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Ear & Hearing
Journal Prestige (SJR): 1.735
Citation Impact (citeScore): 3
Number of Followers: 15  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 0196-0202 - ISSN (Online) 1538-4667
Published by LWW Wolters Kluwer Homepage  [301 journals]
  • Separating the Causes of Listening Difficulties in Children

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      Authors: Dillon; Harvey; Cameron, Sharon
      Abstract: imageAuditory processing disorder, defined here as a deficit in the way sounds are analyzed by the brain, has remained a controversial topic within audiology for decades. Some of the controversy concerns what it is called. More substantively, even its existence has been questioned. That view has likely emerged because there has not been sufficient rigor in determining when difficulty in understanding speech has been the consequence of some type of auditory processing deficit, versus when it is the consequence of a cognitive deficit or a language deficit. This article suggests that the field use the term “listening difficulty” as an umbrella term to indicate a reported deficit in recognizing sounds or understanding speech, one possible cause of which is an auditory processing disorder. Other possible causes are hearing deficits, cognitive deficits, and language deficits. This article uses a plausible, and hopefully noncontroversial, model of speech understanding that comprises auditory processing, speech processing, and language processing, all potentially affected by the degree of attention applied and the listener’s memory ability. In a fresh approach to the construction of test batteries, the stages of the model are linked to tests designed to assess either all or selected parts of the processes involved. For two of the stages, a listener’s performance is quantified as the additional signal to noise ratio that he or she needs to function equivalently to his or her age peers. Subtraction of the deficits revealed by each test enables the contributions of each processing stage to a listening deficit to be quantified. As a further novel contribution, the impact of memory and attention on each test score is quantitatively allowed for, by an amount that depends on each test’s dependence on memory and attention. Attention displayed during the test is estimated from the fluctuations in performance during the test. The article concludes with a summary of the research that must be conducted before the structured tests can be used to quantify the extent to which different potential causes of listening difficulties are responsible for real-life difficulties in an individual child.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • The Significance of Audiometric Notching in Individuals With a History of
           Noise Exposure: A Systematic Review

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      Authors: Meghji; Sheneen; Phillips, John
      Abstract: imageObjectives: The diagnosis of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) is reliant on the appraisal of audiometric data. A notch, dip or bulge, centered at the 4-kHz frequency is considered to be pathognomonic. However, guidelines applied to assist the diagnosis of NIHL often allow for a notch centered between the 3- and 6-kHz frequencies. The primary outcome of this review is to document the relationship between audiometric notching at particular frequencies and the populations in which they have been identified.Design: We included all population-based studies, cohort, cross-sectional, case-control, case-series, and case reports of adults and children, with exposure to noise and with a notch, dip or bulge. The review has been registered with Prospero (Registration: CRD42017079901) and prepared in line with the PRISMA guidelines.Results: We included 84 articles in the final systematic review. There were a total of 1,438,987 individuals, aged 7 to 80 years old. The studies were conducted in 26 different countries. Fourteen studies identified notching at 3 kHz, 63 studies identified notching at 4 kHz, and 47 studies identified notching at 6 kHz. The Newcastle-Ottawa risk assessment tool was performed on 82 of the studies emphasizing the high risk of bias in observational studies.Conclusions: The overwhelming outcome of this systematic review demonstrates that the relationship between noise exposure and a 3- to 6-kHz audiometric notch is not straight-forward. A handful of articles have displayed a clear association between an individual’s noise exposure and an audiometric notch. Unilateral notches, notches observed at 3 kHz and notches in the absence of continued high-intensity noise exposure must be scrutinized thoroughly. The ambiguous nature of NIHL directs its continued interest.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Vestibular Function in Older Adults With Cognitive Impairment: A
           Systematic Review

