Glue ear, also known as secretory otitis media, otitis media with effusion, or serous otitis media, causes a glue-like fluid to accumulate in the middle ear, which should be filled with air. Glue ear is a common cause of dulled hearing in young children. In the majority of cases symptoms resolve themselves in time without treatment being required. When symptoms persist the child will probably need some kind of therapy. Treatment in which a child blows up a balloon using their nose has been shown to help in a number of cases. Sometimes an operation is performed to clear the fluid and insert grommets if the condition persists. According to Medilexicon's medical dictionary, glue ear is "middle ear inflammation with thick mucoid effusion caused by long-standing eustachian tube obstruction." The ear and hearing The human ear is divided into three parts: The outer ear The middle ear The inner ear Sound waves enter the outer ear and hit the eardrum, making it vibrate. In the middle ear, behind the eardrum there are three ossicles - tiny bones, called the malleus, incus and stapes.
Research presented at Neuroscience 2009, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health, provide further insights into brain mechanisms, including those involved in music, social interaction, learning and memory. Specific research released: New findings indicate that musical training might enhance other auditory skills such as language acquisition and reading, and provides important diagnostic and treatment options for a number of hearing and language disorders. Scientists employ new light-activated circuits to explore how the brain functions in both normal and pathological situations. How a person reads another's facial cues can affect an individual's ability to engage socially. Research focuses on how the brain recognizes and processes facial data in typical social interactions and how people with disorders like autism, Williams, Rett's, Fragile X, and Timothy syndromes can vary in their ability to engage with others.
A group of researchers at Seville University, headed by Isabel de los Reyes RodrГ guez Ortiz, is analysing the reading comprehension processes of deaf youngsters, a factor closely linked to their level of expression, both verbal and using sign language. The project is being funded by the Regional Ministry of Innovation as a 2007 excellence project, with an amount of 53, 891.72 euros; it is scheduled to finalise in 2011. The starting hypothesis of the project is based on the fact that, initially, people with higher levels of verbal language have better reading comprehension. Furthermore, and this is a new area of study, the research also includes analysis of the relation between lip-face reading levels and comprehension of written texts. To verify this, the researchers are working with a sample that covers the deaf population between 10 and 18 years old, residing in Andalusia. The study of this sample population deals with aspects such as the supervision strategies they use to understand the text read, the predictive inferences (or deductions) they carry out or how they interpret grammatical anaphors (grammatical elements such as the Spanish "lo", which refers to a part of the discourse already stated), among other factors.
Deep in the ear, 95 percent of the cells that shuttle sound to the brain are big, boisterous neurons that, to date, have explained most of what scientists know about how hearing works. Whether a rare, whisper-small second set of cells also carry signals from the inner ear to the brain and have a real role in processing sound has been a matter of debate. Now, reporting on rat experiments in the October 22 issue of Nature, a Johns Hopkins team says it has for what is believed to be the first time managed to measure and record the elusive electrical activity of the type II neurons in the snail-shell-like structure called the cochlea. And it turns out the cells do indeed carry signals from the ear to the brain, and the sounds they likely respond to would need to be loud, such as sirens or alarms that might be even be described as painful or traumatic. The researchers say they've also discovered that these sensory cells get the job done by responding to glutamate released from sensory hair cells of the inner ear.
Advances in hearing aid design and technology mean more and better choices for consumers. The October issue of Mayo Clinic Women's HealthSource covers the pros and cons of various styles, from those that are barely noticeable to others that resemble the latest phones and come in stylish colors. Most of today's hearing aids work by providing more amplification for soft sounds and less amplification for loud sounds, making soft and average conversational speech loud enough to hear. Digital technology allows for smaller hearing aids that can be programmed and adjusted to better match an individual's unique hearing loss, usually with better sound quality, less feedback (squealing) and better noise reduction. In general, the smaller the hearing aid, the less powerful and flexible it is and the shorter its battery life. For hearing aids that tuck completely in the ear canal, the battery life is three to five days. For styles that are larger, batteries last up to two weeks. Because each situation is unique, an individual may not be a candidate for all styles and types of hearing aids.
