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New Hearing Aids: Current Events in Hearing Loss

This week in Audicus blogs, find out about the latest news when it comes to topics including new hearing aids and hearing loss!


The year 2016 has brought many discoveries in terms of hearing loss prevention and the benefits of new hearing aids. Current developments in hearing health news include:


New Hearing Aids and Cognition


Do you suffer from hearing loss but feel that new hearing aids aren’t necessary? Your hearing health may affect more than just your ears. Scientists at the Columbia University Medical Center conducted cognitive tests on senior citizens who either did or did not use hearing aids.


The study found that the adults who used hearing aids performed better than the adults that did not use hearing aids. More specifically, the hearing aid users that generally had worse hearing than the non-users scored relatively higher on the MMSE, or Mini-Mental State Examination. Non-users that had worse hearing compared to other non-users scored lower on the MMSE.


In many cases new hearing aids have been shown to lower instances of dementia and other cognitive illnesses, possibly by maintaining the communication and connectedness that individuals feel with others.


ASSENT and Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Auris Medical, a company that helps create medication to treat hearing loss, has announced this month that it will start enrolling patients in a clinical trial of ASSENT Phase 3.


The trial’s purpose is to test the safety and efficacy of AM-111, a drug meant to treat acute inner hearing loss. The drug will be tested on 300 patients with Idiopathic Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss (ISSNHL) throughout the U.S., Canada and South Korea.


The first trial, named HEALOS, was conducted in 2015 and involved over 250 patients. In the second trial, individuals treated with AM-111 showed striking improvement in their ability to discriminate speech, as well as improvement in their hearing threshold and their rate of tinnitus remission. If successful, the drug may even replace new hearing aids and other listening devices.


Hearing Loss Screening and Intervention


A new study at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center discovered that intervention improves follow-up rates by more than 70 percent for newborns that initially failed health screenings at hospitals.


In other words, research coordinators from Cincinnati Children’s collaborated with the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) Program and asked caregivers about rescreening at the first hearing test.


The researchers looked at outcomes where they did not collaborate with the WIC program to inquire about rescreening. They found that more caregivers brought their newborns for additional screening in the future, compared to caregivers that were not questioned at the initial newborn screening.


It is common for low income mothers to forego additional screening because of factors including schedule conflicts, transportation barriers and lack of insurance coverage.


It is very important that hearing loss in newborns is assessed and treated quickly, as the first six months of a baby’s life are important time periods for the development of speech and language. An earlier diagnosis can provide a window of opportunity to learn about the new hearing aids, implants or surgery a newborn may need to help treat or cure her hearing loss.


Sources: Globe News Wire, Science Daily

By: Aaron Rodriques

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