Audiology in Brief Four in five Americans are concerned about hearing loss, according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO-HNS). The survey shows that hearing loss is a top medical concern among parents, higher than concerns about asthma, food allergies, or exposure to tobacco smoke. More than 90% ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   June 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   June 01, 2009
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, June 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14082009.5
The ASHA Leader, June 2009, Vol. 14, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.14082009.5
Parents Concerned About Children’s Hearing
Four in five Americans are concerned about hearing loss, according to a recent survey by the American Academy of Otolaryngology (AAO-HNS). The survey shows that hearing loss is a top medical concern among parents, higher than concerns about asthma, food allergies, or exposure to tobacco smoke. More than 90% of parents said they are very concerned about hearing loss in their children.
Children and teens are frequently exposed to potentially damaging noise levels in schools, at home, and in sports, but little has been reported on their risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Some 3 million children under the age of 18 have a hearing loss, and one factor is environmental noise.
Nationwide, 10 million Americans have irreversible noise-induced hearing loss; 30 million more are exposed to dangerous noise levels daily. For children and teens, one of the simplest ways to prevent noise-induced hearing loss is by minimizing exposure to loud music. Visit the AAO-HNS Web site for more information.
Research Uncovers New Location for Ion Channels
Current models that explain how the inner ear translates vibrations in the air into sounds heard by the brain may be wrong, according to research in Nature Neuroscience.
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of Wisconsin, and Pellegrin Hospital in France found that ion channels responsible for hearing are located in a different place than previously believed. To pinpoint the channels’ location, researchers squirted rat stereocilia with a tiny water jet. As pressure from the water bent the stereocilia, calcium flooded into the hair cells. Using ultrafast, high-resolution imaging, the researchers recorded exactly where calcium first entered cells. Each point of entry marked an ion channel. Instead of on the tallest rows of stereocilia, as scientists previously thought, the researchers found ion channels only on the middle and shortest rows of stereocilia. To read an abstract, visit the Nature Neuroscience Web site.
Wisconsin Mandates CI Coverage for Children
Wisconsin recently became the second state to require insurance companies to cover cochlear implants. Gov. Jim Doyle signed a bill on May 21 that requires private health insurance plans to cover cochlear implants, hearing aids, and related treatment for anyone under age 18.
The mandate applies to the roughly 1.6 million residents—30% of Wisconsin’s population—who are covered under private insurance plans regulated by the state. However, self-funded insurance plans are not required to comply with the mandate. Most government-funded plans, such as Medicaid, already cover the devices. Look for more information in the July 14 issue.
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June 2009
Volume 14, Issue 8