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      Authors: Bosmans; Joyce; Jorissen, Cathérine; Gilles, Annick; Mertens, Griet; Engelborghs, Sebastiaan; Cras, Patrick; Van Ombergen, Angelique; Van Rompaey, Vincent
      Abstract: imageImportance: Given the rising prevalence of patients with dementia and those at risk for it, early identification is prioritized. As vestibular dysfunction is associated with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and may contribute to its onset, vestibular assessment may yield an opportunity in early dementia screening.Objective: This systematic review structures and compares the different raw outcome measures used to assess vestibular function while comparing older adults with preserved cognition to individuals with cognitive impairment, either suffering from mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or AD.Design: Two investigators independently and systematically searched publications performing objectively measured vestibular testing in a patient population consisting of either MCI or AD, compared with a control group of older adults with preserved cognition. No limitations regarding language or publication date were applied. References of the retrieved articles were hand searched for relevant articles.Results: Seven articles were included for analysis. A total of 235 older adults with impaired cognition (150 AD, 85 MCI) were compared with a control group of 481 older adults with preserved cognition. Evaluation of the peripheral vestibular function included video head impulse test (vHIT), videonystagmography (VNG), electronystagmography (ENG) including bithermal caloric irrigation and vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (VEMP). The VEMP test, assessing otolith function and the elicited vestibulocollic reflex (VCR), was able to differentiate subjects with AD and its prodromal stage from healthy controls, with p13 latency (p < 0.05) and amplitude (p < 0.05) having the most discriminating power.No correlation between cognitive decline and vestibulo-ocular reflex measurements in different frequency ranges of the semicircular canals (using vHIT, rotatory chair testing, and caloric irrigation) was found. Because of the limited number of available studies and the large heterogeneity in outcome measures, these results have to be interpreted with caution.Conclusions: Measurements of the VCR, as evoked by the VEMP test, discriminate between patients with cognitive impairment (MCI and AD) and older adults with preserved cognition, whereas measurements of the vestibulo-ocular reflex do not. More studies are needed to further elaborate on these findings.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Blood Prestin Levels in Normal Hearing and in Sensorineural Hearing Loss:
           A Scoping Review

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      Authors: Iliadou; Eleftheria; Kikidis, Dimitrios; Pastiadis, Konstantinos; Plack, Christopher J.; Bibas, Athanasios
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Recently, it has been hypothesized that blood prestin concentration levels may reflect cochlear damage and thus serve as an easily measurable, early sensorineural hearing loss (HL) biomarker. This is a scoping review aiming to identify and critically appraise current evidence on prestin blood levels and their temporal variation in rodents and humans with normal hearing and with sensorineural HL.Design: This study was designed and held according to PRISMA Extension for Scoping Reviews (PRISMA-ScR) guidelines. With no limitation with regards to study type, animal and human studies focusing on prestin blood levels in normal hearing and in sensorineural HL were sought in major databases such as Medline, Central Scopus, PROSPERO, and Clinicaltrials.gov. Results were then hand-searched. A data charting form was developed including the parameters of interest.Results: Seven studies focusing on measuring prestin blood levels by means of ELISA in rodents and human subjects with normal hearing and noise-induced, drug-induced, or idiopathic sudden HL were found eligible and were included in the analysis. According to these proof-of-concept studies, prestin can be detected in the circulation of subjects with no HL; however, normal ranges remain unclear. After cochlear damage, blood prestin levels seem to initially rise and then return to near or below baseline. The degree of their change relates with subjects’ degree of HL, damaged cochlear region and recovery. Prestin blood levels and their temporal variation seem to correlate with cochlear damage; however, methodological weaknesses, such as small sample size, lack of detailed phenotyping, insufficient exclusion of confounding factors, and short follow-up, do not allow for robust conclusions.Conclusions: Current findings support the value of studying blood prestin levels in normal hearing and HL and highlight a need for larger-scale longitudinal research.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Prevalence of Decreased Sound Tolerance (Hyperacusis) in Individuals With
           Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Meta-Analysis

