DR. KIM'S JOURNAL

Audiology News, Hearing Health Tips, Technology Updates, of Interest to You

Be sure to check this page often for news and information updates!

Wednesday
Mar162011

Chronic kidney disease linked to hearing loss

March is National Kidney Month. Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) is linked to hearing loss according to the National Kidney Foundation. An Australian research team assessed 2,900 people aged 50 and older. Moderate CKD was present in 513 of those individuals. Of those with CKD, 54% reported hearing loss compared to only 28% of the rest of the group. Almost 30% had severe hearing loss in the CKD group compared with only 10 % of the non-CKD participants. Therefore, if you have Chronic Kidney Disease, please get your hearing screened!

Wednesday
Feb162011

Researchers were able to eliminate tinnitus in rats

An article in Nature reported that researchers were able to eliminate tinnitus (noise in the ears) by stimulating the vagus nerve in a group of rats. The brain can change in response to loud sounds which causes irregular nerve activity. This is thought to cause tinnitus. Researchers paired tones and pulses of vagus nerve stimulation, which eliminated the tinnitus in rats exposed to noise. A clinical trial in humans is due to begin in the next few months. Vagus nerve stimulation is currently used in humans to treat epilepsy and depression.

Wednesday
Feb162011

American adults are hearing better than their grandparents

An article in December 2010 Ear and Hearing reported that American adults are hearing better than their grandparents did at the same age. Researchers compared hearing data from two national surveys dated from 1959-1962 and 1999-2004. They found that both men and women today have better hearing in the higher frequencies than persons decades earlier. Things like fewer smokers, better healthcare for diabetes and cardiovascular disease and better treatment for otitis media in children may be possible reasons for the improvement. Also, vaccines for rubella and meningitis have decreased the incidence of hearing loss. There has also been a decrease in noisy manufacturing jobs and an increase in workplace hearing conservation programs.

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