Audiology in Brief A patient at the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center is the first recipient of a vestibular implant designed to alleviate vertigo attacks associated with Meniere’s disease. The implant, which is being tested in a preliminary clinical trial, combines a cochlear implant processor with re-engineered software and electrode array. ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   December 01, 2010
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   December 01, 2010
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, December 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15152010.5
The ASHA Leader, December 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15152010.5
Implant Used to Treat Balance Disorder
A patient at the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center is the first recipient of a vestibular implant designed to alleviate vertigo attacks associated with Meniere’s disease. The implant, which is being tested in a preliminary clinical trial, combines a cochlear implant processor with re-engineered software and electrode array.
The device was developed by Jay Rubinstein and James Phillips of UW’s Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery in collaboration with UW specialists in signal processing, brainstem physiology, and vestibular neural coding.
At the onset of a vertigo attack, the patient activates the device, which transmits electrical impulses through an electrode inserted into each canal of the bony labyrinth. “It’s an override,” Phillips said. “It doesn’t change what’s happening in the ear, but it eliminates the symptoms while replacing the function of that ear until it recovers.”
Hearing Risks in the Big Apple
The crowded streets of Manhattan may give visitors a thrill, but they also may put New Yorkers at risk for hearing loss, according to a study released at the International Conference on Urban Health at the New York Academy of Medicine.
Researchers wore monitors that measured noise levels near their ears at 60 Manhattan sites selected from data on noise complaints called into a city hotline. Measurements were taken from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays.
Most readings were above 70 decibels. People whose daily noise exposure tops an average of 70 decibels can lose some of their hearing over time, said Richard Neitzel, a University of Washington research scientist and one of the study’s authors.
Some of Manhattan’s noisiest spots were along the city’s truck routes, but the city’s quietest neighborhoods also were the source of some of the highest numbers of noise complaints. For example, residents of the Lower East Side, East Village, and West Village may live closer to ground level with fewer buffers between them and street noise. More information about the conference is available online.
New Website on Hearing Loss in Children
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities has launched a new website on hearing loss in children. Specific pages are available for families, health care providers, early hearing detection and intervention programs, and other partner organizations. Each site includes statistical data on hearing loss and information on prevention, signs and symptoms, screening and diagnosis, and treatment. An overview of CDC and other partners’ initiatives, as well as updates from research projects and scientific publications, also can be found on the new site. Free materials are available for download.
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December 2010
Volume 15, Issue 15