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      Authors: Williams; Zachary J.; Suzman, Evan; Woynaroski, Tiffany G.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Hyperacusis, defined as decreased tolerance to sound at levels that would not trouble most individuals, is frequently observed in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Despite the functional impairment attributable to hyperacusis, little is known about its prevalence or natural history in the ASD population. The objective of this study was to conduct a systematic review and meta-analysis estimating the current and lifetime prevalence of hyperacusis in children, adolescents, and adults with ASD. By precisely estimating the burden of hyperacusis in the ASD population, the present study aims to enhance recognition of this particular symptom of ASD and highlight the need for additional research into the causes, prevention, and treatment of hyperacusis in persons on the spectrum.Design: We searched PubMed and ProQuest to identify peer-reviewed articles published in English after January 1993. We additionally performed targeted searches of Google Scholar and the gray literature, including studies published through May 2020. Eligible studies included at least 20 individuals with diagnosed ASD of any age and reported data from which the proportion of ASD individuals with current and/or lifetime hyperacusis could be derived. To account for multiple prevalence estimates derived from the same samples, we utilized three-level Bayesian random-effects meta-analyses to estimate the current and lifetime prevalence of hyperacusis. Bayesian meta-regression was used to assess potential moderators of current hyperacusis prevalence. To reduce heterogeneity due to varying definitions of hyperacusis, we performed a sensitivity analysis on the subset of studies that ascertained hyperacusis status using the Autism Diagnostic Interview-Revised (ADI-R), a structured parent interview.Results: A total of 7783 nonduplicate articles were screened, of which 67 were included in the review and synthesis. Hyperacusis status was ascertained in multiple ways across studies, with 60 articles employing interviews or questionnaires and seven using behavioral observations or objective measures. The mean (range) age of samples in the included studies was 7.88 years (1.00 to 34.89 years). The meta-analysis of interview/questionnaire measures (k(3) = 103, nASD = 13,093) estimated the current and lifetime prevalence of hyperacusis in ASD to be 41.42% (95% CrI, 37.23 to 45.84%) and 60.58% (50.37 to 69.76%), respectively. A sensitivity analysis restricted to prevalence estimates derived from the ADI-R (k(3) = 25, nASD = 5028) produced similar values. The estimate of current hyperacusis prevalence using objective/observational measures (k(3) = 8, nASD = 488) was 27.30% (14.92 to 46.31%). Heterogeneity in the full sample of interview/questionnaire measures was substantial but not significantly explained by any tested moderator. However, prevalence increased sharply with increasing age in studies using the ADI-R (BF10 = 93.10, R2Het = 0.692).Conclusions: In this meta-analysis, we found a high prevalence of current and lifetime hyperacusis in individuals with ASD, with a majority of individuals on the autism spectrum experiencing hyperacusis at some point in their lives. The high prevalence of hyperacusis in individuals with ASD across the lifespan highlights the need for further research on sound tolerance in this population and the development of services and/or interventions to reduce the burden of this common symptom.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Reliability of Serological Prestin Levels in Humans and its Relation to
           Otoacoustic Emissions, a Functional Measure of Outer Hair Cells

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      Authors: Parker; Ashley; Parham, Kourosh; Skoe, Erika
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Serological biomarkers, common to many areas of medicine, have the potential to inform on the health of the human body and to give early warning of risk of compromised function or illness before symptoms are experienced. Serological measurement of prestin, a motor protein uniquely produced and expressed in outer hair cells, has recently been identified as a potential biomarker to inform on the health of the cochlea. Before any test can be introduced into the clinical toolkit, the reproducibility of the measurement when repeated in the same subject must be considered. The primary objective of this study is to outline the test-retest reliability estimates and normative ranges for serological prestin in healthy young adults with normal hearing. In addition, we examine the relation between serum prestin levels and otoacoustic emissions (OAEs) to compare this OHC-specific protein to the most common measure of OHC function currently used in hearing assessments.Design: We measured prestin levels serologically from circulating blood in 34 young adults (18 to 24 years old) with clinically normal pure-tone audiometric averages at five different timepoints up to six months apart (average intervals between measurements ranged from 0.8. Across sessions, the average serum prestin level was 250.20 pg/mL, with a standard error of measurement of 7.28 pg/mL. Moreover, positive correlations (generally weak to moderate) were found between prestin levels and OAE magnitudes and signal-to-noise ratios.Conclusions: Findings characterize serum prestin in healthy young adults with normal hearing and provide initial normative data that may be critical to interpreting results from individuals with sensorineural hearing loss. Our results demonstrate reliability of serum prestin levels in a sample of normal-hearing young adults across five test sessions up to 6 months apart, paving the way for testing larger samples to more accurately estimate test-retest standards for clinical protocols, including those involving serial monitoring. The positive correlations between serum prestin and OAE levels, although weak to moderate, reinforce that the source of serum prestin is likely the outer hair cells in the inner ear, but also that serum prestin and OAEs each may also index aspects of biologic function not common to the other.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Occupational Noise Exposure and Longitudinal Hearing Changes in Post-9/11
           US Military Personnel During an Initial Period of Military Service

