteria and fungi, while viruses and parasites can rarely be a factor. The chronic condition of the outer ear infection, which often occurs in the form of acute infections, is called “swimmer’s ear,” which is very difficult to treat.
Ways to avoid outer ear infection
The main principle for avoiding outer ear infection is to remove risk factors. The ways of avoiding can be listed as follows:
Treat and keep your chronic diseases under control.
Do not keep water in ear and do not use ear sticks during shower.
Do not swim in dirty and low chlorine pools and in dirty parts of the sea.
Use silicone stopper when swimming in order to prevent water from getting into outer ear.
Remove the water escaping to the ear after swimming with head movements.
You can use a few drops of vinegar to ensure the optimal PH level in the outer ear after swimming.
Outer ear infection includes clinical cases including serious life-threatening infections. For this reason, diagnosis should be made at the earliest stage of complaints and treatment should be started quickly.
Smelly earwax in your ear
The outer ear is a canal shaped, extending from earlap to eardrum, with one end opening outward and the other closed by eardrum. The outer ear is a structure that is susceptible to infections due to being a canal with one end open, poor ventilation and its humid environment. It is possible to list the three main symptoms of outer ear infection as pain, discharge and hearing loss. The pain can be severe and increase when you touch your ear. The discharge is yellow-green and usually smells bad. Hearing loss results from outer ear edema and discharges from outer ear due to infection. The disease can be easily diagnosed by a simple ear examination in the patient with the aforementioned complaints. In diagnosis, it is important to distinguish that the discharge is not from middle ear, but from outer ear. Therefore, a specialist examination is recommended.
After the examination, the specialist doctor will determine the best method of treatment. The outer ear should be thoroughly cleaned during treatment. Local antibiotic drops, cortisone drops and painkillers are used. Since ear
drops cannot reach the canal in patients with highly edematous and closed outer ear canal, suppositories should be placed in outer ear for a few days to ensure that the drops reach the canal.
More severe in diabetic patients
Systemic antibiotic use and rarely hospitalisation may be required for advanced outer ear infections in people with risk factors, such as diabetes. During treatment, ears should be protected from water and water sports should be suspended. Materials such as hearing aids, headphones and stoppers should not be used during this period as they make the treatment harder.
Ear syringing Devon
If you do end up having any hearing or ear issues please see your GP as soon as you can. However if you have or think you have ear wax and need this removed please book in for an appointment at the Bath Ear syringing centre.
New hearing aids Devon
New hearing aids available in Devon by Honiton hearing
New hearing aids available Devon at the Honiton hearing centre. A new style of hearing aid is now available for the younger generation. Made by Oticon. OPN Play. These hearing aids are available at specialist children’s centres who cater for children hearing loss. Many people suffer from hearing loss and we at the Honiton hearing centre do cater for the older generation. We also conduct hearing tests and remove ear wax by appointment. Digital hearing tests are available again by appointment. The new Oticon Opn Play are designed for children only, but we have the adult Opn selection in our Honiton store.
Ear wax removal Devon
Once we conduct a full spectrum hearing test we will go through the results with you to determine what hearing loss you may have and if any what type of remedy we can offer. This maybe through hearing aids or ear wax removal.
Please click here to watch our video on how we remove ear wax using Microsuction.
Hearing aids available Devon
Honiton Hearing News:
Oticon Introduces Opn Play
Oticon announces Opn Play™, a new child-friendly hearing solution, is said to “improve speech understanding in simple and complex listening environments and provides access to multiple speakers, without reducing environmental sounds important to incidental learning and safety.” The new Velox S™platform fuels Opn Play to provide children with the best possible conditions to grow, thrive, live, and learn, according to the company.
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According to pediatric best practice guidelines, it is crucial to give children as much of the auditory environment as possible, in particular speech, to create the best opportunities for learning and language development.* Opn Play featuring OpenSound Navigator™ (OSN) helps accommodate best practice by delivering the “optimal signal-to-noise ratio across varying listening environments to constantly optimize learning opportunities.” Unlike traditional omnidirectional and directional approaches, OSN reportedly gives children the best of both worlds—“always open” access to a balanced soundscape that helps support the natural way the brain makes sense of sound, even in difficult listening environments.
A study at Boys Town National Research Hospital with children ages 6-15 reported that OSN offered an average of 4 dB SNR improvement in speech recognition (up to 30%) whether the child faced the speaker directly or faced away. The same study found that OSN preserves competing speech to allow access to multiple talkers, supporting incidental learning for children.
