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Research With a Bang: Science Reveals How Loud Noise Damages Hearing

Preventing noise-related hearing loss from a loud concert, a banging jackhammer or a rifle blast could be as simple as managing levels of zinc within the inner ear, a new study reports.

Such hearing loss stems from cellular damage associated with an excess of free-floating zinc in the inner ear, researchers say.

Lab mouse experiments showed drugs that soak up the excess zinc can hel...

Hearing Troubles Can Affect the Mind, Too

If you're over 65, you likely struggle sometimes to hear conversations clearly, but ignoring that may prompt even more serious health problems, experts say.

If left unchecked, hearing loss can lead to social isolation and depression -- two conditions known to raise dementia risk, said Dr. Leah Ross, a physician in the Di...

Hearing Loss Hits Many Americans, With Rural Areas and Men Most Affected

Folks think of big city life as an ear-blasting festival of noise -- taxi horns honking, jackhammers pounding, police sirens wailing and jet planes roaring overhead.

But rural residents actually have a higher rate of hearing loss in both ears than city dwellers do, a new study finds.

Men are also more likely than women to suffer hearing loss, with the highest rates seen among white ...

Gene Therapy Brings Hearing to Kids With Congenital Deafness

Five of six Chinese children born deaf due to a rare genetic defect now have the ability to hear, thanks to an experimental gene therapy.

The therapy involved a hollowed-out virus loaded with a healthy version of the gene responsible for producing otoferlin, a protein necessary for the transmission of sound signals from the inner ear to the brain.

Doctors injected the virus into the...

Loud Video Games Put Users at Risk for Hearing Loss, Tinnitus

For the more than 3 billion gamers around the world, the loud noises they experience while playing video games could threaten their hearing, a new review suggests.

Whether on the couch, parked at a computer desk or in an arcade, studies have shown the noise from video games often exceeds levels deemed safe for a person's hearing, according to the report published Jan. 16 in the journal

Ear Infections Could Delay a Child's Speech

Ear infections are common for kids, but they can lead to long-term developmental problems, a new study finds.

Temporary hearing loss caused by recurring ear infections can lead to delays in language development and sound processing years later, researchers reported recently in the Internationa...

Paxlovid Won't Cut Odds for Long COVID: Study

Paxlovid might help shorten and diminish a COVID infection, but the antiviral doesn't reduce the risk of developing long COVID, a new study shows.

About 16% of COVID patients treated with Paxlovid wound up with long COVID symptoms, compared to 14% of those not given the oral medication, researchers found.

“Our finding that Paxlovid treatment during acute infection is not associate...

Hearing Aids May Extend Life Span

A hearing aid's first purpose is fairly obvious, but a new study argues that the devices also provide an important second benefit -- a longer life.

“We found that adults with hearing loss who regularly used hearing aids had a 24% lower risk of mortality than those who never wore them,” said lead researcher Dr. Janet Choi, a...

Noisy Holiday Toys Are No Gift to a Child's Hearing

Parents moaning over the noise from a new Christmas toy is a time-honored holiday tradition.

But noisy playthings can do long-lasting damage to a child's hearing, the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) is warning parents.

Tiny ears are particularly susceptible to hearing damage, the AAA says. The inner ear contains delicate hair cells that don't regrow, resulting in permanent heari...

Paul Simon Opens Up About Hearing Loss

The singer Paul Simon is coping with hearing loss in his left ear, something he told an audience Sunday he's starting to accept.

“I haven't accepted it entirely, but I'm beginning to,” Simon told an audience at the Toronto Film Festival during a post-screening Q&A for the documentary, “In Restless Dreams: The Music of Pa...

Deaf Children 'Equal, Healthy and Whole,' Pediatricians' Group Affirms

It's time for everyone to change the words we use when we talk about kids who are deaf or hard of hearing.

This is one of the main messages from newly updated guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics on hearing in infants...

Omega-3s May Keep Your Hearing Sharp

More omega-3 fatty acids in your diet might prevent hearing loss as you age, researchers report.

Low levels of the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are linked to hearing loss in middle and old age, according to findings slated for presentation Monday at a meeting of the American Society for Nutrition, in Boston.

Middle-aged and older adults with higher DHA levels, howev...

Hearing Aids Might Help Lower Risk for Dementia

Can treating hearing loss lower your chances of developing dementia down the road?

Maybe, claims new research that found that folks who are experiencing hearing loss and don't use a hearing aid may have a higher risk of developing dementia than people who use hearing aids and those without hearing loss.

