Audiology in Brief A California man is suing Motorola Inc., alleging the cellular phone maker knew its wireless Bluetooth headsets could cause “serious hearing loss” and failed to warn customers of the potential dangers. The suit, filed in October in U.S. District Court in Chicago, seeks class-action status. The legal complaint, Alpert ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   December 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   December 01, 2006
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, December 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11172006.5
The ASHA Leader, December 2006, Vol. 11, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.11172006.5
Suit Alleges Hearing Loss from Bluetooth Use
A California man is suing Motorola Inc., alleging the cellular phone maker knew its wireless Bluetooth headsets could cause “serious hearing loss” and failed to warn customers of the potential dangers. The suit, filed in October in U.S. District Court in Chicago, seeks class-action status.
The legal complaint, Alpert v. Motorola, Inc., alleges that Motorola knew the wireless communication devices “posed a serious risk of harm to consumers from noise-induced hearing loss during the headsets’ normal and intended use,” and that the safety information does not mention the potential for noise-induced hearing loss.
The complaint alleges the headsets produce sounds that exceed 85 dB (sometimes as much as 100 dB), and the user has no way of determining the dB level at any given time. The action seeks unspecified damages for the class members, which would include anyone who purchased a Motorola-manufactured Bluetooth headset in the past four years. It also seeks an injunction preventing Motorola from selling the headsets without a warning about the potential to cause hearing loss and a mechanism to determine dB levels produced by the headset.
Placido Domingo Lends Voice for Hearing Loss
Tenor Placido Domingo, in conjunction with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, is speaking up on behalf of a new global effort to raise awareness about hearing loss and the need for technology to help those in need—especially in developing countries.
Domingo and members of the orchestra announced the new, non-profit Hear the World Foundation on Nov. 26. Based in Zurich, the foundation is sponsored by the Swiss company Phonak.
“Music is my emotional need. I therefore feel sad for anyone who cannot hear music,” Domingo said. “Sound has been the basis of everything which has been important in my life.”
Hormone Replacement Therapy and Hearing
University of Rochester (UR) researchers report that older women taking certain hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may suffer hearing damage. The study of 124 postmenopausal women found that those taking HRT with progestin had poorer speech understanding than women who were not taking hormones or who were using estrogen-only HRT.
The findings, by a team led by Robert D. Frisina at the UR Medical Center, are reported in the Sept. 19 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The team previously reported indications of hearing problems associated with hormone therapy. The new study says progestin is the likely cause.
The research found problems in the inner ear and in some measures of brain function affecting hearing in women using hormone therapy with progestin. Frisina urged increased hearing testing for women using this therapy, especially those who already have some hearing loss. The researchers’ next step is to look at women who stop using progestin to determine if the hearing damage is reversible.
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December 2006
Volume 11, Issue 17