“Young children naturally learn a tremendous amount from overhearing or incidental listening, but children with hearing loss have fewer opportunities to learn by overhearing, especially when they are not looking directly at the talker,” said Maureen Doty Tomasula, AuD, senior product & marketing manager, Oticon Pediatrics. “The ability of OpenSound Navigator to preserve speech coming from different locations allows access to other talkers in the background, which is fundamental to incidental learning in school-age children.”
In a separate study of listening effort for children, researchers at VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam found that OSN improves speech understanding by up to 5 dB SNR with less perceived effort compared to traditional omnidirectional technology.**
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Powered by the new Velox S platform, Opn Play reportedly analyzes sound at 56,000 times/second to give children access to speech details with “more natural sound and increased comfort,” according to Oticon. OpenSound Optimizer™, a new technology in Opn Play, uses “ultra-fast” detectors and a patented breaker signal to proactively manage feedback, even before it occurs. Hearing care professionals can now fit children with up to 6 dB more gain, helping to allow more stable gain for closed fittings and more open fittings. This helps enable Opn Play to provide the brain with up to 25% more speech cues, without the risk of feedback.*** The new technology helps ensure stable access to speech details to support better language development and is said to allow children to play, hug, interact, and wear hats and helmets without feedback.
Easy Connectivity at School and Home
Opn Play offers compatibility with existing classroom solutions. A new option—Opn Play plus Oticon ConnectClip—can enhance incidental listening and communication between parents and children with hearing loss, especially when there is distance or noise present, such as when riding in the car, at the playground, or in a stroller. ConnectClip helps make it easy for children to stay connected to the most important speakers in their lives, parents, friends, teachers, and coaches. Opn Play is Made for iPhone® and connects with smartphones, laptops and other Bluetooth®-enabled devices.
Lyme Bay Devon, ear syringing
The Opn Play miniRITE R offers a rechargeable lithium-ion solution in a “discreet design,” helping to eliminate the hassle of handling and replacing batteries every few days. The charger features a stable magnetic connection and is said to deliver a full day of power, including streaming, with an overnight charge.
The Oticon Opn Play family is available in fitting ranges from mild to severe across all styles and in an array of kid-friendly colors. For more information about the entire Oticon Opn Play family, visit: www.oticon.com/opn-play.
* American Academy of Audiology (AAA) Clinical Practice Guidelines Pediatric Amplification June 2013
** Ng E, Goverts T, et al. (2019). Oticon Whitepaper.
*** Speech Intelligibility Index. ANSI S3.5.
Hearing aids for Devon
Hearing aids for Devon at the Honiton hearing centre. Colin and Sam pride themselves on being at the vanguard of hearing technology. Based at Honiton, Devon, Colin Eaton is a lead audiologist and is first class at keeping up with the new tech that comes out constantly. Today we he is looking at the recently announced Phonak Marvel. For those who don’t know what this product is here is a sample from their Press release.
”In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
Hearing aids for Devon and Somerset
According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls”.
Hearing aids Exeter, Devon
Sounds good? We think so and we are pleased that Phonak has won a prestigious award saying that they agree too. If this Phonak product sounds like something you may like more info on then please let us know and we could arrange an appointment to see if this would be right for you.
See the rest of the info on the Phonak Marvel product bellow.
Check out our earwax removal video here.
Earwax removal News:
Phonak Marvel Wins Silver Edison Award for Hearing Aid Design Technology
Phonak Marvel, said to be “the world’s first hearing aid” to combine clear sound quality with universal “made for all” Bluetooth connectivity, received a Silver Award in the hearing aid design technology category at the Edison Awards gala in New York City, the hearing aid manufacturer announced. The Edison Awards, named after Thomas Alva Edison, recognizes and honors innovators and innovations.
In October 2018, Phonak introduced Marvel, a hearing aid family that’s said to “combine all the top-requested features from hearing aid wearers” into one solution.
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According to Phonak, this technology also helps to improves accessibility to hearing care by empowering consumers to benefit from a suite of smart apps that connect hearing aid wearers with their hearing care professional via smartphone. These include video chat, instant feedback regarding their wearing experience, remote fine-tuning from anywhere in the world, and real-time, voice-to-text transcription of phone calls.
All nominations were reviewed by the Edison Awards Steering Committee and the final ballot sent to an independent judging panel. The judging panel was comprised of more than 3,000 professionals from the fields of product development, design, engineering, science, marketing, and education, including professional organizations representing a wide variety of industries and disciplines.
