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Hearing Research


Hearing Research If you suffer from hearing loss, you are likely to wonder what  hearing research is being done by medical science.   And how is hearing research being conducted?The hearing organ and complex nerves that allow one to hear are located deep inside the brain.  While imaging techniques such Read more

Hearing Aid Batteries


Hearing Aid Batteries Hearing devices can be life-changing, but they can’t help you if the hearing aid batteries are dead. Hearing device users know when they hear that little beeping noise, they’d better have a spare pack of batteries handy. Hearing aid batteries typically last between 3-7 days, depending on factors like:The type Read more

Can Hearing Be Restored?


Can Hearing Be Restored With so many medical advances in the 21st century, individuals with hearing loss yearn to know…can hearing be restored?  It is tempting to feel left-behind if you are hearing impaired.  The weight loss industry is rife with a dizzying number of commercials, books and advertisements Read more

Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds


Severity of Tinnitus Related to Emotional Sounds A research study out of the University of Illinois has suggested that the severity of tinnitus related to emotional sounds.  Not only do those with severe tinnitus process emotions differenty in the brain compared to those who report the severe tinnitus but also Read more

Hearing Research

Peninsula Hearing Services Uncategorized

Hearing Research

If you suffer from hearing loss, you are likely to wonder what  hearing research is being done by medical science.   And how is hearing research being conducted?

The hearing organ and complex nerves that allow one to hear are located deep inside the brain.  While imaging techniques such as MRI’s and CT scans are helpful to view structures for abnormalities, they are less helpful to study the  “process” of hearing.  The only way to really explore and investigate causes behind hearing loss are to dissect the hearing organ from the brain. This cannot be performed on a living person.

National Temporal Bone Registry

Research into the causes of these disorders is the only pathway to cures and improved quality of life for those millions of men, women and children who must now live with hearing loss and constant dizziness.

Fortunately, the National Temporal Bone Registry is a group of dedicated hearing and balance researchers who spend their time studying hearing loss through donations of hearing structures from deceased individuals.     Using  donation paperwork completed while one is still living, a donor card or bracelet is provided to wear that identifies one has agreed to donate hearing organs in cases of accidental or natural death.    registry

What Part of The Anatomy Is Removed?

You can see in this simple diagram the part of the anatomy that is removed from the deceased donor. From this illustration, one can understand  why research on living patients is so difficult.

temporal bone

 

The mechanisms used to enable hearing and maintain balanced coordination are located deep within the skull, protected by the temporal bones of the skull. These body parts are an important component in the on-going research into the causes of hearing loss and balance disorders.

Only a small portion of the temporal bone, along with the hearing mechanism are removed at death. Their removal does not, in any way, affect the appearance of the donor’s face, outer ear or head..

How Is The Hearing Research Used?

Millions of people experience hearing loss brought on by a number of factors.

One type of hearing loss is called conductive hearing loss that’s caused by problems in the middle or outer ear. CHL can be caused by anything from an accident to otosclerosis, a condition that affects the tiny middle ear bones.

Many times, thanks to on-going research, conductive hearing loss can be helped with medical intervention or through the use of a hearing aid. Though common, conductive hearing loss is still not completely understood or treatable. So, research continues and improvements in individual hearing are measured.

A second type of hearing loss is sensorineural hearing loss, more commonly called nerve deafness. Nerve deafness is most commonly associated with aging, excessive noise exposure and unlucky genetics.

How do I enroll in the National Temporal Bone Donor Program?

Visit the National Temporal Bone Registry (www.tbregistry.org) and download the simple submission form consenting to become a donor. You can also contact the National Temporal Bone Registry using the contact information below.

Forms to register will be sent to you for completion and you’ve done your good deed for the day.

For more information:

24-hour hotline (800) 822-1327 (voice)
TTY line: (800) 439-0183
Fax: (617) 573-3838
Email: [email protected]

Write to them at:

The NIDCD National Temporal Bone Registry
Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary
243 Charles Street
Boston, MA 02114-3096

Source: edited from the article The National Temporal Bone Registry: Give the Gift of Hearing (March 2009), www.healthhearing.com


Hearing Aid Batteries

Peninsula Hearing Services Hearing Aid Batteries

Hearing Aid Batteries

Hearing devices can be life-changing, but they can’t help you if the hearing aid batteries are dead. Hearing device users know when they hear that little beeping noise, they’d better have a spare pack of batteries handy.

PHS batteries cropped

 

Hearing aid batteries typically last between 3-7 days, depending on factors like:

  • The type and size of hearing device you have
  • The type and size of the battery
  • The number of hours per day you’re using your device
  • The technology level of the device
  • The environmental requirements placed upon the hearing devices to process sound
  • The shipping and storage of a battery before you purchase it

 

Luckily, there are several best practices to keep hearing aid batteries well-maintained and help them last as long as possible.

  • Always use your oldest package of hearing aid batteries first.  

Although hearing aid batteries can be stored for quite a while, the longer the batteries sit in storage, the shorter their life will be. If you always use the oldest package first, your spare batteries will never get too old.

  • Store extra hearing device batteries in a dry, room temperature place. NEVER refrigerate them!

Extreme temperatures—both hot and cold—and high humidity levels are not good for the life of your hearing device batteries.

  • Don’t remove the plastic tab from each pack’s battery until you’re ready to use it.

This plastic tab keeps the battery fresh while it’s in storage, and as soon as you take it off, the battery is activated. It will start to lose its “juice” once removed and  replacing the sticker won’t save the battery.

battery

  • Wash your hands before replacing your hearing aid battery.