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      Authors: Reavis; Kelly M.; McMillan, Garnett P.; Carlson, Kathleen F.; Joseph, Antony R.; Snowden, Jonathan M.; Griest, Susan; Henry, James A.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Auditory impairments, particularly those resulting from hazardous occupational noise exposures, are pressing concerns for the US Departments of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Affairs (VA). However, to date, no studies have estimated the rate of hearing threshold change that occurs during service or how changes may vary by military occupation. Hearing threshold changes during military service have historically been reported as the proportion of Service members demonstrating a significant threshold shift. This approach does not capture the rate of the hearing threshold change or the specific audiometric frequencies impacted. Determining the rate of hearing threshold change, and factors that affect the rate of change, is important to elucidate the impact of military service on hearing and to guide prevention strategies and subsequent hearing health care. Our primary objective was to estimate the annual rate of hearing threshold change during military service as a consequence of military occupational noise exposure ranking.Design: We linked audiometric data, collected from military personnel as part of a DoD hearing conservation program, to data describing demographic and military-service characteristics obtained from individuals enrolled in the Noise Outcomes In Service members Epidemiology Study. The analytic cohort included Veterans who enlisted in military service after September 2001 (n = 246). We examined the longitudinal association between military occupations categorized as having a low, moderate, or high noise exposure ranking and pure-tone hearing thresholds (500 to 6000 Hz) using a hierarchical linear model. The average annual rate of hearing threshold change and their 95% confidence intervals were estimated by service branch, military occupational noise exposure ranking, and audiometric test frequency.Results: On average, hearing threshold change ranged between −0.5 and 1.1 dB/year and changes over time varied by service branch, audiometric test frequency, and military occupation noise ranking. Generally, higher test frequencies (3000 to 6000 Hz) and military occupations with moderate or high noise exposure rankings had the greatest average annual rates of hearing threshold change; however, no dose-response relationship was observed. Among Marine Corps personnel, those exposed to occupations with high noise rankings demonstrated the greatest average annual rate of change (1.1 dB/year at 6000 Hz). Army personnel exposed to occupations with moderate noise rankings demonstrated the greatest average annual rate of change (0.6 dB/year at 6000 Hz).Conclusions: This study (1) demonstrates the unique use of DoD hearing conservation program data, (2) is the first analysis of hearing threshold changes over time using such data, and (3) adds to the limited literature on longitudinal changes in hearing. The difference in hearing threshold changes across military branches is likely indicative of their varying noise exposures, hearing protection device use and enforcement, and surveillance practices. Results suggest Marine Corps and Army personnel are at risk for hearing threshold changes and that, among Army personnel, this is most pronounced among those exposed to moderate levels of occupational noise exposure. Estimates of the rate of hearing threshold change by frequency and factors that impact hearing are useful to inform the DoD’s efforts to protect the hearing of their Service members and to the Veterans Affairs’s efforts to identify and rehabilitate those most likely to experience hearing threshold change.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Sound-level Monitoring Earphones With Smartphone Feedback as an
           Intervention to Promote Healthy Listening Behaviors in Young Adults

