Tinnitus and hearing loss Bath & Bristol
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 Bath & Bristol
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.
Signia Introduces Xperience Platform with Motion Sensor Technology
A post by the Keynsham hearing centre
Signia, a brand of WS Audiology A/S, has launched Signia Xperience, a new platform that reportedly introduces the world’s first combination of advanced acoustic sensors with a built-in motion sensor. Signia Xperience hearing aids are designed to provide a complete analysis of the wearer’s dynamic soundscape, allowing for automatic adjustments between sounds in front of and all around the wearer for a personalised listening experience.
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Many hearing aid wearers have an active lifestyle and are always on the go—yet, current hearing aids don’t always keep up relative to hearing in noise. Existing hearing aids are sometimes unable to adapt to diverse listening environments as the wearer moves around. The Signia Xperience platform, built upon YourSound technology, was developed to fill this crucial gap and respond to rapid changes in the wearer’s environment.
With the new YourSound technology, Signia Xperience hearing aids can identify more variables from the environment than ever before and ensure they know what is important at every moment, according to the company. They also include a built-in motion sensor to take into consideration how the wearer’s movement affects their hearing in each situation. In a conversation with The Hearing Review, Signia Vice President of Clinical Education & Professional Relations Tish Ramirez, AuD, provided information about how the system can identify soundscapes in dynamic listening situations, and then intelligently apply omni-directional, directional, and narrow-band microphone technology in addition to advanced processing algorithms to improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) in changing acoustic environments. For example, she described a “cocktail party” scene where a listener might wish to walk through the party and hear the “omni” environment, then stop to chat and enjoy a one-on-one conversation where narrow-band directionality might be engaged, but also benefit from detection of important noises in back (eg, a waiter asking if you need something) as the hearing aid adjusts accordingly.
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In essence, the new Signia Xperience is designed to enable wearers to continuously benefit from the proper amount of frontal focus, says Dr Ramirez, while still being able to hear relevant speech from other directions, like when running in a park with friends or walking down a busy street. Although inertial sensors have been employed in other hearing aids, Dr Ramirez says this is the first time these sensors have been employed for addressing SNR, ambient modulation, own-voice features, and more, enhancing the hearing aid’s speech-in-noise performance in a wider variety of acoustic settings.
The three key features of YourSound technology are:
- Acoustic-motion sensors for a complete analysis of each wearer’s dynamic soundscape;
- Dynamic Soundscape Processing for natural sound and speech from any direction, in any situation—even when moving, and
- Own Voice Processing (OVP™) for a natural sounding own voice.
YourSound technology is delivered by the powerful Signia Xperience chip. It includes 80% more transistors and 7 times the memory of the previous Signia Nx chip, while being 60% smaller. As a result, the first two hearing aids on the platform, the Pure® 312 X and the Pure® Charge&Go X, are smaller yet more powerful than their predecessors.
A New Sound and New Look for Pure 312 X
Available now, the Pure 312 X includes all the benefits of the Signia Xperience platform in a new, appealing design created in collaboration with hearing care professionals and hearing aid wearers. With long-lasting exchangeable batteries, plus an optional telecoil (available in December), this high-performing receiver-in-canal (RIC) hearing aid is said to deliver a more personal hearing experience, with a clean, ergonomic design. Pure 312 X also has Bluetooth® connectivity for effortless streaming of phone calls, music, and TV audio.
New Features for Pure Charge&Go X
Coming in November, Pure Charge&Go X is a RIC with Bluetooth connectivity that combines the advantages of the Signia Xperience platform with lithium-ion recharge-ability. With 20% more charging capacity and 16% smaller than the previous Pure Charge&Go Nx, wearers benefit from a slim device that can support a long wear time even with streaming, says Signia.
Pure Charge&Go X features a rocker switch for easier adjustments and comes with a new inductive charger with a lid to protect the hearing aids as they charge. The charger also works as a dehumidifier and is designed to fit custom ear molds.