An innovative four-year project to help families, service providers and policy makers understand the effectiveness of the different types of support available for young deaf children has come to an end, with some interesting findings. Positive Support in the lives of Deaf Children and their Families was a research project funded by the Big Lottery Fund via a partnership with Deafness Research UK. 'Positive Support' builds on an opportunity presented by the introduction of the NHS Newborn Hearing Screening Programme in 2002 resulting in many changes to the services available for deaf children and their families. Children with permanent hearing loss are now identified significantly earlier than before the programme was introduced, meaning that families are facing many important life issues while their child is still very young. 82 families from across the UK provided the research team with information, via several questionnaires, on their thoughts and feelings about the services available for young deaf children.
More Needs To Be Done To Prevent Hearing Loss From Middle Ear Inflammation Among Indigenous Children, Australia
More needs to be done to prevent and treat otitis media (otherwise known as middle ear inflammation), which is a major health problem in Indigenous communities and can lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the editor of a supplement on the condition published in the 2 November issue of the Medical Journal of Australia. Each year, three to five Australian children die from complications related to otitis media and another 15 suffer permanent hearing loss. "Indigenous Australian children account for the highest prevalence of chronic suppurative otitis media in the world (70 per cent in some remote communities). The World Health Organization regards a prevalence of chronic suppurative otitis media of over four per cent in a defined population of children as a massive public health problem requiring urgent attention, " Professor Harvey Coates, Clinical Professor at the University of Western Australia and Senior Ear, Nose and Throat Surgeon at the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth said.
As many as one in seven people will experience tinnitus, or ringing in their ears, at some time of their life, but not enough is being done to support patients who experience this distressing condition, according to an extensive research review in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Nursing. Tinnitus is the most common injury arising from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and 75% of 18 to 30 year-olds who go to nightclubs and concerts may experience temporary tinnitus. "Despite the fact that it is a very distressing condition and can affect people's lifestyle and quality of life, around 94% of patients are simply told that nothing can be done to alleviate the condition" says Professor Susan Holmes from Canterbury Christ Church University, Kent, UK. "Tinnitus is a widespread condition that affects millions of people across the world and there is considerable debate about its causes. The condition, which can be permanent or temporary and acute or chronic, increases with age and can also occur after bereavement or during stressful periods.
Specialists in HIV and in hearing at the University of Rochester Medical Center are teaming up to measure the hearing of people with AIDS. The five-year study is believed to be the first large study of its kind testing the hearing of people with HIV/AIDS and comparing the results with those from people without HIV. The new effort, supported by a $1.9 million grant from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, is the result of collaboration between hearing experts and experts on HIV and AIDS. The study is led by Amneris Luque, M.D., associate professor of Medicine and director of Strong Memorial Hospital's AIDS Clinic, which provides care for more than 900 patients. The project brings together experts in the nervous system and the immune system, both of which are involved in many types of hearing loss. The first of 360 participants who will take part in the study enrolled last week. Luque will work closely with hearing researcher Robert Frisina, Ph.D.
Age-related hearing loss is the most common sensory disorder among the elderly. But scientists are still trying to figure out what cellular processes govern or contribute to the loss. Now a University of Florida team and researchers from University of Wisconsin and three other institutions have identified a protein that is central to processes that cause oxidative damage to cells and lead to age-related hearing loss. The findings help point the way toward a new target for antioxidant therapies and will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. One theory of aging holds that free radicals damage components of mitochondria, the energy center of cells. Such damage accumulates over time, leading to a destabilization of the mitochondria, which leads to release of certain proteins. "Within the mitochondria these proteins cause life, but when they're out they're deadly, " professor Christiaan Leeuwenburgh, Ph.D., chief of the biology of aging division at UF's College of Medicine and a member of the Institute on Aging.