The study wasn't designed to say how untreated hearing loss may up the risk...

Loud Incubators Might Damage Preemie Babies' Hearing

While an incubator can save the life of a premature baby, it may be contributing to hearing loss in these vulnerable infants.

A new study published March 27 in Frontiers in Pediatrics assessed the sounds in the neonatal intensive care unit, evaluating the impact on newborns.

“The motivation of our multidisciplinary research team concerns the question: why many more premat...

Early Detection Is Key to Correcting Childhood Hearing Loss. Know the Signs

Early detection of childhood hearing loss is crucial but also challenging because babies can't tell their parents or doctors exactly what's wrong.

About 2 to 3 of every 1,000 kids is born with permanent hearing loss, so most health systems test newborns within a day or two after birth, according to Penn State Health in Hershey, Pa.

Hearing loss can be genetic, but a family may not r...

From a Lock of Hair, Beethoven's Genome Gives Clues to Health, Family

Genetic analysis of Ludwig van Beethoven's hair has provided new clues into the cause of the great composer's death in 1827 — as well as evidence of a family scandal.

The analysis revealed that Beethoven suffered from a hepatitis B infection that could have contributed to his death from liver disease.

Researchers found DNA evidence of hepatitis B virus in a lock of hair taken from...

Make Efforts to Protect Your Hearing

About 48 million Americans have some degree of hearing loss, but there are ways to preserve this important sense.

Together, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) and the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) offer some tips for protecting yourself from hearing loss.

“World Hearing Day [March 3] is a great time to remind people that hearing is an important p...

Could Hearing Aids Lower Your Odds for Dementia?

Could losing your hearing as you age be a harbinger of dementia?

Maybe, suggests new research that found that older people who had trouble hearing were more likely to develop dementia down the road. But there's good news with the bad: Hearing aids — which are now available over-the-counter at much lower prices — may reduce this risk.

“There is evidence that hearing loss c...

Over a Billion Young People Could Lose Hearing Due to Earbuds, Loud Concerts

More than a billion young people are at risk for hearing loss because of listening to loud music at concerts and using earbuds and other personal listening devices, a new study suggests.

“There is an urgent need for governments, industry, and civil society to prioritize global hearing loss prevention by promoting safe listening practices,” the study authors said in a

  • Cara Murez HealthDay Reporter
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  • November 16, 2022
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  • Too Often, Diabetes & Hearing Loss Go Together

    Though it's not clear how diabetes may be related to hearing loss, many people experience both conditions simultaneously.

    About 37 million Americ...

    Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Should Be in Stores by October, FDA Says

    Affordable over-the-counter hearing aids will bring relief to millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss by mid-October, under a landmark proposal just announced by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The final rul...

    If a Child's Grades Falter, Consider Hearing Loss

    While some may think of hearing loss as something that happens with age, it can also happen to kids.

    Parents and teachers should consider hearing loss if a child's academic performance declines or he or she develops behavioral issues, lack of focus and depression, the American Academy of Audiology advises.

    “Because children often don't realize they are missing information and may ...

    When Older Dogs' Hearing Fades, Risk of Dementia Rises

    When dogs' hearing fades, their mental skills follow, new research reveals.

    For the study, the researchers examined the link between hearing loss in aging dogs and dementia. The findings shed light on ways sensory loss affects canine cognition (thinking skills) and could lead to better tre...

    Hearing Loss, Tinnitus Can Strike Cancer Survivors

    People who've had chemotherapy to treat a range of common cancers should also have a hearing test.

    In a new study of 273 cancer survivors, researchers found more than half experienced significant hearing loss even if they didn't realize it.

    “While hearing loss associated with the admin...

    Protect Your Hearing This July 4th

    While fireworks may be bright and beautiful, they're also noisy.

    And a single loud blast or explosion that lasts less than a second can cause immediate and permanent hearing loss, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) warns.

    "The Fourth of Jul...

    More U.S. Women Are Retaining Their Hearing as They Age

    Hearing loss can happen with advancing age, but fewer American women appear to be affected now than in the past.

    Researchers who studied hearing loss between 2008 and 2017 found in the earliest of those years, 16.3% of older U.S. adults reported serious hearing loss. But by 2017 that had ...

    Cochlear Implants a Big Help to Deaf Children With Autism

    Having autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can make communication a challenge, and some of these children are also deaf, making social interactions even more daunting.