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      Authors: Knoetze; Megan; Mahomed-Asmail, Faheema; Manchaiah, Vinaya; Swanepoel, De Wet
      Abstract: imageObjectives: More than a billion adolescents and youngsters are estimated to be at risk of acquiring recreational noise-induced hearing loss (RNIHL) due to the unsafe use of personal audio systems. RNIHL is preventable; therefore, the present study aimed to determine (i) the accuracy and reliability of dbTrack (Westone) sound-level monitoring earphones and (ii) the effect of sound-level monitoring earphones with smartphone feedback and hearing-health information as an intervention to promote healthy listening behaviors in young adults.Design: The study consisted of two phases: the first phase investigated the accuracy and reliability of dbTrack sound-level monitoring earphones. Accuracy was determined by comparing earphone measurements to sound level meter measurements. Intradevice reliability was determined by comparing earphone measurements during test-retest conditions. Nineteen participants were recruited through convenience sampling to determine within-subject reliability by comparing in-ear sound levels measured by the earphones during test-retest conditions. For the second phase of the study, a single-group pretest-posttest design was utilized. Forty participants, recruited through snowball sampling, utilized the sound-level monitoring earphones with the accompanying dbTrack smartphone application for 4 weeks. The application’s smartphone feedback was disabled during the first 2 weeks (pretest condition) and enabled during the last 2 weeks (posttest condition). Average daily intensities, durations, and sound dosages measured during pre- and posttest conditions were compared.Results: Phase 1 dbTrack earphone measurements were within 1 dB when compared with sound level meter measurements. Earphones were also within 1 dB in repeated measures across earphones and across participants. Phase 2 posttest average daily intensity decreased by 8.7 dB (18.3 SD), duration decreased by 7.6 minutes (46.6 SD), and sound dose decreased by 4128.4% (24965.5% SD). Differences in intensity and sound dose were significantly lower with a small and medium effect size, respectively.Conclusions: This study’s preliminary data indicate that dbTrack (Westone) sound-level monitoring earphones with a calibrated in-ear microphone can reliably and accurately measure personal audio systems sound exposure. Preliminary results also suggest that feedback on sound exposure using the accurate sound-level monitoring earphones with the accompanying dbTrack application can potentially promote safe listening behavior in young adults and reduce the risk of acquiring an RNIHL.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Improving the Differential Diagnosis of Otitis Media With Effusion Using
           Wideband Acoustic Immittance

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      Authors: Merchant; Gabrielle R.; Al-Salim, Sarah; Tempero, Richard M.; Fitzpatrick, Denis; Neely, Stephen T.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: The objective of this work is to determine whether there is a systematic effect of middle ear effusion volume on wideband acoustic immittance in children with surgically confirmed otitis media with effusion.Design: Wideband acoustic immittance was measured in 49 ears from children (9 months to 11 years) who had a diagnosis of otitis media with effusion and compared to 14 ears from children (10 months to 10 years) without a recent history of otitis media. For children with otitis media with effusion, wideband acoustic immittance testing took place in the child’s preoperative waiting room before surgical placement of tympanostomy tubes. Testing was completed in a pressurized condition (wideband tympanometry) for all ears as well as in an ambient condition in a subset of ears. Intraoperative findings regarding effusion volume were reported by the surgeons immediately before tube placement and confirmed following myringotomy. This classified the volume of effusion as compared to middle ear volume categorically as either full, partial, or clear of effusion. The type of wideband acoustic immittance explored in this work was absorbance. Absorbance responses were grouped based on effusion volume into one of four groups: full effusions, partial effusions, ears clear of effusion at the time of surgery, and normal control ears. Standard tympanometry was also completed on all ears.Results: Absorbance is systematically reduced as the volume of the middle ear effusion increases. This reduction is present at most frequencies but is greatest in the frequency range from 1 to 5 kHz. A multivariate logistic regression approach was utilized to classify ears based on effusion volume. The regression approach classified ears as effusion present (full and partial ears) or absent (clear ears and normal control ears) with 100% accuracy, ears with effusion present as either partial or full with 100% accuracy, and ears without effusion as either normal control ears or ears clear of effusion with 75% accuracy. Regression performance was also explored when the dataset was split into a training set (70% of the data) and a validation test set (30% of the data) to simulate how this approach would perform on unseen data in a clinical setting. Accuracy, sensitivity, specificity, and area under the receiver operating characteristic curve are reported. Overall, this approach demonstrates high sensitivity and specificity for classifying ears as effusion being present or absent and as present effusions being full or partial with areas under the curve ranging from 1 to 0.944. Despite the lack of effusion present in both clear ears and normal control ears, this approach was able to distinguish between these ears, but with a more moderate sensitivity and specificity. No systematic effect of effusion volume was found on standard tympanometry.Conclusions: Wideband acoustic immittance, and more specifically, absorbance, is a strong and sensitive indicator of the volume of a middle ear effusion in children with otitis media with effusion.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Audiologic Profiles of Children With Otitis Media With Effusion

