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Interesting hearing aids Devon U.K.

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

Signia Styletto

Signia Styletto

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.”

StylettoPinDesign

Styletto uses a slim-pin design instead of the current coin or button-cell design.

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.’”

Recharging case for Styletto.

Recharging case for Styletto.

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.

The Styletto charger/charrying case is exceptionally small and carries 3 full charges.

The Styletto recharging/carrying case is exceptionally small and carries 3 full charges.

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.

Tiverton ear wax removal

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

Ear wax removal, East Devon

Ear wax removal, East Devon

Ear wax removal East Devon, Hearing aids, hearing tests Honiton

Ear wax removal East Devon

 

Do you live in East Devon near Honiton?  In need of a hearing test or your hearing aid repaired? Or maybe you need your ear wax removed by a leading ear wax removal centre? Here at the Honiton hearing centre Colin Eaton can help with all your hearing needs.

Ear wax removal in Devon

We are experts in ear wax removal and use various techniques. Microsuction is just one way we can get out your hard impacted ear wax and the traditional water irrigation is another.  You can watch our video on Microsuction here.

 

Tinnitus therapy in Devon

DID YOU KNOW?

1 in 10 adults in the UK suffer with tinnitus.
Many of those suffering are not offered any help, and are simply told to live with it.
Tinnitus can almost always be improved for the client.

How can we help with Tinnitus?

We firstly meet with you and sit and discuss your full hearing history, work out what triggered the problem, we then talk to you about evaluating the degree of tinnitus and how it is impacting on your life, where your issues are. We normally examine the ears with our video otoscope and show you the results on our flat screen. We then carry out a puretone audiogram to assess how good your hearing is, or if there are any areas of damage (such as those caused by noise for example).

We then sit down and consult with you, armed with all the information, and work out a care plan for you, using the tools available to us as explained above.

Please call Sam or Colin for an appointment and we will fit you in as soon as possible.  We are based in Honiton East Devon but cover Exeter, Sidmouth, Seaton and beyond.

If you live in Somerset  you can always try the Keynsham hearing centre. 

Hearing aid batteries last how long?

How long will a fully charged hearing aid last

How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this?

The Honiton hearing centre is a premier independent hearing company based in Honiton Devon. We supply all manufacturers hearing aid batteries and conduct hearing tests. Microsuction ear wax removal is our speciality here and we also still use the traditional technique of water ear irrigation if you prefer. Hearing aid batteries can be bought over the counter or we can post them to you if this is easier.

 

This Weeks blog is about the hearing aid battery and how long these should last from a full charge.

Original story by the Hearing review

 

Honiton hearing Blog:

 How long should the hearing aid battery last after a full charge, and how does Bluetooth affect this

Q: How long should the battery last after a full charge?  How much does Bluetooth activity affect this? —Brent Spehar

A: This is a great and very important question.  Battery life is dependent on several factors including the amount of capacity of the battery, how fast the hearing aid drains the current, and the wear behaviors and habits of the user.

Much like a car's mileage range depends on its gas tank and the owner's driving habits, the battery life of a hearing aid depends on the capacity of the battery, and the listening enviroments and use of the various hearing aid functions.

Hearing aid batteries last how long?

Much like how a car’s mileage range depends on its gas tank, the driving conditions, and the owner’s driving habits, a hearing aid’s battery life depends on the capacity of the battery, the wearer’s listening environments, and use of the various hearing aid functions, including audio streaming.

I like to use the example of an automobile.  How many gallons of gas does the fuel tank hold or, for hearing aid batteries, how many mAh capacity is in the battery?  How many miles per gallon does the car use or how many mA does the battery drain both when streaming and not streaming?  And, finally, is the car driven on the highway or in the city and is the air conditioner on or off?  Or, for hearing aids, how many hours per day does the hearing aid stream?  Does the hearing aid use 2.4 GHz streaming or does it is use NFMI with an intermediate device that has its own battery?  And, what features are turned on or off on the hearing aid?

The Honiton hearing centre for ear wax removal in South Devon

Please note a factor we have learned in our electronics’ lab.  Not all hearing aids are the same.  Some 2.4 GHz products have current drains averaging 4.8-5.0 mA when streaming while other 2.4 GHz products using lower power Bluetooth will drain the battery at 3.0-3.4 mA while streaming.  Some 2.4 GHz products when not streaming may have battery drains of 1.8-2.0 mA, while some of the newer products with bilateral beam-forming may drain the battery at 2.3-2.5 mA when not streaming.

The key is to know your products and know your patient’s listening habits.  This is critical to good counseling.

