09 August 2016

Around the World in Sound

Travel around the world in sound. Sound helps us to make sense of the world around us, and certain sounds can trigger memories. A recent survey by Amplifon, the worldwide dedicated hearing specialist found that two thirds of Brits say sounds evoke memories of places they have visited. 

09 August 2016

Hidden Hearing Loss Could Explain Non-Detectable Aural Issues

01 June 2016

Hidden Hearing Loss Could Explain Non-Detectable Aural Issues

Diana Pilkington was surprised to receive a clean bill of health after experiencing long-standing hearing difficulties, but a new test exposed issues hidden from standard pure tone audiometry tests.

Writing in the  Daily Mail, she explained that a newly-emerging phenomenon dubbed "hidden hearing loss" compelled her to be tested using a new form of hearing test developed by scientists at the University of Manchester. 

The test, which analyses the auditory brainstem response (ABR), utilises a cap packed with dozens of electrodes that are connected to the scalp. Various frequencies are played through associated headphones, and brain activity is then recorded and analysed via the cap. 

The results lend an insight into sensorineural hearing loss, a conditionthat results from damage to the minuscule hair cells in the inner ear that are connected to the auditory nerve, as supposed to conductive hearing loss which results from sounds not being able to pass between the outer and inner areas of the ear. 

Sensorineural hearing loss can be reversible after brief exposure to loud noises, but these very same noises have been found to cause irreversible damage to the synapses that transmit information between hair cells and cochlea-based nerve cells. This can impair a person's ability to differentiate between noises in crowds or loud locations.

Scientists from Harvard University hope to one day inject neuron-growing neurotrophins through the eardrum, growing the nerve cells back to their healthy state.   

"You're not alone - surveys suggest that more than a quarter of us have great difficulty deciphering speech in a noisy environment," Pilkington said.


Nov 7th 2016