The new charger will be backward compatible to existing rechargeable Signia devices, and also affords a 30-minute fast-charge that can give wearers 6 hours of operation.
The Signia App: Three Apps in One
Along with these two new products, the Signia Xperience introduces a new app. The Signia app combines the three existing Signia apps—the myHearing app for remote telecare, touchControl app (for non-BT), and myControl app(for BT aids)— into one unified environment to meet every user’s needs, including:
- Providing wearers with direct support from a hearing care professional;
- Remote control so the wearer can personalise their hearing experience, and
- Easy management of streaming accessories to fully enjoy phone calls, music, and TV.
Available in S-Demos. As with the Signia Nx, the new hearing aids will also be available for hearing care professionals in models that can be demonstrated to patients on a timed-trial basis.
Additional information about the Signia Xperience platform can be found at: https://pro.signiausa.com/signia-xperience/
Independent Bath hearing company
Independent Bath hearing company at the Keynsham hearing centre. Stephen Neal audiologist at Keynsham hearing is an expert in ear wax removal using Microsuction. Microsuction ear wax removal is a safe, easy painless way of removing wax. You can watch our ear wax removal video here.
We also conduct hearing test in the Bath area including dispensing the very latest hearing aids form all the main manufacturers. We are a family run company so are very friendly and not like the large high street stores. Stephen and Anita Neal are the owners and that is who you will see when you arrive for a consultation.
Keynsham hearing news:
Phonak Marvel Receives Gold Stevie Award, Named ‘Innovation of the Year’
Phonak announced its Marvel hearing aid solution has won a Gold Stevie Award and was named Innovation of the Year—Consumer Products Industries in the 2019 International Business Awards. According to comments obtained from judges, the multifunctional hearing solution received top honors for being “the world’s first hearing aid to combine universal Bluetooth connectivity, lithium-ion rechargeability, and top-rated sound quality into a single device.” The Gold Stevie marks the fourth major product honor awarded to Phonak Marvel this year, placing it among the company’s most highly-awarded products ever, according to Phonak.
“We are thrilled that Phonak Marvel has received a Gold Stevie award and was named an Innovation of the Year,” said Martin Grieder, Group Vice President, hearing instruments marketing. “Marvel truly is the culmination of so many of our innovations into one product—including rechargeability, universal Bluetooth connectivity, Binaural VoiceStream Technology, and various eSolutions, just to name a few. All this technology works together to produce clear, rich sound quality from the very first fit.”
The Gold Stevie award is the latest product honor awarded to Phonak Marvel this year. In June, Marvel received the 2019 MedTech Breakthrough Award for its ability to fully support stereo audio streaming from Android and iOS devices. Also in June, Phonak eSolutions, optimized for Marvel, was the winner of the 2019 Mobile Business Awards. Phonak Marvel also received a Silver Edison Award in April and was named a 2019 CES Innovation Award Honoree in January.
A record total of more than 4,000 nominations from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted this year for consideration in a wide range of categories, including Company of the Year, Marketing Campaign of the Year, Best New Product or Service of the Year, Startup of the Year, Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year, and Executive of the Year, among others.
Stevie Award winners were determined by the average scores of more than 250 executives worldwide who participated in the judging process from May through early August, according to Phonak’s announcement.
Source: Phonak, International Business Awards
Images: International Business Awards
Hearing loss as you get older
The Keynsham Hearing Centre
A new report from the Oticon hearing suggests that as you get older we all start to lose our hearing which we all know. However the amount of hearing loss is practically not known unless you survey and test many many 1000’s of people. The new report surveyed the ” Rock and Roll” generation and the findings are pretty stark reading.
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The report is bellow, it’s a sober fact that hearing loss does happen in constant loud environments even if you are enjoying the experience. If you feel that maybe you had done a lot of head banging back in the day and maybe feel a little hard of hearing sometimes, book in and let’s try and correct some of the hearing loss. At least then you can turn down your Iron Maiden via your iPhone directly to your hearing device.
