Monday, April 2, 2018

Who? Where? Why? When?


A couple of years ago I went to a new optometrist to get a much needed prescription for progressive lenses.  I had been procrastinating - telling myself that it just wasn’t bad enough, and that I could still read “okay”. In all honesty, the first pair of progressive lenses was not successful.  The lenses were too small for an adequate field of vision.  So I waited for months to finally try again.  It made me think of many people who come to my office with the same thoughts about their hearing. I asked the optometrist a multitude of questions about his educational background, how long he thought my new lenses would work for me before I had to get new ones, how long it would take me to adjust to the progressive lenses, etc. He took his time with me explaining every step and educating me about the health of an eye and the natural progression of reduced focal length and need for more light. As a hearing care provider, I encounter similar questions about the ear and hearing. It is imperative that hearing care providers are educated and take time with you to answer your questions and concerns about your hearing loss, treatment options, and realistic expectations about your overall hearing. In the next few paragraphs, I will answer a couple of questions that are posed to me on a daily basis.



What is the difference between an audiologist and a hearing instrument specialist? In the State of Florida, all newly licensed audiologists (post 2008) must have graduated with a doctoral degree with a major emphasis in audiology and pass a demanding national competency examination. In addition to graduate school, audiologists must complete a residency or fellowship year as part of their training. In comparison, a hearing instrument specialist must complete a minimum six month hearing aid specialist training program, have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass the International Licensing Examination.

Audiologists in Florida will hold a masters degree in the science of hearing or a doctoral level degree. An Audiologist is a professional who specializes in evaluating and treating people with hearing loss. Audiologists have special training in the prevention, identification, assessment, and non-medical treatment of hearing disorders. By virtue of their graduate education, professional certification, licensure, and training, audiologists are the most qualified professionals to perform hearing tests, dispense and fit hearing devices and refer patients for medical treatment or evaluation. 



How will I know when it is time? If you are like me with my glasses, I figured it was just natural to start having more problems reading the fine print I would just get by for a while longer. I stopped by the drug store to buy “readers” but with my current vision problem, the “readers” just magnified my blurry vision. So I stopped reading books at night because it was just too difficult and my eyes would tire. Ironically, I had changed my lifestyle because I didn’t want to “change.” I find that individuals with hearing reduction have also begun to change their lifestyle so that they don’t have to “change.” Unlike vision, your hearing affects everyone around you. In fact, because your hearing changes gradually, you are usually the last to “figure out” you really do need enhancement for your hearing. You don’t realize that you have begun to compensate by turning the television louder, relying on your spouse to clarify the restaurant specials, changing your entertainment preferences to ones that have less background noise, etc. You may have developed compensatory skills that have been finely tuned such as tuning one person in and the other one out, repeating what you think you heard to confirm its accuracy, making educated guesses, etc. These are all excellent skills to acquire, but they will not solve all your hearing problems. Like it or not, we all change. On average, our hearing begins to noticeably change in our 60’s.  Some people have a head start to this natural change from noise exposure like recreational firearms, work environment, or genetics.  Even health issues like diabetes and vascular disease accelerates hearing changes.  It is really simple. If you or someone in your family suspects that you aren’t hearing as well as you used to, get your hearing tested. 

As I write this, I know that my new lenses are keeping me in the game. Now, I experience change as an integral part of maturation; not a threat to who I am, or an acquiescence to self-perceived shortcomings. Change is a constant and the time is always NOW. If you are making changes to compensate for a reduction in your hearing, subtle or grand, the time is now. You monitor your vision, your blood pressure, your physical health with no second thoughts …now is the time to start monitoring your hearing.  Don’t miss out on the sounds of your life.

