Health and Fitness

2010 National Hearing Conservation Association Conference To Explore The World Of Hearing Loss Prevention

The National Hearing Conservation Association [NHCA] announces that its 35th annual conference will be held February 25-27, 2010 at the Rosen Plaza Hotel in Orlando, Florida. Titled "Explore the World of Hearing Loss Prevention, " the conference will focus on various topics of local and international concern, including "whole life" hearing loss prevention; chemicals, ototoxicity and otoprotection; and the impending change to the Noise Reduction Rating in the United States. "National boundaries are no longer obstacles to the transfer of knowledge, and hearing conservation is not limited to industry, " said Thais C. Morata, Ph.D., NHCA 2010 Conference Chair. "Sharing good practices is at the core of NHCA's efforts towards building a culture that promotes healthy hearing. Our 2010 conference seeks to optimize the exchange of experiences and skills, facilitate new partnerships and expedite the research process worldwide in the pursuit of hearing loss prevention in all walks of life.

Charity Finds That 'Despite Recession' More Young People Are Going Out And Risking Hearing Damage

The number of young people going out to loud clubs, gigs and festivals has increased by 20% in 2009, RNID's Don't Lose the Music campaign has found as part of its annual poll of music lovers. The campaign - which aims to tell music lovers how and why to look after their hearing - reports that in spite of this year's financial problems, 45% of young people now go out more than once a week. The survey, conducted at festivals around the UK this summer, also reveals an increase in signs of hearing damage, with 88% of people experiencing ringing in their ears or dull hearing after nights out, yet only 21% protecting their hearing by wearing reusable earplugs. RNID, the largest charity working on hearing loss, is calling on the government to promote messages of 'safe listening', as it does in other areas such as sun exposure and safe sex. The charity is also asking music events to routinely highlight the risk of loud music to their customers. Speaking about the survey results, Emma Harrison from RNID's Don't Lose the Music campaign said: "We were really surprised to find that, despite the recession, young people are going out to music events more than ever.

Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute To Ensure Effective Communication With Persons Who Are Deaf Or Hard-of-Hearing

Under a voluntary resolution agreement reached with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), deaf or hard-of-hearing patients at the Mid-Maryland Musculoskeletal Institute (MMI) of Frederick, Md., will be screened and provided with sign language interpreters whenever interpreter services are necessary for effective communication. MMI is an 11-physician orthopedic practice with offices in Frederick and Hagerstown, Md., serving approximately 1, 000 patients per month. It provides specialized treatment for a wide range of bone, muscle, and joint conditions, by physicians who have special training and expertise in ten subspecialty areas. MMI voluntarily entered into a resolution agreement following an investigation by the Department's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) in response to three complaints alleging that MMI discriminated on the basis of disability when it failed to provide interpreter services that were necessary for deaf patients to communicate with MMI staff during their appointments.

Screening For Infant Hearing Problems

Infants and children who suffer from congenital or acquired hearing loss can face a lifetime of speech and language deficits, poor academic performance and emotional problems. In the clinical report, "Hearing Assessment in Infants and Children: Recommendations Beyond Neonatal Screening, " researchers have developed an algorithm to assist pediatricians determine the course of treatment when a hearing screening indicates hearing loss in children from infants to 18 years of age. Confirmed abnormal hearing test results require ongoing evaluation and intervention by a team of specialists including an audiologist, otolaryngologist, speech-language pathologists and teachers. At least one-third of children with hearing loss will also have a coexisting condition, so they should continue to be monitored for developmental and behavioral disorders and referred for additional evaluation when necessary. Source American Academy of Pediatrics

The New Buzz On Detecting Tinnitus

It's a ringing, a buzzing, a hissing or a clicking - and the patient is the only one who can hear it. Complicating matters, physicians can rarely pinpoint the source of tinnitus, a chronic ringing of the head or ears that can be as quiet as a whisper or as loud as a jackhammer. Now a Henry Ford Hospital study finds that a non-invasive imaging technique can actually aid in the diagnosis of tinnitus and may detect a reduction in symptoms after different treatments, offering hope to the more than 50 million patients with tinnitus. "Until now, we had no way of pinpointing the specific location of tinnitus in the brain, " says study co-author Michael D. Seidman, M.D., F.A.C.S., director of the Division of Otologic/Neurotolgic Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford Hospital. This imaging technique, magnetoencephalography (MEG), can determine the site of perception of tinnitus in the brain, which could in turn allow physicians to target the area with electrical or chemical therapies to lessen symptoms, according to study results presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO.

Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Nearly 3 Times As Likely To Occur In Men

A comprehensive study of the prevalence and risk factors for noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) show that men, especially those who are white and married, are significantly more at risk than women, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA. The study, which analyzed the audiometric testing data from 5, 290 people between the ages of 20 and 69 years indicates that more than 13 percent of subjects suffer from NIHL, which would correspond with approximately 24 million Americans suffering from the ailment. The strongest association was of gender, where men are 2.5 times more likely to develop NIHL than women. Among that group, married white (non-Hispanic) men represent the highest risk group for developing NIHL. NIHL is a preventable and increasingly prevalent disorder that results from exposure to high-intensity sound, especially over a long period of time.

Hearing Loss Risk In Men Can Be Reduced By Higher Folates, Not Antioxidants

Increased intakes of antioxidant vitamins have no bearing on whether or not a man will develop hearing loss, but higher folate intake can decrease his risk by 20 percent, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA. The study, which identified 3, 559 cases of men with hearing loss, found that there was no beneficial association with increased intakes of antioxidant vitamins such as C, E, and beta carotene. However, the authors found that men over the age of 60 who have a high intake of foods and supplement high in folates have a 20 percent decrease in risk of developing hearing loss. Hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder in the United States, affecting more than 36 million people. High folate foods include leafy vegetables such as spinach, asparagus, turnip greens, lettuces, dried or fresh beans and peas, fortified cereal products, sunflower seeds and certain other fruits and vegetables are rich sources of folate.

Drivers Of Convertibles May Be At Risk For Noise-induced Hearing Loss

Drivers who frequently take to the road with the top down may be risking serious damage to their hearing, according to research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA. A prospective study of the convertible-driving experience measured noise levels at speeds of 50, 60, and 70 miles per hour (mph), and indicated that drivers are consistently exposed to between 88 and 90 DbA, with a high of 99 Db. Long or repeated exposure to sounds over 85 Db is widely recognized to cause permanent hearing loss. Road surface, traffic congestion, wind noise, and driving speed were all contributing factors. Furthermore, the simple act of keeping car windows raised would significantly reduce noise exposure levels to 82 dB, even with the top down. The authors suggest that motorcycle riders might be looked to as a positive example, because while they are consistently exposed to louder noise levels, as a group they more frequently use ear protection.

Genetic Mutation A Strong Indicator Of Age-Related Hearing Loss Risk

Patients who exhibited a certain genetic mutation of anti-oxidant enzymes are three times more likely to develop age-related hearing loss (ARHL), according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA. The study, which collected DNA samples from 55 patients with ARHL, indicated that there exists a significant correlation between the presence of a mutation of the GSTT1 gene, and age-related hearing loss. Conversely, there were no associations linked to the NAT2 gene. Anti-oxidant enzymes and their deficiencies have also been implicated as contributors to diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Title: Anti-oxidant Enzymes and Age-Related Hearing Loss Author: Anthony Bared, MD and Xue Liu; Simon Angeli, MD Source: Matt Daigle American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery

Air Quality Improvements Over The Last Decade May Be A Factor In Fewer Ear Infections

Strides in improving the nation's air quality over the past ten years may be a factor in fewer cases of ear infections ( otitis media ) in children. These results are according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, CA. The study, which used National Health Interview Survey data of 120, 060 children from 1997-2006, measured how many instances occurred in the previous year for three disease conditions: frequent otitis media (FOM, 3 or more ear infections in the previous 12 months), respiratory allergy, and seizure activity. These numbers were cross-referenced with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) air quality data over the same period. The authors discovered that as air quality improved, the number of cases of FOM decreased. The authors believe their research has both medical and political significance. They believe it confirms the benefit of the revised Clean Air Act of 1990, which gave the EPA more authority to implement and enforce regulations reducing air pollutant emissions.

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