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Current Events in Hearing Health and Technology

Have you heard about the recent news updates regarding hearing loss? Find out what you’re missing!

From celebrity donations to new apps for hearing conditions, the end of March has come with a broad variety of hearing loss-related stories. News items over the past couple of weeks include:

An App For Tinnitus

Tinnitus, a hearing condition characterized by a buzzing or ringing sensation in the ears, has no official cure but can be alleviated in a number of different ways. A new app that can help treat this condition is currently in development and will be released in the near future.

Displayed in Austin, Texas at the South-by-Southwest Music, Film and Interactive Festival (SXSW), Tinnitracks works by reconfiguring music uploaded by the user. Tinnitracks recognizes and applies the therapeutic frequencies that can naturally be found in music. These frequencies are filtered by the app and counteract the hyperactivity normally found in the brains of people that display tinnitus. The app can have a significant impact in alleviating tinnitus when it is used for at least an hour every day over a six-month period.

Other apps that can be used for hearing loss include uHear, which is used to assess your degree of hearing loss. Captionfish is another decent app that facilitates the search for captioned movies and SoundAmp R allows you to magnify sounds using your smartphone as a kind of hearing aid.

Lou Ferrigno and Hearing Loss

Known for many television roles including his appearance as the Hulk from the 1970’s hit “The Incredible Hulk,” actor Lou Ferrigno has taken it upon himself to help raise funds for the Starkey Foundation. Ferrigno also campaigns for a medical condition called muscular dystrophy and has raised funds for the L.A. Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Lou Ferrigno’s experience with hearing loss comes from an early age. Lou received a significant amount of hearing damage as a child, to the point where it even became difficult for him to communicate verbally.

Lou Ferrigno also headed the Ferrigno Fitness Festival, which helped provide hearing aids for children via the Starkey Foundation and accumulated funds for the L.A. Muscular Dystrophy Association. When Ferrigno made an appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice back in 2012 he also helped raise over $100,000 in funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Hearing Aid Use and the NYPD

The NYPD is currently in the process of reforming a code that prevents police officers from wearing hearing aids when on the job. Before the revision of this code, many police officers were forced to retire early because their hearing loss impeded them while on duty. This caused many officers to hide their hearing condition and forego the use of a hearing aid during their working hours.

New York State police will now be able to take hearing tests while wearing their hearing aids, all thanks to the collaborative protests of active officers and the Manhattan Federal Court. Resolving the policy would allow hundreds of police officers to report to duty.

 By: Aaron Rodriques

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