Hearing aids for Devon and Somerset
For more information on the 2019 Edison Awards, please visit: www.edisonawards.com. Applications for the 2020 awards will open in August 2019.
Source: Phonak, Edison Awards
Best place to buy your hearing aids, Devon
Devon hearing aid centre is based at Honiton and run by Colin and Sam Eaton. Offering a full service including hearing tests, ear wax removal (using Micros-Suction) and the fitting of the latest digital hearing aids for the Devon area including Exeter and Sidmouth. The Honiton hearing centre can sometimes fit in early appointments through cancellations, so always ask to see if there are any early appointments needed for Ear Wax removal. Please mention this when you book an ear wax removal appointment.
To see how we remove ear wax please watch our video here.
Devon hearing news:
Widex Announces TV PLAY and RedDot Award Honor
Original story by The Hearing Review
Widex A/S, Lynge, Denmark, the privately-owned Danish hearing aid company, has announced the launch of WIDEX TV PLAY™, a high-end TV accessory and streaming solution for WIDEX EVOKE™ hearing aids. The sleek and versatile TV PLAY received the Red Dot Design Concept Award last Friday, September 28, for its pleasing design.
Devon hearing aids
Widex has also been honored as a leader in innovation in the RedDot Design Ranking for Design Concepts. The company placed number 4 out of 15 companies in the Americas and Europe region in recognition of its pursuit of design excellence over the past 5 years, reports the company.
Shipments of TV PLAY will start in November.
A valuable accessory for hearing aid users. A 2017 Nielsen survey1 reported that the US 65+ population consumes a daily average of 6 hours and 57 minutes of TV. Despite the growing number of mobile and web-based streaming services, watching TV is more popular than ever. But for some, it’s a struggle to hear the TV. Hearing aid users can find it hard to hear the TV over the other sounds in the room. In fact, some studies suggest that 78% of hearing aid users have trouble understanding things on the TV.
Cheap hearing aids in Devon
Designed for ease of use. According to Widex, TV PLAY lets hearing aid users enjoy great TV sound effortlessly through their hearing aids by providing direct streaming to both ears. TV PLAY is designed for fast and easy to set up, intuitive to control, and delivers outstanding and stable sound.
TV PLAY drops the “boxy” look of many TV streamers and instead has a futuristic design that blends in with modern homes. And if you prefer to have TV PLAY out of sight, the slim and discrete design fits behind flat screen TVs with no trouble, according to the company.
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“At Widex we work to ensure that hearing aid users get the most of all aspects of life,” said Widex President and CEO Jørgen Jensen in a press statement. “We know that TV is an important part of staying in touch with the world around them through news and entertainment programs. TV PLAY gives them a better and more stable experience that also looks great in their living rooms.”
Maximum streaming stability. With Widex’s patent-pending dual-antenna technology, TV PLAY is said to offer maximum streaming stability. An easy-to-use app lets users balance the volume of the TV sound with ambient sounds and conversations—or choose just to hear the sound from the TV.
1. Nielsen. Total Audience Report Q2 2017. November 16, 2017. Available at: https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/reports/2017/the-nielsen-total-audience-q2-2017.html
Source: Widex A/S
Hearing aids East Devon
The Honiton hearing centre
Hearing aids East Devon, at the Honiton hearing centre run by Colin and Sam Eaton. Digital hearing aids have changed beyond recognition in the last 5 years. If you are using older hearing aids or have been using NHS hearing aids and would like to try the latest discreet digital hearing aids with connectivity with your mobile phone, tablet and T.V. Honiton hearing offer a free trial. Please contact Sam on reception. We use Phonak, GN ReSound, Oticon and other manufacturers hearing aids.
Ear wax removal Devon
The Honiton hearing centre also conduct ear wax removal using Microsuction and the traditional water irrigation technique. You can watch our video here to see how we do this and how painless and quick it really is.
Honiton hearing news:
Researchers Identify Gene Associated with Age-related Hearing Loss
An international group of researchers, led by Ronna Hertzano, MD, PhD, associate professor, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM), and Michael Bowl, PhD, program leader track scientist, Mammalian Genetics Unit, MRC Harwell Institute, UK, have identified the gene that acts as a key regulator for special cells needed in hearing.
The discovery of this gene (Ikzf2) will help researchers better understand this unique type of cell that is needed for hearing and potentially develop treatments for common age-related hearing loss, UMSOM announced.