Q: Is the life of the hearing aid circuit reduced as a result of using the rechargeable system? It did happen when [a previous model of hearing aid] were rechargeable. —Anjan Muhury

A: The ZPower Rechargeable System has been thoroughly evaluated by the hearing aid manufacturers and there is no indication that the system will have a negative effect on the life of the hearing aid circuit. The ZPower silver-zinc battery is designed to mimic the performance of traditional zinc-air batteries and is transparent to the DSP of the hearing aids. Extensive studies of hearing aids using the ZPower System also show the system including the ZPower silver-zinc batteries have no impact on the electrophysiologic performance of the hearing aids. Therefore, the ZPower System will not have a negative impact on the hearing aid circuitry or performance.

Previous Q & A’s

Q: What’s a realistic time frame for a rechargeable hearing aid battery to last?

A: Rechargeable silver-zinc batteries last about a year. They are removeable and therefore easily replaced. It is recommended that rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are replaced once a year by a hearing care professional.

Li-ion batteries are sealed within the hearing aid, and are usually removable only by the hearing aid manufacturer. They last approximately 4 to 5 years.

ZPower Rechargeable Hearing SystemQ: What would happen if my patient accidentally places their hearing aids in the charger while they have zinc air batteries in them?

A: When the hearing aids are put on the charger, the charger will check to see what type of battery is in the hearing aid.  If the charger detects a disposable zinc air battery, the lights on the charger will turn red.  If the charger detects a silver-zinc battery, the lights on the charger will start blinking green; once the battery is fully charged, the lights will turn solid green.

Ear wax removal Exeter, Exmouth, Sidmouth

Q: Can my patients overcharge a ZPower battery if they leave it in the charger for too long?

A: The batteries will not overcharge if left in the charger.  It is a best practice to put the hearing aids back on the charger when the hearing aids are not being worn during the day.  This will keep the hearing aids turned off and the batteries charged.  For long-term storage, if batteries will not be used for over 2 weeks, the rechargeable batteries should be removed from the hearing aids and stored in a location where they will not touch each other or other metal objects.

Q: What happens when the silver-zinc rechargeable battery is getting low on power?

A: The hearing aid wearer will hear the low battery warning.  Once the low-battery warning occurs or once a hearing aid shuts off due to a low battery condition, the battery door should not be opened and closed to reboot the hearing aid. Rebooting after the low battery warning can override the smart circuitry in the battery door into believing it has a traditional disposable battery installed and, although the hearing aid will continue to work for a short period, it may over-discharge the battery. If a low-battery warning from the hearing aids is received, the hearing aids should be placed in the charging base for charging or the batteries should be replaced with non-rechargeable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

Q: How often should the batteries be charged?

Hearing aid batteries, hearing test, ear wax removal, Devon, South Devon

Hearing aid batteries available at the Honiton hearing centre

Video of a hearing aid by Honiton hearing

A: The batteries should be fully charged every night. Once the hearing aids are finished charging, the indicator lights turn from blinking green to solid green. A full charge may take up to 7 hours—the charge time varies based on how much the battery was depleted during the day. Do not try to extend battery life by charging every other day, as this increases the chances of depleting the battery. A fully depleted battery will take longer to charge and may not fully charge in time for next use.

Q: What happens if the hearing aid wearer forgets to charge the battery at night?

A: They can use a disposable zinc-air battery until it is convenient to re-charge the batteries—ideally the rechargeable batteries should be charged the next night.  The rechargeable silver-zinc batteries are a gold color, so they will not be mixed up with zinc-air disposable batteries.  The rechargeable batteries should be stored in a safe place and should not be stored with metal objects such as keys or coins.

 

If you live in the North of Somerset please contact the Keynsham hearing centre for ear wax removal, hearing aid batteries, ear wax removal and hearing tests.

 

Hearing aids, South Devon

Hearing aids, South Devon

The Honiton hearing centre is an independent hearing specialist centre based in Honiton South Devon.  We specialise in the very latest hearing aids that will transform your life. The new 2018 digital hearing aids are a joy to use, connecting with your Iphone or most Android smart phones that are on the market today.  You can really hear the benefits of the latest hearing tech, so why not book in and have a hearing test today and discuss your needs.

We cover Honiton, Exeter, Teignmouth, Torbay, Torquay, Totnes, Plymouth, Sidmouth, Kingsbridge, Seaton and South Hams.

 

Honiton Hearing News:

 

Devon, Kingsbridge hearing centre, South Hams hearing, hearing aids-Teighnmouth, hearing aids-Torquay-Hearing aids-Exeter

The latest 2018 hearing aids available at the Honiton hearing centre, Devon

Swedish University Researchers Develop New Test for Balance Disorders

Original story by The Hearing Review

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering, undergoes testing using the new compact vibrating device he and the team helped design. Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Many individuals over age 65 suffer from dizziness and problems with balance; however, tests to identify the causes of such problems are often painful and can risk hearing damage. Now, researchers from Chalmers University of Technology have developed a new testing device using bone conduction technology that is said to offer “significant advantages” over current tests, the Sweden-based university announced. 

