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Friday, July 20, 2018

f0953e8dfa1527724a7ec085a8f0f6e2.jpgThe National Health Service and the Department of Health in the United Kingdom have awarded the Action on Hearing Loss grant to Raj Ladher, PhD, to help him continue his work on protocadherin-15, which could be the key to unlocking a cure for hearing loss. The new funds will allow Ladher's group to understand if modified protocadherin-15 in the hair cells alters the way in which they respond to sound and how hair cells turn sound vibration information into electrical signals that the brain can process. Mutations in protocadherin-15, which is crucial in allowing the inner ear to detect sound and balance information, cause hearing loss. Ladher's research can therefore potentially suggest ways in which protocadherin-15 can be targeted to develop treatments for hearing loss.​

Monday, July 16, 2018

oTICON.jpgOticon (https://www.oticon.com/) has revealed the 12 finalists for the 2018 Oticon Focus on People Awards, and opened up online voting for the four award categories of students, adults, advocates with hearing loss, and health care practitioners until Aug. 24. Now in its 20th year, the nationwide award program recognizes individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the hearing-impaired community and demonstrated that hearing loss does not limit a person's ability to make a difference. Finalists in the practitioner category includes Carol Clifford, AuD, from Albuquerque, NM; Lena Kyman, AuD, from Raleigh, NC; and Johnnie Sexton, AuD, from Raleigh, NC. All first-place winners also receive a donation to a charity of their choice, and winners in the student, adult, and advocacy categories will get pair of Oticon BrainHearing hearing aids. Results will be announced in October. For a complete list of the finalists and their bios, visit http://bit.ly/2zChVI9

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL) accompanied by vertigo may portend a negative prognosis in hearing recovery, a new study found. (JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 2018. doi: 10.1001/jamaoto.2018.0648.) Researchers from Fudan University in Shanghai reviewed 10 original research studies and retrospective or prospective studies on the role of vertigo in the prognosis for hearing outcome of SSHL. Their analysis included 4,814 unique patients, with 1,709 in the SSHL group with vertigo and 3,105 were in the SSHL group without vertigo. Data extracted from these studies included research type, number of participants with or without vertigo, treatment regime, definition of pure-tone average, criteria for hearing improvement, and length of follow-up.

The researchers found that vertigo was significantly associated with worse hearing recovery: The recovery rate of hearing was 42.1 percent in the group with vertigo, compared with 60.3 percent in the group without vertigo. No association of vertigo with the prognosis of SSHL was observed, however, within a subgroup receiving intratympanic corticosteroids. The researchers concluded that corticosteroid injection may be more effective for treatment of SSHL accompanied by vertigo and that future studies are needed to determine whether treatment of vertigo might contribute to the recovery of SSHL.​

Friday, June 29, 2018

InnerScope Hearing Technologies (http://www.innd.com/) has kicked off its "Hearing Better in America" marketing campaign with the re-launching of its direct-to-consumer (DTC) online stores, www.nohasslehearing.com, to encourage existing and potential hearing aid users to seek out their more affordable hearing assistive products. The campaign includes educating consumers on health risks associated with living with consequences of untreated hearing loss, including increased risks of dementia and Alzheimer's, running full-page newspaper ads offering phone-in orders or directing consumers to www.hearingbenefit.com for personal sound amplifiers products or www.nohasslehearing.com for FDA-cleared hearing aid devices at factory direct pricing, and adding possible direct mail campaigns and satellite radio ads to direct traffic to the DTC websites sales platforms. InnerScope also plans to utilize online advertising and social media marketing campaigns on platforms like Google, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and more.

​InnerScope said the "Hearing Better in America" campaign will not only cause a disruption in the traditional sales and delivery model within the hearing aid industry, but it will also assist in increasing the acceptance and adoption of hearing aids as a part of a person's overall health and well-being. Matthew Moore, CEO of InnerScope, said the traditional cost and inconvenience of hearing aids are just too high, but the true cost is even higher with all the documented health risks of living with untreated hearing loss. "Although InnerScope is not a substitute for hearing health care providers and the needed audiological services they provide, but when the time comes for the consumer to purchase hearing aids, InnerScope is a viable option," he said.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

​On 3-4 July 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) will hold the third stakeholders' meeting for its program on prevention of deafness and hearing loss at its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland. This meeting is an opportunity for WHO member states, professional groups, non-governmental organizations, civil society, academicians, clinicians, the private sector, and United Nations agencies to come together to address global hearing loss issues.

One of the most important of the goals for the meeting is to review the World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on the prevention of deafness and hearing loss that was adopted in 2017. The resolution called on national governments and stakeholders to address hearing loss by raising awareness while encouraging treatment and prevention of increasingly prevalent hearing problems, particularly in underserved regions.

 A major feature of this upcoming meeting will be the exploration of strategies for a global alliance on hearing loss prevention. "An alliance would have a cohesive body of stakeholders whose main purpose is to undertake advocacy and develop networks that facilitate knowledge sharing and foster opportunities for collaboration. With strong leadership, a diverse membership and sound financial backing, such an alliance would be well positioned to drive a global initiative" wrote Shelly Chadha, PhD, Alarcos Cieza, PhD, and Etienne Krug, MD, of WHO in an editorial earlier this year (Bull World Health Organ. 2018 Mar 1; 96(3):146). Dr. Chadha is the technical officer of WHO's Prevention of Deafness and Hearing Loss Division.

Other objectives for this meeting include reviewing the past year's activities in implementing the WHA resolution, exploring possibilities for resource mobilization, and planning next year's World Hearing Day observance.

The meeting's organizers expressed optimism about the benefits of coordination in helping promote greater awareness of hearing health care. "Such collaborative and determined action would enable protection of the hearing for over the billion people who are at risk, as well as allowing those who experience hearing loss to achieve their potential through equitable access to the required services and rehabilitation," Chadha, et al., concluded in their editorial.

To get updates on the WHO Stakeholders' Meeting, subscribe to our e-newsletter

To know more about the WHA resolution, read this editorial by Jackie Clark, PhD