On the Topic of Hearing Loss and Fatigue

In 2013, we reviewed an article from Dr. Ben Hornsby in which he reported on an initial foray into the fatiguing effects of listening to speech while managing a cognitively challenging secondary task (read here). The outcomes of his investigation suggested that use of hearing aids may reduce fatiguing effects of completing that secondary task. In more recent work, Drs Hornsby and Kipp assessed utility of standardized measures of fatigue among a large group of subjects with hearing loss.

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Hornsby, B. & Kipp, A. (2016). Subjective ratings of fatigue and vigor in adults with hearing loss are driven by perceived hearing difficulties not degree of hearing loss. Ear and Hearing 37 (1), 1-10.

Hearing Aid Use Decreases Perceived Loneliness

Since the early 80s, we’ve understood that self-reported hearing loss is highly correlated with feelings of loneliness and inferiority, reduced interest in leisure activities and withdrawal from others. Researchers have only recently started focused investigation toward the influence of hearing aid use on subjective perception of loneliness. In this blog, we review the work of Weinstein and colleagues, who found significant loneliness reduction among a group of new hearing aid wearers.

Read more here

Weinstein, B., Sirow, L. & Moser, S. (2016).  Relating hearing aid use to social and emotional loneliness in older adults. American Journal of Audiology 25, 54-61.

CONSIDERATIONS FOR MUSIC PROCESSING THROUGH HEARING AIDS

While speech is arguably the most important sound that listeners encounter on a daily basis, the perception of other sounds should be taken into consideration, including music. In this study, Arehart and her colleagues examined the effect of a variety of signal processing conditions on music quality ratings for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired individuals.

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Arehart, K., Kates, J. & Anderson, M. (2011) Effects of Noise, Nonlinear Processing and Linear Filtering on Perceived Music Quality, International Journal of Audiology, 50(3), 177-190.

2016 American Academy of Audiology Foundation Board

This group is the 2016 Board for the American Academy of Audiology Foundation. Their work and many audiologist and sponsor donations supported $164,000 in research grants and educational programs during 2015. Fund raising is off to an even stronger start in 2016.

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American Auditory Society 2016

The 2016 American Auditory Society starts today. Our posters are available for download at the links below:

A new online questionnaire for assessing spatial hearing ability http://buff.ly/1SkE0w6

Statistical analysis of outcomes from the device oriented subjective outcome scale http://buff.ly/1SkE1Ac

Speech intelligibility differences between bilateral and monaural telephone listening conditions http://buff.ly/1SkE1QC

Validation of a hearing aid program designed for music listening http://buff.ly/1SkE1QH

Acceptable hearing aid throughput delay for listeners with hearing loss under noisy conditions http://buff.ly/1SkE1QO

Amplitude modulated forward masking in listeners with normal and impaired hearing http://buff.ly/1Trh3Ji

Can a commercially available auditory training program improve audiovisual speech performance? http://buff.ly/1Trh3ZC

Listening gets more effortful in your forties

Understanding speech in noise poses difficulty for hearing-impaired people of all ages. Even older adults with normal hearing sensitivity demonstrate greater difficulties than their younger, normally hearing counterparts. The work of DeGesst and colleagues documents increases in effortful listening that closely follow the listeners’ age.

Read more: 

DeGeest, S., Keppler, H. & Corthals, P. (2015) The effect of age on listening effort. Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research 58(5), 1592-1600.

Another piece in the puzzle of hearing aid use and cognitive decline

Many individuals with hearing loss go without hearing aids, if causal linkage exists between increased risk of cognitive decline or dementia due to untreated hearing loss the implications are of meaningful concern for a large population of older adults. These factors have motivated a swell of interest in relationships among declining hearing ability, cognition, and memory for our aging population.

The reviewed study offers a longitudinal look at changes in screened cognitive ability as a function of self-reported hearing status.

Amieva, H., Ouvrard, C., Giulioli, C., Meillon, C., Rullier, L. & Dartigues, J.F. (2015) Self-Reported Hearing Loss, Hearing Aids and Cognitive Decline in Elderly Adults: A 25-Year Study. Journal of the American Geriatric Society 63 (10), 2099-2104.

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Rainbow, Rainbow ft. Lil KEMAR

This goes out to everyone that’s spent hours listening to speech in noise tests. The AuDs, hearing scientists, and engineers. Thanks Justin for the design, Fred for the beats, KEMAR for looking dapper, and the talented voice talent.

Modern Remote Microphones Greatly Improve Speech Understanding in Noise

In this study, we evaluated four wireless remote microphones that each use a different wireless audio transmission protocol. Results were equivalent across the four systems, indicating that these remote microphones offer similar benefits to those associated with FM remote microphones.

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Rodemerk, K. & Galster, J. (2015).  The benefit of remote microphones using four wireless protocols. Journal of the American Academy of Audiology, 1-8.

Does hearing aid use slow cognitive decline?

Prolonged, untreated hearing loss has been linked to increased social isolation, decreased brain volume, and range of subjective and objective declines in cognitive abilities. Hearing aids have been shown to beneficially affect some of these traits but a great deal of unknown details remain. A number of active studies aim to answer the question “does hearing aid use slow cognitive decline?”. The work of Deal and colleagues is a valuable step toward finding that answer.

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Deal, J., Sharrett, A., Albert, M., Coresh, J., Mosley, T., Knopman, D., Wruck, L. & Lin, F. (2015). Hearing impairment and cognitive decline: A pilot study conducted within the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities Neurocognitive Study. American Journal of Epidemiology 181 (9), 680-690.