    But new research suggests that cochlear implants can go a long way toward helping these kids understand speech and connect with others.

    A long-term survey that followed 30 children who had

  • Cara Murez
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  • December 29, 2021
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  • Could Cochlear Implants Cause Harm to Hearing Over Time?

    People who get cochlear implants to treat severe hearing loss may develop new bone growth in the ear -- and it may lessen any hearing they have left, a new study hints.

    The researchers found that among 100-plus adults with cochlear implants, two-thirds showed evidence of new bone formation near the implant within four years. And of patients who still had some hearing when they received th...

    Black Americans Less Likely to Lose Hearing as They Age

    Older Black Americans are much more likely to have good hearing than white Americans, and the difference is especially notable among men, a new study shows.

    “We found that among males, non-Hispanic Black Americans have a prevalence of hearing loss that is similar to non-Hispanic white Americans who are 10 years younger,” co-author ZhiDi Deng, a pharmacy student at the University of To...

    Assistance Dogs Bring Big Boost to Deaf People

    Hearing dogs make a huge difference in deaf people's lives, a new British study shows.

    The dogs are trained to alert deaf people to everyday sounds such as doorbells, human voices, baby monitors and alarm clocks, as well as safety-related sounds such as smoke and intruder alarms. The animals also provide companionship and emotional support.

    The trial included 165 people in the Unite...

    Are Your Holiday Gifts on the 'Noisy Toy List'?

    Stop that racket!

    A screeching rubber chicken tops this year's list of noisy toys that pose a threat to children's hearing.

    The Sight & Hearing Association's annual Noisy Toys List for 2021 includes toys that tested louder than 85 decibels (dB), which is the U.S. National Institute...

    Coronavirus May Infect, Harm the Inner Ear

    By now, it would seem that there is almost no part of the body that the new coronavirus does not strike, but new research adds one more: COVID-19 may be able to infect the inner ear and affect hearing and balance.

    There have been reports of COVID-19 patients with symptoms such as hearing loss, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), dizziness and balance problems, so Massachusetts Institute of Te...

    FDA Eases Access to Cheaper Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids

    Affordable over-the-counter hearing aids could soon bring relief to millions of Americans suffering from hearing loss, under a landmark proposal announced Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

    The proposal would create a category of hearing aids that could be sold directly to consumers, without either a medical exam or a fitting by an audiologist.

    Until now, folks suffer...

    Could an App Help Kids With Severe Ear Condition Avoid Surgery?

    A pair of special headphones plus a free app might help kids with hearing difficulty due to "glue ear," a new, small study suggests.

    Glue ear is slang for a condition called otitis media with effusion (OME), where thick fluid builds up in the middle ear. It's very common in young children but strikes older kids as well, and often occurs after a cold or sore throat. Usually, the fluid goes...

    Tough Choices: Chemo That Can Save Kids With Cancer Can Also Damage Hearing

    The cancer drug cisplatin can save children's lives, but often with the side effect of hearing loss. Now a new study shows that young children are especially vulnerable, and the hearing damage may begin early in the course of treatment.

    The researchers said the findings highlight the need to screen kids' hearing during each round of cisplatin treatment, to catch problems early.

    Could Cheaper, Over-the-Counter Hearing Aids Finally Be Here?

    Until now, folks suffering from hearing loss typically have had to fork out thousands of dollars for a device that could be adjusted only by a professional audiologist.

    No wonder that only one-quarter of the nearly 29 million U.S. adults who could benefit from a hearing aid have actually tried one, according to the U.S.

  • Dennis Thompson HealthDay Reporter
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  • September 9, 2021
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  • Another Fireworks Hazard: Loss of Hearing

    Add hearing loss to the many dangers posed by fireworks.

    More than 40 million Americans have some type of hearing loss, and about 10 million of those cases can be attributed to noise, according to the American Academy of Audiology.

    Noise from fireworks can reach 155 decibels -- louder than a jet plane taking off (150 decibels from 82 feet away) or a jackhammer (about 100 decibels),...

    Osteoporosis Might Also Raise a Woman's Odds for Hearing Loss

    It's a connection most women may not be aware of, but a new study suggests osteoporosis may raise your risk of hearing loss, and the drugs often used to treat thinning bones won't lower that risk.

    According to researcher Dr. Sharon Curhan, data from her team's new study suggests that "osteoporosis and low bone density may be important contributors to aging-related hearing loss."