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Oticon Hearing Health Poll Shows Hearing Loss Among Woodstock Generation
By the lovely people at Oticon
Fifty years after the iconic “Three Days of Peace and Music,” a just-released survey by The Harris Poll, commissioned by Oticon, Inc, suggests that members of the Woodstock Generation may be experiencing unintended consequences of their love of hard-charging, culture-changing rock n’ roll. According to the online survey of more than 1,000 US adults ages 65-80 conducted in June, the prevalence of hearing loss among those who listened to loud music when they were young (ie, in their teens and 20s) is 40% greater than the percentage of hearing loss indicated in studies of older Americans that don’t include questions about music listening habits, Oticon announced.
That fact, and many more revealed in The Harris Poll survey, are at the core of Oticon’s nationwide media blitz to alert adults and young people to the importance of hearing health for maintaining lifelong quality of life. Timed to coincide with Woodstock celebrations across the country, Oticon has launched a targeted media campaign that includes media interviews by Oticon audiologists and a network of hearing care professionals in local markets, press releases, social media posts, and a colorful infographic, all to drive home the risks of noise and age-related hearing loss and the need for regular hearing health checks.
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Then and Now Hearing Health Matters
“We recognised a unique opportunity to tap into consumer and media excitement around the 50thanniversary of Woodstock to promote a hearing health message that would resonate with people of all ages, especially music lovers,” said Gary Rosenblum, President of Oticon, Inc. “The survey results allow us to demonstrate the far-reaching consequences of loud music listening on hearing health. Fifty years ago, many believed that turning up the volume and seeking out concerts with the biggest speakers contributed to music enjoyment. Today, we know the long-term effects of noise on hearing health and the importance of protecting hearing to maintain not only the ability to enjoy music and conversation but overall quality of life.”
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The Harris Poll survey questioned the Woodstock Generation about their listening habits in their youth and their ability to hear and enjoy music now. The survey found that 47% of the Woodstock Generation who listened to loud or very loud music when they were in their teens and 20s now report hearing loss. As a result, many of the Woodstock Generation (41%) say they are unable to enjoy music as they once did. The negative impact of hearing loss on their ability to participate in social activities/gatherings, at least a little, was reported by 41% of those adults with hearing loss, and 38% say their hearing loss affects relationships with family or friends, at least a little. Approximately 52% state that, at least sometimes, they have difficulty understanding what is being said in loud environments like busy restaurants.
From “Survey Says” to Call to Action
One survey finding provides an opportunity to communicate a powerful call to action about hearing healthcare.
Despite hearing challenges, the study found that many members of the Woodstock Generation have not taken steps to address their hearing loss. The majority of these adults (70%) have never seen a hearing care professional specifically about their hearing. Only around one in 10 (12%) have used hearing aids either currently or in the past.
“Helping consumers to understand that addressing hearing loss will allow them to not just enjoy music again but live fuller, more social lives is a central goal of our media outreach,” said Rosenblum. “The ability of today’s high-performance hearing aids, like Oticon Opn S, to provide wearers with access to a full range of sounds, and the possibility of again enjoying a richer, more authentic music experience, is a meaningful benefit not just to the Woodstock Generation but to all people who experience hearing loss.”
To learn more about the Harris Poll survey and to download the infographic, visit: www.oticon.com/woodstock.
This survey was conducted online within the US by The Harris Poll between June 5 and June 12, 2019 on behalf of Oticon among 1,006 US adults age 65-80 (“Woodstock Generation”) including 437 older adults with hearing loss. Data were statistically weighted where necessary by age, sex, education, race/ethnicity, region, income, household size, marital status, and employment status to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population.
Source: Oticon, The Harris Poll
A person with hearing loss will always have hearing loss, but with hearing aids they can learn to communicate more easily. Hearing aids provide a way for those who are hard of hearing to improve their quality of life.
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