Hearing aids Teighnmouth, Devon

Potentials (VEMP) test uses loud sounds to evoke a muscle reflex contraction in the neck and eye muscles, triggered by the vestibular system—the system responsible for our balance. The Chalmers researchers have now used bone-conducted sounds to achieve what they say are better results.

“We have developed a new type of vibrating device that is placed behind the ear of the patient during the test,” said Bo Håkansson, a professor in the research group ‘Biomedical signals and systems’ at Chalmers.

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

Bo Håkansson, Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Chalmers. Photo Credit: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

The vibrating device is small and compact in size, and optimized to provide an adequate sound level for triggering the reflex at frequencies as low as 250 Hz. Previously, no vibrating device has been available that was directly adapted for this type of test of the balance system.

In bone-conduction transmission, sound waves are transformed into vibrations through the skull, stimulating the cochlea within the ear, in the same way as sound waves go through the ear canal, the eardrum, and the middle ear. Håkansson has over 40 years of experience in this field and has previously developed hearing aids using this technology.

The cause of dizziness can be difficult to diagnose for several reasons. In 50% of cases, dizziness is due to problems in the vestibular system. But today’s VEMP methods have major shortcomings, and can cause hearing loss and discomfort for patients.

Hearing aids Exeter, Devon

For example, the VEMP test uses very high sound levels, and may, in fact, cause permanent hearing damage itself, according to the university’s press release.  And, if the patient already suffers from certain types of hearing loss, it may be impossible to draw any conclusions from the test. The Chalmers researchers’ new method offers significant advantages.

“Thanks to this bone conduction technology, the sound levels which patients are exposed to can be minimized,” said postdoctoral researcher Karl-Johan Fredén Jansson, who made all the measurements in the project. “The previous test was like a machine gun going off next to the ear—with this method it will be much more comfortable. The new vibrating device provides a maximum sound level of 75 decibels. The test can be performed at 40 decibels lower than today’s method using air-conducted sounds through headphones. This eliminates any risk that the test itself could cause hearing damage.”

The benefits also include safer testing for children as well as patients with impaired hearing function due to chronic ear infections or congenital malformations in the ear canal and middle ear.

The vibrating device is compatible with standardized equipment for balance diagnostics in healthcare and the cost of the new technology is estimated to be lower than the corresponding equipment used today.

A pilot study has been conducted and recently published. The next step is to conduct a larger patient study in collaboration with Sahlgrenska University Hospital in Gothenburg, where 30 participants with normal hearing will also be included.

More about the research

The scientific article “VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer” has recently been published by Dove Medical Press, in the journal Medical Devices: Evidence and Research.

Chalmers’ partners in the study are the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, and the Danish audio companies Ortofon andInteracoustics. Grants for this project are received from Vinnova (Swedish Innovations Agency) and Hörselskadades Riksförbund (Hearing Impairment Federation).

See the researchers’ own presentation of the project

Read more about research on medical signals and systems

Original Paper: Håkansson B, Fredén Jansson K-J, Tengstrand T, et al. VEMP using a new low-frequency bone conduction transducer. Medical Devices: Evidence and Research. 2018;11:301-312.

Source: Chalmers University of Technology, Medical Devices: Evidence and Research

Image: Johan Bodell/Chalmers University of Technology

 

Samsung announce new hearing loss app

Samsung Announces Hearing Loss Detection App and New Initiative

Original Story by The Hearing Review

uSound for Samsung enables users to detect risk of hearing loss free of charge.

The Problem

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 5% of the world’s population—or 466 million people—have disabling hearing loss. In Argentina, hearing impairment constitutes 18% of the existing disabilities according to Info LEG—86.6% of which experience hearing difficulties; 13.4% are deaf.

While those diagnosed with hearing loss can take necessary actions for their individual cases—taking preventive measures to avoid total deafness, getting hearing aids, learning sign language, etc—those who do not know what’s happening to them are subject to a more frustrating experience. This is especially true for children who may lose the chance to develop their cognitive skills and pursue higher education.

