Feature Article: Technology helps patients with hearing loss thrive

Seilesh BabuBy Seilesh Babu, M.D., Michigan Ear Institute

Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting otology patients whether as a newborn or aging patient. Hearing loss can significantly impact one’s ability to communicate leading to reduced quality of life, isolation, and even depression. Seeking medical help to assist with this hearing loss can be the biggest obstacle for many patients who do not want to acknowledge a hearing issue. However, if the problem is properly managed with hearing aid assistance or surgical therapy, improvement in the patient’s quality of life including anxiety, depression, frustration, and social isolation will be positively impacted.

In our practice at the Michigan Ear Institute, we see thousands of patients annually with hearing loss concerns in all age groups. Some of unilateral hearing loss and many have bilateral hearing loss, ranging from mild to profound. Unilateral hearing loss can be caused by not having an ear canal form (canal atresia) or, from nerve damage of unknown etiology. These patients have several options to improve their hearing such as using CROS hearing aids, bone anchored devices, dental implanted devices, or surgical repair of the poorly formed ear canal in the case of atresia. Many patients have significant improvement in their hearing in various situations using these technologies and surgeries.

Recently, a patient of ours received a scholarship from Cochlear Americas, the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. This scholarship recognizes bone anchored device and cochlear implant recipients who have shown academic accomplishments as well as a commitment to leadership and humanity. Using the technology of hearing devices, patients are able to complete advanced academic pursuits despite having hearing impairment that may have proven to be an obstacle. We are proud to be a part of this successful path for this patient who is currently enrolled in a Ph.D. program.

Hearing technology continues to improve. Advances in hearing aids have occurred with smaller, more powerful processors and noise canceling technology, as well as masking technology that treats tinnitus or ringing in the ear. Middle ear implants provide a surgical treatment option for patients who do not want to wear conventional hearing aids. Cochlear implantation has revolutionized the ability to treat patients with complete hearing loss either as a newborn or for patients in their 80s.

baby_hearing_aidChildren born with complete deafness are able to be treated with a cochlear implant with near normal function from speech and language development to academic performance. Adults with late onset profound hearing loss are also able to obtain a cochlear implant in order to maintain excellent quality of life, independence, and social interactions. Some elderly patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease may in fact be suffering from severe hearing loss that needs to be diagnosed and managed.

In the future, advances in stem cell development and treatments will improve the quality of life of hearing loss sufferers. In addition to these new technologies, it is the collaborative effort of otologists, audiologists, and speech-language pathologists in treating patients with hearing loss that continues to have a positive impact in the lives of these patients every day.

Just Published!

This week two new books came into the warehouse! First we have Evidence-Based Practice in Audiology: Evaluating Interventions for Children and Adults with Hearing Impairment by Lena Wong, PhD, and Louise Hickson, PhD. Also released this week is Cochlear Implants and Other Implantable Hearing Devices by Michael J. Ruckenstein, MD.

  

Be sure to check them out and order your copies today!

New Surgical Instrument Guide Coming Soon!

The pocket partner to Pasha’s Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery is coming soon! Releasing this Fall, Otolaryngology Surgical Instrument Guide serves as a handy reference of more than 200 of the most frequently used surgical instruments in otolaryngology. Organized by surgical subspecialty, this pocket guide features professional photographs of the instruments, their formal name, their aliases and details on how to set up equipment. Order your copy here.

Welcome to the June 2011 issue of Plural Community, the free newsletter by your community, for your community.

In advance of the publication of his new book Cutaneous Malignancy of the Head and Neck : A Multidisciplinary Approach, co-author Brian Moore writes our feature article on the subject of skin cancer—a condition that he now ranks as not far short of epidemic.

Congratulations are extended to our winners! Gina Palma from Bronx, NY, was the winner of our Plural Community May competition and received free copy of Communication and Swallowing in Parkinson Disease. Michael Wadie won a copy of the forthcoming Cutaneous Malignancy of the Head and Neck: A Multidisciplinary Approach and Alan Chu received Health Care Reform Through Practical Clinical Guidelines, both at the annual COSM conference. Lastly, congratulations to Clarissa Rider, who won a free copy of What Every Singer Needs to Know About the Body at May’s Classical Singer convention. For details on June’s competition, see below!

We hope you enjoy!

New Addition to Plural’s Audiology Portfolio

We are thrilled to share some exciting news with you!  Bellis’ central auditory processing text has been acquired by Plural Publishing. Offered at a new student-friendly price, you can now find the second edition of Assessment and Management of Central Auditory Processing Disorders in the Education Setting available for course review and/or purchase on our Website.

New Edition of Children with Hearing Loss

We are pleased to announce the publication of the 2nd edition of the bestselling book, “Children with Hearing Loss: Developing Listening and Talking, Birth to Six.”

This edition includes updated information about hearing instruments and cochlear implants, as well as ways that professionals can support parents in promoting their children’s language and listening development. Information about preschool program selection and management has also been included. The text also features a revised auditory development checklist.

Order your copy today!

Plural is headed to COSM!

We are excited to be preparing for the COSM meeting in Chicago.  We have amazing discounts on our favorite books, including some titles that are 50% off!  We will also be having a drawing for two free books.  We will be at booth #618; please stop by and say hello!

Plural is Headed to AudiologyNOW! in Chicago

If you’re heading for Chicago for AudiologyNow!, then make sure you head over to the Plural booth #2945 for great savings on books and media from the world-leaders in the hearing sciences. As an attendee you can enjoy 15% discount on all display copies (more if you check in early). PLUS simply print out and present this post to any member of the Plural team at the booth and enjoy a further 5% discount on purchases over $100*

Even if you are not attending this year’s meeting, you can still benefit. Simply order any Plural title online between April 6 and 9 and save 15% by adding promo code AAA15 in your shopping cart.