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      Authors: Al-Salim; Sarah; Tempero, Richard M.; Johnson, Hannah; Merchant, Gabrielle R.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: To describe the impact of effusion volume, viscosity, and purulence on the audiologic profiles of children with otitis media with effusion.Design: Fifty-one ears from children between the ages of 8 months and 11 years who had a diagnosis of otitis media with effusion and were scheduled for tympanostomy tube placement were recruited from medical clinics. The control group consisted of 17 ears from children between the ages of 10 months and 11 years without a recent history of otitis media and were recruited from a database of research volunteers. Participants received a comprehensive audiologic testing battery consisting of tympanometry, otoacoustic emissions, behavioral audiometric thresholds, and auditory brainstem response testing. For children with otitis media, this testing battery occurred 1 to 2 days before surgery. Middle ear effusions were characterized and collected on the day of surgery during tympanostomy tube placement from ears with otitis media with effusion. The comprehensive audiologic testing battery was completed postoperatively as well for most participants.Results: Effusion volume, categorized in each ear as clear, partial, or full, effected the audiologic results. Ears with full effusions had moderate hearing losses, few to no measurable otoacoustic emissions, and delayed Wave V latencies. Ears with partial effusions and clear ears both had slight to mild hearing losses and normal Wave V latencies, though ears with partial effusions had fewer measurable otoacoustic emissions than clear ears. Normal-hearing control ears with no recent history of otitis media with effusion demonstrated normal audiometric thresholds, present otoacoustic emissions, and normal Wave V latencies. Repeat postoperative testing demonstrated improvements in audiologic testing results for all of the otitis media with effusion volume groups, with no significant differences remaining between the three otitis media with effusion groups. However, significant differences between otitis media with effusion ears and normal-hearing control ears persisted postoperatively, with otitis media with effusion ears demonstrating significantly poorer audiometric thresholds and reduced otoacoustic emissions as compared to normal control ears. The effect of effusion viscosity and purulence could not be systematically evaluated because minimal variability in effusion viscosity and purulence was observed in our sample, with nearly all effusions being mucoid and nonpurulent.Conclusions: Effusion volume observed at the time of tympanostomy tube surgery was found to play a significant role in outcomes and responses on a range of audiologic tests that compose the standard clinical pediatric audiologic assessment battery. Full middle ear effusions were associated with a moderate hearing loss, and few to no measurable otoacoustic emissions were detected. Ears with a recent diagnosis of otitis media with effusion but clear at the time of tympanostomy tube placement had less hearing loss and a greater number of present otoacoustic emissions than ears with full or partial effusions but were still found to have poorer hearing sensitivity than the healthy control ears. Differences between ears with otitis media with effusion and healthy control ears persisted on postoperative assessments of otoacoustic emissions and audiometric thresholds, though there were no remaining effects of the presurgical effusion volume group.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Activating a Noise-Gating Algorithm and Personalizing Electrode Threshold
           Levels Improve Recognition of Soft Speech for Adults With CIs