Using Technology to Bridge the Gap

uSound for Samsung is an initiative designed to bring technology to people with hearing loss—to help detect the risk of hearing loss and thus improve their quality of life in such essential aspects as communication and education, the South Korea-based company announced.

uSound Test is a free application that is designed to allow users to detect their hearing loss risk. According to the company’s press release, the app reproduces pre-calibrated sounds that users give feedback to. It then compares these results with its database, with the app reportedly detecting specific frequencies the user may have difficulty hearing. uSound Test is designed to analyze the auditory curve that results from the whole test to help determine the degree of hearing loss risk.

uSound for Samsung reportedly issues a report with the results, designed as “a risk indicator,” according to Samsung. Since the test is not designed to be a medical diagnosis, the app recommends users contact hearing health specialists when necessary.

Left to right: Eduardo Ezequiel Escobar, CEO, uSound; Sang Jik Lee, President, Samsung Electronics Argentina; Governor Gerardo Rubén Morales, Jujuy Province, and Dr Gustavo Alfredo Bouhid, Minister of Health, Jujuy Province, sign an agreement to distribute uSound for Samsung in the Jujuy province to help residents detect risk of hearing loss.

Left to right: Eduardo Ezequiel Escobar, CEO, uSound; Sang Jik Lee, President, Samsung Electronics Argentina; Governor Gerardo Rubén Morales, Jujuy Province, and Dr Gustavo Alfredo Bouhid, Minister of Health, Jujuy Province, sign an agreement to distribute uSound for Samsung in the Jujuy province to help residents detect risk of hearing loss.

Cynthia Giolito, senior manager, corporate citizenship, Samsung Electronics Argentina, said: “uSound for Samsung reinforces our mission to offer technology with a purpose that improves quality of life. We are very proud to embark on this path and we hope to have solid results that will promote hearing accessibility in more places.”

Through uSound for Samsung, the company hopes to use its technology and resources to:

  • Raise awareness about hearing loss and improve public policies;
  • Avoid irreversible damage to hearing organs;
  • Encourage learning and cognitive development for children;
  • Develop speech and facilitate social inclusion;
  • Contribute to a more egalitarian society.

Working with the Community

The Government of Jujuy will provide resources and workspaces for the hearing loss-detection campaign, according to Samsung. uSound will continue to help improve hearing experiences with its products, including the aforementioned test and an app that turns the cell phone into an auditory assistant**, according to the company’s announcement. Samsung Electronics will provide the necessary technology to carry out a first pilot test of uSound Test in health centers across Jujuy and will financially support the project.

Eduardo Ezequiel Escobar, CEO, uSound (fifth from left); Sang Jik Lee, President, Samsung Electronics Argentina (seventh from left); Governor Gerardo Rubén Morales, Jujuy Province (eighth from left); and Dr Gustavo Alfredo Bouhid, Minister of Health, Jujuy Province (ninth from left) pose with other related parties for a group picture commemorating the signing event.

Eduardo Ezequiel Escobar, CEO, uSound (fifth from left); Sang Jik Lee, President, Samsung Electronics Argentina (seventh from left); Governor Gerardo Rubén Morales, Jujuy Province (eighth from left), and Dr Gustavo Alfredo Bouhid, Minister of Health, Jujuy Province (ninth from left) pose with other related parties for a group picture commemorating the signing event.

Governor Gerardo Rubén Morales, Jujuy Province, said: “It is a pleasure to accompany uSound, a company from Jujuy, take on its challenges. With the support of Samsung, this project will impact thousands of people with hearing problems. It is great that this project started in Jujuy. We hope it can be replicated throughout Argentina and in other countries—technological innovation knows no boundaries.”

As a team, the Government of Jujuy, uSound, and Samsung Electronics Argentina will help give a larger part of the Argentine community access to tools to potentially change lives through the use of technology.

Ezequiel Escobar, CEO and co-founder of uSoundsaid: “We witnessed a truly historic opportunity for our company and for Jujuy. This plan, using our technologies, will benefit many people from Jujuy and has the potential to expand to help many more people around the world. We are talking about a huge impact that grows even more with the support from Samsung and the Ministry of Health of Jujuy.”

Samsung has been preparing for entry into the hearing care market for several years; Hearing Review reported that the company filed an April 2013 patent for a “small hearing aid.” In 2015, Samsung placed a $13.9 million order for hearing aid amplifiers driven, according to a BusinessKorea article, by Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong’s interest in what it called “mobile health care.” More recently, SamMobile reported in 2016 that Samsung applied for trademark registration of the term Earcle in South Korea, and that its application referenced hearing aids. Additionally, a Samsung device described as a “Samsung Bluetooth Hearing Aid” with the model number SM-R790, reportedly surfaced at the Bluetooth Special Interest Group’s (SIG) database.

 

* Not a medical diagnosis

** Not a hearing aid

*** Translated from Spanish and edited for clarity

Source: Samsung

Images: Samsung

Honiton hearing centre offer ear wax removal along with hearing tests, and we dispense the very latests digital hearing aids. Hearing loss is something that can happen to many people as they grow older. Hearing loss can be easily remedied in most cases. Living with hearing loss doesn’t mean you are cut off from society or your friends.