Grease and dirt on your hands can be transferred to the battery, which could affect the lifespan of the battery.

  • Let the battery sit out for five full minutes after you remove the plastic tab.

When you take the plastic tab off, the zinc in the battery mixes with the air to power it up. It is unclear why,  but recent research has shown that if you wait five whole minutes, you can extend the battery’s life by as much as 2-3 days.

  • Leave the battery compartment open when you’re not using your devices.

Whenever you’re not using your hearing aid, turn it off, put it somewhere safe and dry (don’t leave it on the bathroom counter while you shower!), and leave the battery door open. This allows excess moisture to escape and reduces the drain on the battery. It also keeps the battery from corroding, which is not good for the hearing devices.

  • Remove the batteries entirely if you won’t be using the device for an extended period of time.

This also helps to avoid corrosion and damage from trapped moisture.

 

Reference:  Edited from original article “The Trick to Making Hearing Aid Batteries Last Longer”, published on 8/5/2015,updated on 8/7/2017 from www.earq.com/blog

Can Hearing Be Restored?

Peninsula Hearing Services Uncategorized

Can Hearing Be Restored

With so many medical advances in the 21st century, individuals with hearing loss yearn to know…can hearing be restored?  It is tempting to feel left-behind if you are hearing impaired.  The weight loss industry is rife with a dizzying number of commercials, books and advertisements touting extraordinary diets and expensive work-out equipment successes. Marketers offer the latest pills, potions and promises for reducing body fat, losing weight and shrinking your body dimensions enough to fit into the clothes you’re wishfully keeping in your closet. But seldom do fad diets and exercise equipment keep the weight off long-term.

 pictureEssential  Oils

So, if one has nerve related  hearing loss, can hearing be restored? Do any of the hearing loss solutions you may have seen advertised provider restoration of hearing? The short answer to this question is “not really.” Unfortunately, many individuals with hearing impairment cling to the hope that some of these so-called remedies will provide immediate relief.

Surgery for hearing loss

While any operation can cause anxiety, some people with hearing loss would be willing to go under the knife if they knew their hearing could be restored to normal.

The most common surgeries performed on the ears are:

  • Insertion of middle ear tubes – Hardly a surgery, this frequently-performed, outpatient procedure is intended for those with other than nerve-related hearing loss.  Middle ear, or pressure equalization (PE) tubes, are used to alleviate pressure buildup behind the eardrum in cases of middle ear infection or fluid that cannot drain through the Eustacian tubes. Children are the most common candidates for PE tubes because their not-yet-developed ear anatomy makes ear infections more prevalent than in adults. However, for the majority of adults whose hearing losses are sensorineural, this surgery is not appropriate and would have no value.
  • Cochlear implants – A cochlear implant is an invasive, significant surgery for adults and, more commonly, children who have no, or very little, residual hearing, typically something they were born with.   It works by insertion of an electrical wire inserted deeply into the skull into the hearing nerve organ called the cochlea.  It sends electrical impulses to the hearing nerves that can be translated by the brain as meaningful sound. If you have significant hearing loss, you may wonder if you can just skip hearing aids and go right to an implant. Cochlear implantation is an invasive and costly surgery that is intended only for those who benefit little or not at all from hearing devices. The reason for this is that the surgery does not “restore” hearing; it only provides some hearing to those previously deaf or with severe hearing loss.  Also, the surgery, if unsuccessful, can leave one deaf. The surgery is really a “last-resort”.
  • Stapedectomy – another surgery than involves hearing loss that does not affect the hearing nerve.  This invasive surgery is also not without risk or successful in outcome and is only performed on those whose tiny bones of the middle ear becoming ineffective at transmitting sound to the inner ear where the hearing nerve  is located.. A stapedectomy is a procedure in which the stapes is replaced with a prosthesis. This surgery is reserved for specific ear-related conditions and is not used for sensorineural hearing loss.

 

Essential oils for hearing loss

Essential oils are wildly popular as natural remedies for everything from anxiety and depression to allergies and the flu virus. There have been some claims about essential oils’ effectiveness for restoring your hearing.

Essential oils cannot cure sensorineural hearing loss, and there is no research to support claims that they can. If you ever consider using any type of oil in your ear, speak to a physician first, preferably an Ear, Nose & Throat specialist.

Drugs to restore hearing

Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a magic pill for everything that ails us, including hearing loss? If a pharmaceutical solution to sensorineural hearing loss seems like a great idea to you, you’re in good company. Researchers from all over the world have been searching for ways to make curing hearing loss as easy as a trip to the pharmacy.

There has been exciting “stem-cell” research that has shown it may be possible to stimulate new hearing nerve receptors to grow and replace the damaged receptors. Most of the studies to date have been with other animals and/or laboratory based.   The specific applications that could be used in humans are years, if not decades, away. Each potential remedy would need extensive research with humans before the long process of clinical trials and drug approval could even begin.

What can restore hearing?

So, back to the question….can hearing be restored?  No, but hearing can be improved.  Restoring your hearing can be as simple as visiting a hearing care professional and being professionally fit with appropriate hearing aids. If you’d like to restore your hearing with a solution that is proven, well-understood and available right now, contact Peninsula Hearing Services at (650) 373-2081

Reference:  Edited from the article Can you restore your lost hearing? by Brande Plotnick, MS, MBA, managing editor, Health Hearing 9/26/2017


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