Audiology in Brief Panasonic, Uniden, Thompson, and V-Tech will have 100% of their new cordless telephones comply with the TIA-1083 interference standard by 2010. This change will curtail the interference experienced by cordless phone users with hearing aids and cochlear implants. These manufacturers have indicated phased-in commitments to 100% compliance, with most ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   February 01, 2008
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   February 01, 2008
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, February 2008, Vol. 13, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.13022008.5
The ASHA Leader, February 2008, Vol. 13, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.13022008.5
Cordless Phone Handsets for Hearing Aids
Panasonic, Uniden, Thompson, and V-Tech will have 100% of their new cordless telephones comply with the TIA-1083 interference standard by 2010.
This change will curtail the interference experienced by cordless phone users with hearing aids and cochlear implants. These manufacturers have indicated phased-in commitments to 100% compliance, with most achieving it for new designs in 2008 and all expecting to comply by the beginning of 2010, according to an announcement by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA). The agreement is the result of coordination between TIA, its members, HLAA, and the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Telecommunications Access at Gallaudet University.
Captioned Radio Under Development
National Public Radio (NPR), Harris Corp., and Towson University announced an initiative at the January Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to use HD technology to make radio more accessible to people with hearing and vision loss.
The organizations demonstrated technology that uses HD radio to add TV-style “closed captioning” to radio broadcasts over specially equipped receivers. The technology also will offer audio cues and voice prompts as well as radio reading services for people with vision loss.
“Digital radio technology makes it possible—for the first time—to serve the sensory-impaired,” said Mike Starling, NPR vice president and chief technology officer. “Beyond developing the technology, this initiative will ensure the accessibility of these radio services at minimal cost.”
The organizations announced that Towson will launch a new research center for developing future accessibility technologies at its Baltimore-area campus. An international consortium of equipment manufacturers, broadcasters, and others is also planned to help broaden adoption of the initiative.
The conference demonstration by Harris, NPR, and Towson University of over-the-air transmission of accessible radio was made possible through a temporary station authorized by the Federal Communications Commission for the broadcast. Attendees saw a transcript of NPR’s “Morning Edition” on an HD radio receiver’s screen. Read the story at RadioInk.
Cholesterol Affects Hearing
Levels of cholesterol in the membranes of hair cells in the inner ear can affect hearing, according to researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Rice University, and Purdue University in a Dec. 14, 2007, article in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
William Brownell, professor of otolaryngology at BCM, and his colleagues report that the amount of cholesterol in the outer hair cell membrane of the cochlea can affect hearing. While researchers have known that cholesterol is lower in the outer hair cell membrane than in other cells in the body, the relationship to hearing was unclear, Brownell said.
In the study, the researchers used otoacoustic emissions to measure the effects of changes in cholesterol levels in the outer hair cells of mice. “Depleting the cholesterol resulted in a hearing loss. Adding cholesterol initially increased hearing but later resulted in a hearing loss,” he said. “You can change an animal’s hearing just by adding or subtracting cholesterol.”
The fine-tuning of cholesterol happens naturally in development and does not change significantly after birth. In contrast, cholesterol in the bloodstream can vary with eating habits. “The study results help us understand the cellular mechanisms for regulating hearing and give us a way to potentially help those with hearing loss,” Brownelll said.
To read an abstract, visit the Journal of Biological Chemistry.
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February 2008
Volume 13, Issue 2