We conduct free hearing tests here at the Honiton hearing centre located in South Devon. Please click here to see how the hearing test work. https://honiton-hearing.co.uk/services/hearing-test/

Depression and Hearing loss

Hearing aids, Honiton, Devon, ear-wax-removal, hearing aids, South-Devon,Hopi candles, earol, hearing aid batteries, hearing test, free hearing test in Devon,

Depression and Hearing loss. Honiton hearing Blog

 

Depression and Hearing Loss

Published on 

Depression and its connection to hearing loss seems pretty logical and self-evident, especially if you’re a dispensing professional who experiences daily the difference that amplification can make in a person’s life. In fact, many clinicians find themselves explaining the connection as follows: a person’s hearing loss and related communication problems can lead to gaffes and social faux pas; leading to embarrassment, anxiety, and loss of self-esteem; leading to gradual withdrawal from social situations and physical activity; leading to social isolation and loneliness; and eventually bringing them down the path to depression.

Karl Strom_photo

While this is probably an adequate description for some cases, a recent webinar1 by Victor Bray, PhD, associate professor and former dean of Salus University’s Osborne College of Audiology, points to more recent scientific literature that paints a far more complex picture of hearing loss and its association with depression—one we all should be aware of. The utility of hearing aids, cochlear implants, and assistive devices is made no less important by this complexity; however, it’s vital to understand who might be most at risk for depression in your patient population, how best to administer simple screening tools (ie, the PHQ-2 or PHQ-9), and why it’s important to refer patients to a medical doctor or psychologist, when indicated. 

Depression, also known as major depressive disorder (MDD), is present in 5-10% of the general population (up to 40% in some groups), and is a serious medical illness that negatively affects feelings, thoughts, and actions. The primary risk factors for depression are co-morbid chronic medical conditions (hearing loss is a pervasive chronic condition, especially among seniors) and recent stressful events. And, as with cognitive decline and dementia—the subject of my editorial last month—the stakes in treating depression are high for society and healthcare professionals. As Hsu and colleagues (2016) pointed out:

Depression is a common mental disorder, which affects 350 million people in the world. Unipolar depressive disorders and adult-onset hearing loss, the most common neuropsychiatric conditions, and sense organ disorder, respectively, are the first and second leading nonfatal causes of year loss due to disability among adults in high-income countries.2

Several of the studies reviewed by Dr Bray tend to suggest that the odds ratio for acquiring depression increases by a factor of about two if you have untreated hearing loss. However, a lot of the studies also show that a variety of chronic illnesses—ranging from cirrhosis to diabetes mellitus—can be associated with depression, so there could be some underlying neurophysiological common cause in hearing loss and other health problems that hasn’t been discovered yet. Dr Bray also looks at some very intriguing research about how dual-sensory loss (ie, hearing and vision loss) and sudden sensorineural hearing loss (particularly among young people) can greatly increase the risk for depression, as well as studies that are shedding light on how treated hearing loss might positively affect those suffering from anxiety, loneliness, and depression. 

As Dr Bray explains, the linkage of hearing loss to depression could come from both a social (downstream) effect, as described at the beginning of this article, and a biological/neurological (upstream) effect, as proposed in a model by Rutherford et al.3 If that were the case, an effective treatment plan could involve therapy and/or medication from a psychologist, in coordination with a hearing device and/or auditory and cognitive retraining from a hearing care professional. 

Dr Bray’s webinar was sponsored by Hamilton CapTel, and the company also sponsored an exceptionally interesting and well-viewed webinar last year about hearing loss and associated co-morbidities (including depression) by Harvey Abrams, PhD.4,5 When viewed together, they put an exclamation point on the fact that hearing loss isn’t just about the ears, it’s about health, the brain, quality of life, healthy aging, and so much more—while underscoring the crucial role of the hearing care professional in general healthcare.

To see Dr Bray’s webinar, visit https://bit.ly/2Lpt4AW

Citation for this article: Strom KE. Depression and hearing loss. Hearing Review. 2018;25(8):6.

References

1. Bray V. Depression, hearing loss, and treatment with hearing aids [Webinar]. July 13, 2018. Available at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2018/07/new-webinar-depression-hearing-loss-treatment-hearing-aids

2. Hsu W-T, Hsu C-C, Wen M-H, et al. Increased risk of depression in patients with acquired sensory hearing loss: A 12-year follow-up study. Medicine. 2016;95(44):e5312.