“Outer hair cells are the first inner ear cells lost as we age,” said Hertzano, whose research will be published in the journal Nature. “Age-related hearing loss happens to everyone. Even a 30-year-old has lost some of the outer hair cells that sense higher pitch sounds. Simple exposure to sound, especially loud ones, eventually causes damage to these cells.”
The inner ear has two kinds of sensory hair cells required for hearing. The inner hair cells convert sounds to neural signals that travel to the brain. This compares to outer hair cells, which function by amplifying and tuning sounds. Without outer hair cells, sound is severely muted and inner hair cells don’t signal the brain. Loss of outer hair cells is said to be the major cause of age-related loss of hearing.
About the Research
Hertzano’s group, in collaboration with Ran Elkon, PhD, senior lecturer, Department of Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry, Sackler Faculty of Medicine in Tel Aviv, Israel, took a bioinformatics and functional genomics approach to discover a gene critical for the regulation of genes involved in outer hair cell development. Bowl’s group studied mice from the Harwell Aging Screen to identify mice with hearing loss. Bowl identified mice with an early-onset hearing loss caused by an outer hair cell deficit. When the two groups realized that they were studying the same gene, they began to collaborate to discover its biological function and role in outer hair cell development. The gene is Ikzf2 gene, which encodes helios. Helios is a transcription factor, a protein that controls the expression of other genes. The mutation in the mice changes one amino acid in a critical part of the protein, which impaired the transcriptional regulatory activity of helios in the mice.
To test if helios could drive the differentiation of outer hair cells, the researchers introduced a virus engineered to overexpress helios into the inner ear hair cells of newborn mice. As a result, some of the mature inner hair cells became more like outer hair cells. In particular, the inner hair cells with an excess of helios started making the protein prestin and exhibited electromotility, a property limited to outer hair cells. Thus, helios can drive inner hair cells to adopt critical outer hair cell characteristics.
Hearing aids East Devon
Funding for the research was provided by Action on Hearing Loss UK, the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) at the National Institutes of Health, and the Department of Defense (DOD).
As Professor Steve Brown, PhD, director, MRC Harwell Institute, said, “The development of therapies for age-related hearing loss represents one of the big challenges facing medicine and biomedical science. Understanding the genetic programs that are responsible for the development and maturation of sound-transducing hair cells within the inner ear will be critical to exploring avenues for the regeneration of these cells that are lost in abundance during age-related hearing loss. The teams from the University of Maryland and the MRC Harwell Research Institute have given us the first insights into that program. They have identified a master regulator, Ikzf2/helios, that controls the program for maturation of outer hair cells. Now, we have a target that we can potentially use to induce the production of outer hair cells within damaged inner ears, and we are one step closer to offering treatments for this disabling condition.”
Original Paper: Chessum L, Matern MS, Kelly MC, et al. Helios is a key transcriptional regulator of outer hair cell maturation. Nature. November 21, 2018.
Source: University of Maryland School of Medicine, Nature
Image: University of Maryland School of Medicine
Interesting hearing aids Devon U.K.
Honiton hearing news from around the world:
We are always looking at events and new innovations from around the world. Today we are sharing a company that are available in the U.S. and now the U.K.
Sivantos Launches New Form Factor with Signia Styletto SLIM RIC
Original story by the Hearing Review
Why should a hearing aid look like a hearing aid? That’s the question Sivantos engineers asked themselves when designing the new Signia Styletto receiver-in-the-canal (RIC) hearing aid which is being launched today. Styletto is a rechargeable SLIM RIC that features a contemporary design and breaks the mold of traditional behind-the-ear (BTE) hearing aids by taking advantage of how its lithium-ion battery technology doesn’t need to conform to the traditional size and shape of a button cell. The new RIC, which uses the Signia Nx platform with Own Voice Processing (OVP), also comes with an extremely small charger which offers fast charging solutions as well as three full charges on the go.
“There are people who look at a hearing aid and really don’t see it matching their style,” says Eric Branda, AuD, director of product management at Sivantos Inc, Piscataway, NJ. “We see all these people wearing large Bluetooth headsets flashing on their ears—huge devices on their ears—and yet [the hearing industry has] struggled to get them to adopt hearing aids, and I think it really comes down to the fact that we keep asking them to wear what looks like a hearing aid.”