    Tha...

    What Works Best to Ease Recurrent Ear Infections in Kids?

    Frequent middle-ear infections are the nemesis of many parents and young children. Now a new study suggests that a common treatment -- "ear tubes" -- may not prevent future bouts.

    Middle-ear infections (or acute otitis media) are second only to the common cold in creating childhood misery. They occur when the air-filled space behind the eardrum becomes infected and fills with fluid -- whi...

    Is Your Spin Class Music Way Too Loud?

    Turning down the music at your fitness classes won't affect the intensity of your workout, researchers say.

    It's common for fitness instructors to crank up the volume -- sometimes to levels loud enough to damage hearing -- because they think it will help students work harder.

    But researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found there's no link between music volume ...

    Diminished Hearing, Vision Together Could Be Risk Factor for Dementia

    A combination of hearing and vision loss is tied to an increased risk of mental decline and dementia, but having just one of those impairments isn't connected with a higher risk, a new South Korean study finds.

    It's not clear why a diminishing of both senses, but not just one, would raise dementia risks, but the study's leader had a theory that's tied to the importance of socializing in ...

    New Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment Could Harm Hearing

    The first drug approved in the United States to treat thyroid eye disease may come with an unwelcome side effect for many: A small, new study finds that up to two-thirds of patients who take the medication experience hearing problems.

    Teprotumumab (Tepezza) was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in January 2020. In two clinical trials conducted before FDA approval of the dr...

    Most Older Americans Need Hearing Checks, But Many Aren't Getting Them

    Even though research has shown that at least 50% of older adults suffer some degree of hearing loss, a new study finds that most aren't getting their hearing checked.

    A national survey of more than 2,000 adults, aged 50 to 80, found that 80% said their primary care doctor hadn't asked about their hearing in the past two years. Nearly as many said they haven't had their hearing checked by ...

    Lockdown Could Worsen Hearing Woes for U.S. Seniors

    Isolation due to the pandemic and failure to get hearing aids checked has fueled anxiety, depression and more hearing loss for many seniors.

    "This has been a very difficult time as senior facilities and individuals try to balance poor health outcomes related to COVID-19 versus poor health outcomes related to social isolation," said Catherine Palmer, president of the American Academy o...

    For Kids With Hearing Issues, Early Intervention Crucial to School Readiness

    When babies with hearing impairments get help very early in life, they are more likely to be "kindergarten-ready" when the time comes, a new study finds.

    In the United States, all states have government-funded "early intervention" programs designed to assist parents whose babies are deaf or hard of hearing. Ideally, that intervention starts soon after hearing issues are diagnosed, as ...

    Hearing Persists at End of Life, Brain Waves of Hospice Patients Show

    Even if they appear unresponsive, dying people may still be able to hear.

    That's the takeaway from a Canadian analysis of hospice patients in Vancouver.

    Researchers compared electroencephalography (EEG) data -- a measure of electrical activity in the brain -- collected when patients were conscious and when they became unresponsive at the end of life. Those patients were comp...

    Telemedicine Is Here: Experts Offer Tips for Seniors

    Virtual medical visits have been invaluable for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, but older adults may still need help managing them -- especially if they are hard of hearing.

    That's according to doctors at Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore. Writing in the Aug. 11 Annals of Internal Medicine, they offer some practical advice on navigating "telemedicine."

    First a...

    Another Side Effect of COVID-19 -- Lasting Hearing Problems?

    The aftereffects of COVID-19 are numerous, and now British researchers report that many patients recovering from infection with the new coronavirus have lingering hearing problems.

    For the study, 120 U.K. patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 took part in a phone survey.

    When the patients were asked if they had any changes in their hearing, 13% said it was wor...

    Face Masks Making Things Tough for the Deaf

    As the debate over face masks continues, few may realize how the coverings make it hard for the 48 million Americans with hearing loss to communicate with others.

    Masks can muffle sound, making it more difficult to understand speech and higher-pitched voices; prevent the ability to read lips and see facial expressions, which help people with hearing loss better understand what they're...

    Masks, Video Calls: Pandemic Is Hampering Communication for Those With Hearing Problems

    Face masks help prevent the spread of COVID-19, but they have a huge downside for people with hearing problems: They muffle sound and prevent lip-reading.

    But that's only one of several ways that pandemic-related safety precautions are making communication more challenging for those who are deaf or have hearing problems, researchers say.

    Limits on visitors in medical set...