3. Rutherford BR, Brewster K, Golub JS, Kim AH, Roose SP. Sensation and psychiatry: Linking age-related hearing loss to late-life depression and cognitive decline. Am J Psychiatry. 2017;175(3):215-224.

4. Abrams H. Hearing loss and associated comorbidities: What do we know [Webinar]? May 31, 2017. Available at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2017/05/new-webinar-hearing-loss-associated-comorbidities-know/

5. Abrams H. Hearing loss and associated comorbidities: What do we know? Hearing Review. 2017;24(12):32-35. Available at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2017/11/hearing-loss-associated-comorbidities-know/

Heading a football could create Balance issues

Heading a Football May Be Linked to Increase in Balance Problems

Honiton hearing news:

Hearing aids, digital hearing aids, ear wax removal, hearing aid batteries, Tinnitus therapy, Tinnitus issues,

Honiton hearing centre-Devon.
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Soccer players who head the ball more often may be more likely to have balance problems than players who do not head the ball as often, according to a preliminary study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s (AAN) Sports’ Concussion Conference in Indianapolis July 20 to 22, 2018, the AAN announced on its website.

“Soccer headers are repetitive subconcussive head impacts that may be associated with problems with thinking and memory skills and structural changes in the white matter of the brain,” said study author John Jeka, PhD, of the University of Delaware in Newark, Del. “But the effect of headers on balance control has not been studied.”

For the study, 20 soccer players recruited from the community in Newark took a balance test where they walked along a foam walkway with their eyes closed under two conditions: with galvanic vestibular stimulation (GVS) and without GVS. For GVS, electrodes placed behind each ear stimulate the nerves that send messages from the balance system in the inner ear to the brain. So the stimulator can make you feel like you are moving when you are not. In this case, it made participants feel like they were falling sideways.

The soccer players, who had an average age of 22, also completed questionnaires about how many times they had headed the ball during the past year. The number of headers over a year for each participant ranged from 16 to 2,100, with an average of 451 headers. Those numbers were calculated by asking participants for the average number of headers during a practice and game, the average number of practices and games per week, and the average number of months per year that the player participated.

The study found that the players with the largest number of headers had the largest balance responses to GVS in both foot placement and hip adduction during the walking test, which indicated that they had vestibular processing and balance recovery problems. Researchers found for every 500 headers, foot placement response increased about 9 millimeters and hip adduction response increased about 0.2 degrees.

“Soccer players must have good balance to play the game well, yet our research suggests that headers may be undermining balance, which is key to all movement, and yet another problem now linked to headers,” said study author Fernando V. Santos, PT, of the University of Delaware. “It is important that additional research be done to look more closely at this possible link with balance and to confirm our findings in larger groups of people.”

A limitation of the study was that participants relied on memory when reporting how many times they headed the ball. The study was supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Learn more about concussion at www.BrainandLife.org, the American Academy of Neurology’s free patient and caregiver magazine and website focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

To learn more about the AAN’s Sports Concussion Guideline and access resources, visit https://www.aan.com/concussion.

Original Paper: Santos FV, Caccese JB, Gongora M, et al. Greater exposure to repetitive subconcussive head impacts is associated with vestibular dysfunction and balance impairments during walking. Paper presented at: 2018 AAN Sports Concussion Conference; Indianapolis, IN. https://www.aan.com/PressRoom/Home/GetDigitalAsset/12757

Source: AAN

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New Study Examines Inequality in Treatment for Hearing Loss

New Study Examines Inequality in Treatment for Hearing Loss

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Hearing loss seems like one of the great equalizers of old age, striking people of all kinds as their ears gradually lose the ability to pick out sounds or hear certain pitches.

But a new national study reveals major gaps in whether Americans over age 55 get help for their hearing loss—gaps that vary greatly by age, race, education, and income, according to an article published on the Michigan Medicine website.

In all, just over a third of older adults who say they have hearing loss are using a hearing aid to correct it, the study finds. But those who are non-Hispanic white, college educated, or have incomes in the top 25% were about twice as likely as those of other races, education levels, or income ranges to have a hearing aid.

The cost of hearing aids is most to blame, say the researchers from the University of Michigan who published the study in The Gerontologist. They presented it this week at the annual research meeting of the AcademyHealth professional society for health care researchers.

Hearing aids can cost thousands of dollars out of a patient’s pocket because most health insurance programs, including Medicare, don’t cover them.

In fact, the study finds that the only factor that leveled the playing field for hearing aid use was having insurance through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which covers hearing aids in many cases. Hearing-impaired veterans ages 55 to 64 were more than twice as likely as their nonveteran peers to use a hearing aid, even after the researchers corrected for other differences. The gap between veterans and nonveterans was also significant for those over 65.