Stylistic freedom by thinking outside the button cell. In terms of the history of hearing aids, Branda points out that, going all the back to the original body-worn devices and moving into today’s CIC and RIC devices, hearing aid sizes and styles have been dictated by the size and shape of button cell batteries. Although lithium-ion rechargeable batteries have also been built in this coin design, they’re not restricted to it—as demonstrated by the new Styletto SLIM RIC. Instead, it departs from the traditional coin cell look by using a slim pin design to create a new form factor.
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“With today’s battery technology, we can take a new approach,” says Branda. “Rather than being discreet by being invisible, we can be discreet and drive acceptance withvisibility, which is a novel approach for people with hearing loss.”
Differentiating a hearing aid practice by appealing to different wearers. With its slim, elegant design that harkens to other high-tech product categories, Styletto provides a new option for those who might be put off by the traditional look of a hearing aid. In a US study of 500 mostly new users (92%) with moderate hearing loss, Sivantos found that when participants were given a choice between traditional BTE (Motion) or RIC (Pure) designs, or given the option of no hearing aid at all, more than half (57%) opted for the RIC, 19% selected the BTE, while almost one-quarter (24%) chose to go without a hearing aid. However, when the new Styletto was inserted into the study as an option, 90% of the participants selected a hearing aid: 65% of the study participants selected the SLIM RIC design, while about equal percentages opted for either the BTE and RIC (13% and 12% respectively), and only 10% chose no hearing aid at all.
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Similarly, when consumers looked at a simulated practice storefront window with a standard portfolio, only about 16% of the participants chose an offering without Styletto, while 84% of people chose an offering with the new aid.
Branda says that this indicates Styletto provides dispensing professionals with a new product that aligns more closely with patients’ style and view of themselves. “It may come down to the fact that people know what a hearing aid looks like,” he says. “But, when they see Styletto, they think ‘I can see myself wearing that and it doesn’t make me look like a hearing aid wearer.’”
Portable rechargeability for the wearer. The Styletto’s recharging case is very small, and reportedly offers 19 hours of full-day use with a 3-hour charge. If the wearer forgets to charge the device, they can drop it into the charger for 30 minutes and be able to use the device for 5 hours, says the company. The charger also carries three additional full charges. Thus, if the user starts out in the morning with a full charge and the charger is fully charged, they actually have four days of portable battery capacity available to them, according to Sivantos. The charger also contains an LED indicator to view the status of the charging, as well as an automatic on/off feature which means that the charger can serve as the primary carrying case.
Nx technology. The Styletto hearing aid uses Signia Nxsignal processing which is designed to emphasize a natural experience using Sivantos’ Own Voice Processing (OVP) technology. Signia’s ear-to-ear wireless (Ultra HD e2e®) is used in OVP as well as the hearing aid’s Narrow Directionality for a more natural sound quality and better speech intelligibility in noise. The wireless technology also enables the device’s Twin Phone capabilities, which allows the wearer to place the phone up to the ear, obtain the acoustic signal, and then the hearing aid wirelessly sends the signal to the opposite ear for binaural advantage during the phone call.
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The sleek instrument does not have push-buttons or a volume control. For those who want more control, the touchControl®App is a downloadable cell phone application that allows for the changing of volume, programs, and directionality. Similarly, miniPocket™, which resembles a keychain type remote control, allows for volume and program changes.
Styletto is available in all three of the Nx performance levels (7/5/3) and uses a Size M (60/119) receiver in lengths 2 and 3. The device is applicable for people with mild to moderately severe losses (60 dB gain).
For more information, visit pro.signiausa.com
Areas that Honiton Hearing Centre services:
Exeter, Exmouth, Lyme Regis Bridport,Taunton, Wellington Tiverton, Honiton, Sidmouth, Ottery St Mary, Sidford, Axminster, Charmouth, Horton, Ilminster,Dunkeswell, East Budleigh, Sudbury, Branscombe, Beer, Seaton,Whimple, Clyst Honiton, Topsham, West Hill, Fairmile, Culmstock, Wiveliscombe, Dulverton, Bampton, Oakfordbridge, Morebath,Rackenford, Cove, Catworthy, Norton Fitzwarren, White Ball, Huntsham, Milverton, Bishops Lydeard, Chard, Beaminster, Crewkerne, South Petherton, Tytherleigh
Honiton Hearing Centre
12 New St, Honiton Devon
01404 47070 or 01884 255722
Please note: WE DO NOT SUPPLY GOODS OUTSIDE THE UK