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Hearing technologies could play an important role in delaying dementia

EVENT

© The International Society of Audiology

New research into understanding how the brain adapts and improves its hearing abilities through the use of hearing technologies could play an important role in the future management of dementia. The use of devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants to delay and/or reverse cognitive decline in conditions such as dementia was one of the topics discussed at the XXXII World Congress of Audiology in Brisbane this week.

Professor Stephen Crain (picture), from the Macquarie University describes central auditory plasticity as the adaptability of the brain’s cerebral cortex to process sound more effectively in response to new stimuli:“We now know the brain has a remarkable ability to regrow and adapt itself to process new kinds of information and relearn tasks, especially in early childhood, but across the lifespan.” The peak of brain’s central auditory plasticity occurs in children between the ages of two and four. It’s before this critical time that infants with hearing loss benefit most from being fitted with a hearing device so that the regions of the brain that processes sound information and language can develop most optimally.

“Although the brain has its greatest plasticity in very young children, it continues to have remarkable adaptive abilities at all ages." Preliminary research supports the notion that adults with hearing aids develop new neural pathways in the brain to more fully utilise the information created by these devices. To some extent this conclusion is supported by anecdotal evidence that many adults who are initially unhappy with their hearing devices suddenly report dramatic improvement a month or so later.“We don’t know yet exactly what is happening in the brains of these adults, but their observations suggest that perceptual processing changes are taking place in the brain as it adjusts to the information provided by hearing devices,” Professor Crain explained.

“It’s early days but as the degree of hearing loss is highly correlated with the risk of dementia it seems highly likely that intervention with a hearing device to restore hearing in adulthood could assist in delaying the onset of dementia.”

Source: International Society of Audiology

J.E.

Audiologist of the Year 2017: Get to know the 7 country winners
Audiologist of the Year 2017: Get to know the 7 country winners

Audiology Worldnews wants to introduce you the winners of the Audiologist of the Year 2017 contest.

Sonova appoints Claudio Bartesaghi as new GVP Corporate HRM

Appointment

Sonova announced the appointment of Claudio Bartesaghi, currently Head of Corporate Human Resources Management (HRM) North America, to the position of Group Vice President Corporate HRM and member of the Sonova Management Board, effective October 1, 2017.

Summer camp for hearing-impaired teens and audiology students
Summer camp for hearing-impaired teens and audiology students

UT Dallas

©GlobalStock/iStock

Recently, a camp was organized in Denton County, Texas for teenagers with hearing loss and for their parents, who were able to share information and their experiences with one another.

Millennials at risk of hearing loss
Millennials at risk of hearing loss

NIHL

© Julia Freeman-Woolpert - sxc.hu

Occupational Health & Safety magazine recently reported on the growing number of younger Americans who have noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), especially due to overexposure to sound from personal electronic devices.

Active noise reduction technology for hearing protection
Active noise reduction technology for hearing protection

© iStock

ANR

In industries with very high noise levels causing potentially hazardous exposure of workers, working times are limited to prevent damage to team members’ hearing. Now, a new “triple hearing protection” solution may change perspectives.

Bill Austin named First Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health
Bill Austin named First Goodwill Global Ambassador for Ear and Hearing Health

Bill Austin, Sally Kader, President Bill Clinton. © Starkey Hearing Foundation

Ambassadorship

Sally Kader, founder and president of the International Federation for Peace & Sustainable Development (IFPSD), accredited by the UN, announced the ambassadorship of Bill Austin at an official event at the United Nations headquarters in New York on September 15.

Company Directory

New products

Widex BEYOND goes rechargeable Widex BEYOND goes rechargeable

On September 14, Widex announces the launch of BEYOND Z™ - a rechargeable solution for its BEYOND™ range of hearing aids, created in collaboration with ZPower.  [ ... ]

Sound Scouts for hearing tests fun developed in Australia

Sound Scouts is a new game-based tablet hearing testing app that aims to identify undetected cases of hearing loss in children by giving parents and caregivers a cost-effective tool to check hearing without leaving home.

 [ ... ]

GN Hearing Launches ReSound ENZO 3DTM and Beltone Boost MaxTMGN Hearing Launches ReSound ENZO 3DTM and Beltone Boost MaxTM

On August 30, GN Hearing announced the launch of ReSound ENZO 3D™, and the corresponding Beltone Boost Max™, which brings the renowned benefits of ReSound LiNX 3D™ and Beltone Trust™ to people with severe to profound hearing loss.  [ ... ]