But the detailed interviews conducted for the study also show that personal concerns about hearing aid use, and lack of engagement with health providers, play a role.

“Hearing aids are not easy for many to obtain due to their costs,” says Michael McKee, MD, MPH, the U-M family medicine physician and assistant professor who led the analysis.

Michael McKee, MD, MPH

Michael McKee, MD, MPH

“However, there are a number of additional issues that place at-risk groups at an even larger disadvantage to achieving good hearing health. Many of these issues are beyond the financial aspects, including racial/ethnicity and sociocultural elements, for instance stigma and vanity.”

National survey and local interviews

McKee, who uses a cochlear implant to overcome his own hearing loss, worked on the study with Helen Levy, PhD, a health economist and professor at the U-M Institute for Social Research, and other colleagues. The authors are members of the U-M Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation.

They used survey data from the nationally representative Health and Retirement Study, which is based on interviews conducted by the Institute for Social Research with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

The analysis included data from more than 35,500 people nationwide over age 55 who said they had hearing loss. In addition, McKee and colleagues conducted in-depth interviews with 21 other older adults with hearing loss in the communities surrounding the university.

The authors conclude that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Servicesshould consider covering hearing aids for Medicare participants and those in Medicaid plans for lower-income adults of any age. Some state Medicaid plans do cover hearing aids, but it is not required.

“Many people may not realize that Medicare does not cover hearing aids,” says Levy. “But it doesn’t, so cost can be a significant obstacle preventing older adults with hearing loss from getting the help that they need.”

More findings from the study:

  • The percentage of older adults with hearing loss who used a hearing aid rose with age, from about 15% of those in their late 50’s to more than 57% of those in their late 80s.
  • Forty percent of non-Hispanic white adults with hearing loss used a hearing aid, compared with 18.4% of non-Hispanic black and 21.1% of Hispanic adults with hearing loss.
  • Nearly 46% of hearing-impaired older adults who had gone to college reported that they used a hearing aid, compared with just under 29% of those who hadn’t graduated from high school.
  • Nearly half of those with incomes in the top 25% wore a hearing aid, compared with about one-quarter of those in the bottom 25%.
  • There were no significant differences in hearing aid use based on the size of the community where the person lived, nor their level of health literacy as measured on a standard test.
  • Interviews showed that cost, lack of insurance coverage (or knowledge about insurance coverage), vanity, and stigma were common reasons for not using hearing aids. Participants also cited a lack of attention to hearing loss by their primary care provider and worries about finding an audiologist they could trust.
  • Many interview participants who used a hearing aid mentioned efforts that hearing-related professionals made to connect them to discounts and insurance programs.

More about hearing loss

Estimates of hearing loss incidence place it at 29% of people in their 50s, 45% of those in their 60s, 68% of those in their 70s, and 89% of those in their 80s.

Previous studies have shown that untreated hearing loss reduces older adults’ ability to carry out everyday tasks, reduces their quality of life, and is linked to social isolation, lower income, reduced cognitive function, and poorer physical and psychological health.

A recent study led by McKee’s colleague Elham Mahmoudi, PhD, found that having a hearing aid was associated with a lower chance of being hospitalized or visiting an emergency room in the past year. That study focused on people over 65 who had severe hearing loss, and it used data from a federal database.

McKee leads the Health Info Lab, which is researching health information use and literacy among deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

This article is copyrighted by the University of Michigan and used with permission.

Original Paper: McKee MM, Choi H, Wilson S, DeJonckheere MJ, Zazove P, Levy H. Determinants of hearing aid use among older Americans with hearing loss. The Gerontologist. 2018. Available at: https://academic.oup.com/gerontologist/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/geront/gny051/5000029?redirectedFrom=fulltext

Source: Michigan Medicine/University of Michigan, The Gerontologist

Image: University of Michigan

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Hearing health @ Honiton Hearing

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We search around the world to keep you up to date on the latest hearing related articles. Today we have found an interesting article regarding an unusual subject.  If you suffer from any hearing related issues such as earwax build up or you are looking to get a hearing test we treat many customers from around the Devon and Honiton area.

Earwax removal, Microsuction and the very latest digital hearing aids are available.

 

Though public transportation is thought to be better for the environment in that it reduces greenhouse gas emissions, saves energy, and improves air quality, according to the Federal Transit Administration, there may be a negative effect on your personal health.

good hearing helps job performance

According to a recent Canadian study, commuters traveling during peak hours were exposed to maximum noise levels. A summary of the study’s results, published on the Hear-it AISBL—a nonprofit organization that provides information on hearing loss—website, show the results of the study, which was published in the Journal of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery. In this article, we’ll share the highlights, edited and adapted from the Hear-it website.

