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Current Events in Hearing Health

This week in Audicus blogs, find out about the latest news when it comes to hearing loss, hearing aid development and hearing health. New developments in hearing health are released on a daily basis. News updates regarding hearing loss and hearing health include:

One Billion People Are At Risk For Hearing Loss, Says WHO

The World Health Organization announced that one billion people are at risk for hearing loss. A main source of hearing loss for young individuals aged 12 -35 is the use of MP3 players and smartphones. 

Almost half of teenagers and young adults are exposed to potentially destructive sound stimuli from listening appliances. Bars, nightclubs, and other leisure spots can be additional sources of harmful noise levels that affect 40% of teenagers and young adults.

Another factor for hearing loss is constant exposure to loud noises for an extended period of time. Sounds that are as high as 85 decibels, the same noise level as heavy traffic, can be tolerated for up to 8 hours without any serious effects. Sounds that measure 110 decibels, or the sound of a typical rock concert, can only be tolerated for 90 seconds before they really start to have an impact on your hearing.

Be sure to wear earplugs in noisy environments and take 15-minute breaks in between exposures to loud stimuli. Limit the amount of time you spend listening to loud music and also be aware of the type of headphones that can increase your risk of getting hearing loss.

Science Explores The Evolution of Hearing

The ancient ancestors of lungfish and salamanders also lacked well developed middle and outer ears, which can be found in mammals like dogs and humans. This research has helped scientists pinpoint the time when the ability to hear first evolved in these ancestors 300 millions years ago. Interestingly, the ability to hear may not evolved until 100 millions years after animals started crawling on land.

Chemotherapy, Hearing Loss and Your Family Background

At St Jude Children’s research Hospital clinicians have identified the genetic factors that make some people experience hearing loss during chemotherapy. Cisplatin is a very common drug used in the treatment of different cancers, and it can sometimes prove to be ototoxic or destructive to the ear. Researchers were able to isolate a single gene, called ACYP2 , that is associated with severe cases of hearing loss. In fact, patients that had a certain type of ACYP2  gene were four time times as likely to develop some form of hearing loss. By further researching the effects that family genetics has on hearing loss, researchers can devise safer, more effective forms of medication.

By: Aaron Rodriques

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