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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

A Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows nearly one in four adults aged 20 to 69 has audiometric notches, indicating a high prevalence of noise-induced hearing loss.

The CDC analyzed the most recent available data from the 2011-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to determine the presence of audiometric notches among the U.S. adult population. The prevalence of both unilateral and bilateral notches was consistently higher in men than women for both reported work exposure to noise and no reported work exposure to noise. The presence of noise-induced hearing loss increased from one in five among young adults aged 20 to 29 to one in four among adults aged 50 to 59. Close to 24 percent of people who self-reported excellent or good hearing regardless of noise exposure reported had bilateral or unilateral notches, indicating that this is a significant but often unrecognized problem. 


Friday, February 10, 2017

​Following the introduction of the Power Series with the Motion P BTE and Cellion hearing aids last fall, Signia (https://www.signiausa.com/) has added two more hearing aids, Signia Carat and Motion SP, to the line. Signia Carat is a receiver-in-canal device that sits almost invisibly behind the ear and uses a standard size 13 battery. It also comes with a rechargeable option. Motion SP is a behind-the-ear hearing aid that uses a 675 size battery and amplifies sounds up to 82/140 dB. 

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Like other hearing aids in the Power series, both new devices operate on Signia's primax platform, which features low power consumption and advanced binaural sound processing technology, and are equipped with the SpeechMaster and Narrow Directionality features, allowing users to understand speech in noisy environments and in settings where there are competing speech signals. All Power Series hearing aids are compatible with the touchControl smartphone app, eastTek audio streamer, east Tek app, and the recently launched Signia TeleCare and myHearing apps. 


Friday, February 3, 2017

The Texas-based nonprofit Aid the Silent is set to put on its first completely deaf accessible music and art festival in San Antonio from May 20 to 21. The Good Vibrations Music and Art Festival will feature live captioning, ASL interpretation, T-coiling, vibrating backpacks, and a visual light show. Headliner for the music event will be singer-songwriter Ben Rector, whose most recent song "Brand New" topped Billboard's Top 100 chart.

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The target audience includes people with hearing aids or cochlear implants, as well as those who communicate with the American Sign Language. The organization said in a press release that this festival "will set a new standard, not only providing accessibility but unique opportunities for sensory experiences to all persons with hearing disabilities." All proceeds from the event will benefit the four branches of Aid the Silent's mission: deaf ministry, deaf research, deaf education, and deaf resources. 


Friday, January 27, 2017

clarity.jpgClarity (http://clarityproducts.com/) introduced a new pair of wireless smart headphones called TV Listener, which allows users to control the volume of not only their televisions but also their tablets and smartphones. TV Listener has a wireless range of 32 feet and lets users pair them with up to two devices at a time. While the volume control is done manually, the headphones automatically mute the television or pause music when the headphones are removed. TV Listener is also equipped with a one-touch OpenMic feature through which users can hear their surroundings without taking off the headphones. Voice alerts will notify users of battery life and connection status as well as incoming phone calls. TV Listener has 18 hours of battery life on a single charge.

 

The company, a division of Plantronics, emphasized that this product is designed for people with mild to moderate hearing loss as well as those with normal hearing. Jamie van den Bergh, president of Clarity, said, "While our focus is on helping people with hearing loss, the TV Listener is for anyone who wants a personal listening experience." 


Monday, January 23, 2017

Parents who think that volume-restricting headphones could replace their supervision over children's listening habits should think again. The Wirecutter (http://thewirecutter.com/), a gadgets reviewing site, found that nearly half of 30 sets of children's headphones claiming to keep volume at or under 85 dB did not live up to that promise.

With the help of experts from the WHO, CDC, and NIDCD, Wirecutter conducted two tests, first with a sample of thumping music and then with pink noise, on 30 sets of headphones with an iPod Touch. The first test found that half of the headphones exceeded 85 dB, with the loudest ones going up to 114 dB; while the second test found one-third went over the safety standard, with the loudest pair delivering sounds over 108 dB. Wirecutter also asked a group of children ranging from 3 to 11 years old to try on each model and compile a "hate list" of ones they would never use.

Staff at the website chose the Puro BT2200 from Puro Sound Labs as their favorite. The Bluetooth headphones remain within the safe listening levels when used properly, and they were the top pick among all kid panelists. Audiologist Brian Fligor, ScD, cautions that parents shouldn't let their guards down even with safe headphones when speaking to The New York Times: "Eight-five decibels isn't some magic threshold below which you're perfectly safe and above which your ears bleed."