COMMUTING STYLES

Researchers looked at two different commuting situations among Toronto residents: people waiting for a streetcar/bus as compared to people walking/biking to a subway. Bikers were exposed to louder noise than those walking or driving a vehicle. Noise levels were higher for those waiting on a subway platform as compared to those in the subway car. And, finally, research showed that those waiting at bus stops were exposed to the loudest noise of all.

KPIs on your business dashboard

PEAK NOISE

Though commuters often only experienced short and intense bursts of impulse noise exceeding the 114 dBA limit recommended by the EPA, researchers concluded this can be just as harmful as prolonged noise exposure. Up to 20% of the peak mean noise measurementsexceeded 114 dBA, and up to 85% of measurements at bus stops were higher than 120 dBA, according to the study. Researchers were concerned that prolonged exposure could lead to noise-induced hearing loss.

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Best earwax removal in Devon (Honiton)

Best earwax removal in Devon (Honiton)

 

The Honiton hearing centre in Devon are regarded as being the best in Devon according to clients. They come back time after time after trying other earwax removal clinics in the Devon area.

 

Colin Eaton the top audiologist for the Whole of Devon runs the Honiton Hearing Centre and is a proud member of AHHIP the industry council and advisory body for hearing audiologists.  http://www.aihhp.org/

If you are looking for earwax removal using the gentle technique of Microsuction https://honiton-hearing.co.uk/services/earwax-removal/ or the more traditional water irrigation technique, here at the Honiton hearing centre they can do them both.

 

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Researchers Identify New Type of Vertigo, According to Study Published in ‘Neurology’

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Neurologists have identified a new type of vertigo with no known cause, according to a study published in the May 23, 2018 online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology(AAN), the AAN announced on its website.

With vertigo, people have episodes of dizziness that can last from minutes to days. Vertigo can be caused by serious conditions, such as tumors, or conditions that are fairly benign, such the inner ear disorder Meniere’s disease. But for some people, no cause can be found.

In this new study, neurologists have identified a new type of vertigo where treatment may be effective.

“These conditions can be difficult to diagnose and quite debilitating for people, so it’s exciting to be able to discover this new diagnosis of a condition that may respond to treatment,” said study author Ji-Soo Kim, MD, PhD, of Seoul National University in Seongnam, South Korea.

To diagnose this new condition, the person sits in a dark room and the examiner moves the patient’s head forward and then the head is shaken horizontally for about 15 seconds. Then the patient opens his or her eyes and a video recording is taken of eye movements. The neurologists discovered that after the test, people with this new condition had eye movements called nystagmus that lasted longer than for other people. The new condition is called recurrent spontaneous vertigo with head-shaking nystagmus.

Among 338 people with vertigo with no known cause, 35 had this new condition and were included in the study. The participants had attacks of vertigo ranging from two or three times a week to once a year. They also experienced nausea or vomiting, headaches, and intolerance of head motions during the attacks.

The participants were compared to 35 people with other conditions that can cause vertigo, such Meniere’s disease, vestibular migraine, and vestibular neuritis. The test measured the time constant, or the time that represents the speed with which the reflexive eye movements can respond to change. For those with the new condition, the time constant during the primary phase of the nystagmus was 12 seconds, while it was six seconds for those with Meniere’s disease and five seconds for those with vestibular neuritis and vestibular migraine.

The neurologists also found that people with the new type of vertigo were more likely to have severe motion sickness than those with other types of vertigo.

A total of 20 of the 35 people with the new type of vertigo who had frequent attacks and severe symptoms were given preventive medication. About one-third of those had partial or complete recovery with the new medication. During the long-term follow-up of an average of 12 years after the first symptoms for 31 participants, five reported no more attacks, 14 said their symptoms had improved, and only one said symptoms had gotten worse.

Kim said that people with this condition may have a hyperactive mechanism in their vestibular system that helps the brain respond to movement of the body and in the environment.

“It’s possible that the vertigo occurs when this unstable mechanism is disrupted by factors either within the person’s body or in their environment,” Kim said.

The study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea. Learn more about the brain at www.BrainandLife.org, the American Academy of Neurology’s free patient and caregiver magazine and website focused on the intersection of neurologic disease and brain health. Follow Brain & Life on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

The American Academy of Neurology is said to be the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, with 34,000 members. The AAN is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, concussion, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit AAN.com or find us on FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube.

Original Paper: Lee S-U, Jeong-Yoon C, Hyo-Jung K, Ji-Soo, K. Recurrent spontaneous vertigo with interictal headshaking nystagmus. Neurology. 2018. Available at: http://n.neurology.org/content/early/2018/05/23/WNL.0000000000005689

Source: AAN, Neurology