~ Dr. Nancy Gilliom, Ph. D.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Prolonged Exposure to Loud Noises





Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf




Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech


DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Image courtesy UT Dallas: Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds.
Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD).
Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.
Dr. Michael Kilgard
Michael Kilgard, PhD
“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”
To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.
Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.
In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.
In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.
“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”
The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.
The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
http://www.hearingreview.com/2013/12/researchers-find-significant-improvement-for-tinnitus-sufferers-with-vns/
http://www.hearingreview.com/2011/01/nih-research-rebooting-the-brain-to-stop-tinnitus/
Source: UT Dallas
- See more at: http://www.hearingreview.com/2014/08/noise-induced-hearing-loss-alters-brain-responses-speech/#sthash.pUUSNSG1.dpuf
DECIBEL DIAGRAM b
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Alters Brain Responses to Speech
Published on August 4, 2014

Dr. Michael KilgardImage courtesy UT Dallas:

Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 decibels for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. Prolonged exposure to loud noise alters how the brain processes speech, potentially increasing the difficulty in distinguishing speech sounds, according to neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas). In a paper published in Ear and Hearing, researchers demonstrated for the first time how noise-induced hearing loss affects the brain’s recognition of speech sounds. Noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) reaches all corners of the population, affecting an estimated 15% of Americans between the ages of 20 and 69, according to the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD). Exposure to intensely loud sounds leads to permanent damage of the hair cells, which act as sound receivers in the ear. Once damaged, the hair cells do not grow back, leading to NIHL.


“As we have made machines and electronic devices more powerful, the potential to cause permanent damage has grown tremendously,” says Michael Kilgard, PhD, co-author. “Even the smaller MP3 players can reach volume levels that are highly damaging to the ear in a matter of minutes.”

To simulate two types of noise trauma that clinical populations face, UT Dallas scientists exposed rats to moderate or intense levels of noise for an hour. One group heard a high-frequency noise at 115 dB, inducing moderate hearing loss. A second group heard a low-frequency noise at 124 dB causing severe hearing loss. For comparison, the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) lists the maximum output of an MP3 player or the sound of a chain saw at about 110 dB and the siren on an emergency vehicle at 120 dB. Regular exposure to sounds greater than 100 dB for more than a minute at a time may lead to permanent hearing loss, according to the NIDCD.

Researchers observed how the two types of hearing loss affected speech sound processing in the rats by recording the neuronal response in the auditory cortex a month after the noise exposure. The auditory cortex, one of the main areas that processes sounds in the brain, is organized on a scale, like a piano. Neurons at one end of the cortex respond to low-frequency sounds, while other neurons at the opposite end react to higher frequencies.

In the group with severe hearing loss, less than one-third of the tested auditory cortex sites that normally respond to sound reacted to stimulation. In the sites that did respond, there were unusual patterns of activity. The neurons reacted slower, the sounds had to be louder, and the neurons responded to frequency ranges narrower than normal. Additionally, the rats could not tell the speech sounds apart in a behavioral task they could successfully complete before the hearing loss.

In the group with moderate hearing loss, the area of the cortex responding to sounds didn’t change, but the neurons’ reaction did. A larger area of the auditory cortex responded to low-frequency sounds. Neurons reacting to high frequencies needed more intense sound stimulation and responded slower than those in normal hearing animals. Despite these changes, the rats were still able to discriminate the speech sounds in a behavioral task.

“Although the ear is critical to hearing, it is just the first step of many processing stages needed to hold a conversation,” Kilgard says. “We are beginning to understand how hearing damage alters the brain and makes it hard to process speech, especially in noisy environments.”

The work was funded through a grant from NIDCD. Other UT Dallas researchers involved in the study were co-author Margaret Fonde Jonsson, PhD, Amanda Reed, PhD, Tracy Centanni, PhD, Michael Borland, Chanel Matney, and Crystal Engineer, PhD.


The Hearing Review featured Dr Kilgard’s earlier work (along with other colleagues at UT Dallas, including Drs James & Susan Jerger, Ross Roeser, Emily Tobey, Aage Moller, Linda Thibodeua, George Gerkin, Jackie Clark, and Anu Sharma) in an October 2002 article. Other HR articles related to  research by Dr Kilgard can be accessed at:
Source: UT Dallas