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Hidden hearing loss & hearing therapies featured at Association for Research in Otolaryngology

Every year, scientists who conduct research in otolaryngology (the biomedical science that focuses on the ears, nose, and throat) come together and share with one another their latest and most exciting research discoveries at the Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology (ARO). This year, the event (held February 9-14 in sunny San Diego) offered hours of scheduled events and symposia on some of the hottest topics in the field.

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Noise: The not-so-silent Health Hazard

We’ve all heard about the silent killers—health hazards such as stress and hypertension that can wield their dangerous effects by sneaking up on us, without our realizing it. But scientists are also finding that a lifetime of everyday noise levels can be just as dangerous, not just to our hearing health, but to our stress levels, sleeping ability, and cardiovascular health. The noise levels we’re talking about extend beyond those we’re already well aware of—those produced by excessively loud gadgets or machinery that are damaging to structures in our inner ear.

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May is for celebrating communication for all

We humans are incredibly social organisms. It is difficult to figure out when our species first started talking, but speech is one of the elements that make us uniquely human. Many experts believe that it was speech that aided in the manufacture of stone tools and the teaching of those primitive technologies. Our gift of gab has enabled us to survive. In the last few hundred thousand years, communication has transformed from grunts and sharp rocks to freestyle rapping on Broadway and live video chatting with astronauts on the International Space Station.

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World's largest gathering of audiologists convenes in Nashville

Hearing health care was on center stage this past week, when American Academy of Audiology (AAA) 2018, the world’s largest gathering of audiologists, convened April 18-21 in Nashville, TN. The annual conference, which celebrated the organization’s 30th anniversary this year, is an opportunity for audiologists to share ideas and communicate about the latest technologies, thus moving the field forward. Health care futurist Jeff Goldsmith, Ph.D., gave attendees a look at what’s to come through his keynote presentation, �A Glimpse into the Future of Audiology and Health Care.

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When a musician loses his or her hearing

The recent announcement by Huey Lewis that he had a hearing loss and would be canceling the upcoming tour of Huey Lewis and the News brings to mind other musicians whose careers have been affected by hearing loss. Often, we hear this news about rock and roll musicians, but musicians of all stripes can lose their hearing, though the causes may vary. In Lewis’ case, the cause of hearing loss is reported to be M�ni�re’s disease, an inner ear disorder that affects both balance and hearing.

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You passed your audiometric exam with flying colors. So why do you have trouble hearing at parties?

Have you ever been to a party and found yourself having difficulty understanding what people around you were saying? Perhaps you even had your hearing tested afterward, and everything checked out OK. It turns out that this may be a common problem, and hearing researchers are just beginning to grasp what’s going on. Not that long ago, the hot topic among researchers was hair cells, the sensory cells in your inner ear, or cochlea, that convert sound vibrations into electrical signals that travel to the brain.

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Gene editing technique reverses hearing loss in mice

Promising new work from researchers at Harvard may lead to a one-time treatment possibility for certain kinds of hearing loss. Genetics influences about half of all hearing loss, for which treatment options are limited. Drs. Liu and Chen led a research team and showed recently that a molecular technique can restore hearing in mice with a certain from of genetic hearing loss. Mutations in at least 100 alleles (versions) of genes impact hearing ability in humans and about 1 in 5 of these alleles are dominant.

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Gateway attends SupplySide East

On April 10-11, professionals representing the East Coast and beyond in the nutrition, food, and health trades gathered in Secaucus, N.J., to discuss products and ingredients at SupplySide East. What are they selling? Not pharmaceuticals, but nutraceuticals. A nutraceutical is a standardized nutrient derived from food. Think dietary supplements. You can get them over the counter without a prescription and they tend to have natural ingredients, which makes some consumers feel more comfortable.

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