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      Authors: Marcrum; Steven C.; Picou, Erin M.; Bohr, Christopher; Steffens, Thomas
      Abstract: imageObjective: In contrast to the moderate presentation levels most commonly used in clinical practice, speech encountered in everyday life often occurs at low levels, such as when a conversational partner whispers or speaks from another room. In addition, even when the overall signal level is moderate, levels for particular words or speech sounds, such as voiceless consonants, can be considerably lower. Existing techniques for improving recognition of low-level speech for cochlear implant users include using a wider input dynamic range and elevating electrode threshold levels (T-levels). While these techniques tend to positively impact recognition of soft speech, each has also been associated with drawbacks. Recently, a noise-gating (NG) algorithm was reported, which works by eliminating input to an electrode when signal level in the associated frequency channel is at or below a predetermined threshold. Available evidence suggests that activation of this algorithm can improve recognition of sentences presented at low levels (35 to 50 dB SPL), though it remains unclear whether the benefits will be equally evident with both manufacturer default and individually optimized T-levels. The primary aim of this study was therefore to evaluate the independent and combined effects of NG activation and T-level personalization.Methods: Twenty adults between the ages of 25 and 77 years (M = 54.9 years, SD = 17.56) with postlingually acquired profound hearing loss completed testing for this study. Participants were fit with an Advanced Bionics Naida CI Q90 speech processor, which contained four programs based on each participant’s existing everyday program. The programs varied by the NG algorithm setting (on, off) and T-level method (default 10% of M-level, personalized based on subjective ratings of “very quiet”). All participants completed speech sound detection threshold testing (/m/, /u/, /a/, /i/, /s/, and /∫/), as well as tests of monosyllabic word recognition in quiet (45 and 60 dB SPL), sentence recognition in quiet (45 and 60 dB SPL), and sentence recognition in noise (45-dB SPL speech, +10 dB SNR).Results: Findings demonstrated that both activating NG and personalizing T-levels in isolation significantly improved detection (speech sounds) and recognition (monosyllables, sentences in quiet, and sentences in noise) of soft speech, with their respective individual effects being comparable. However, the lowest speech sound detection thresholds and the highest speech recognition performance were identified when NG was activated in conjunction with personalized T-levels. Importantly, neither T-level personalization nor NG activation affected recognition of speech presented at 60 dB SPL, which suggests the strategies should not be expected to interfere with recognition of average conversational speech.Conclusions: Taken together, these data support the clinical recommendation of personalizing T-levels and activating NG to improve the detection and recognition of soft speech. However, future work is needed to evaluate potential limitations of these techniques. Specifically, speech recognition testing should be performed in the presence of diverse noise backgrounds and home-trials should be conducted to determine processing effects on sound quality in realistic environments.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Comparing Methods for Pairing Electrodes Across Ears With Cochlear
           Implants

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      Authors: Staisloff; Hannah E.; Aronoff, Justin M.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Currently, bilateral cochlear implants (CIs) are independently programmed in clinics using frequency allocations based on the relative location of a given electrode from the end of each electrode array. By pairing electrodes based on this method, bilateral CI recipients may have decreased sensitivity to interaural time differences (ITD) and/or interaural level differences (ILD), two cues critical for binaural tasks. There are multiple different binaural measures that can potentially be used to determine the optimal way to pair electrodes across the ears. Previous studies suggest that the optimal electrode pairing between the left and right ears may vary depending on the binaural task used. These studies, however, have only used one reference location or a single bilateral CI user. In both instances, it is difficult to determine if the results that were obtained reflect a measurement error or a systematic difference across binaural tasks. It is also difficult to determine from these studies if the differences between the three cues vary across electrode regions, which could result from differences in the availability of binaural cues across frequency regions. The purpose of this study was to determine if, after experience-dependent adaptation, there are systematic differences in the optimal pairing of electrodes at different points along the array for the optimal perception of ITD, ILD, and pitch.Design: Data from seven bilateral Nucleus users was collected and analyzed. Participants were tested with ITD, ILD, and pitch-matching tasks using five different reference electrodes in one ear, spaced across the array. Comparisons were conducted to determine if the optimal bilateral electrode pairs systematically differed in different regions depending on whether they were measured based on ITD sensitivity, ILD sensitivity, or pitch matching, and how those pairs differed from the pairing in the participants’ clinical programs.Results: Results indicate that there was a significant difference in the optimal pairing depending on the cue measured, but only at the basal end of the array.Conclusion: The results suggest that optimal electrode pairings differ depending on the cue measured to determine optimal pairing, at least for the basal end of the array. This also suggests that the improvements seen when using optimally paired electrodes may be tied to the particular percept being measured both to determine electrode pairing and to assess performance, at least for the basal end of the array.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • What Can a Child Do With One Normal-Hearing Ear' Speech Perception and
           Word Learning in Children With Unilateral and Bilateral Hearing Losses
           Relative to Peers With Normal Hearing

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      Authors: Pittman; Andrea L.; de Diego-Lázaro, Beatriz
      Abstract: imageObjectives: To examine the effects of unilateral hearing loss on children’s ability to perceive familiar words and to learn and retain new words. Because children with unilateral hearing loss receive full auditory input in one ear, their performance was expected to be consistent with that of children with normal hearing rather than that of children with moderate bilateral hearing loss.Design: Participants were 36 school-age children with normal hearing bilaterally, 11 children with moderate bilateral hearing loss, and 11 children with mild-to-profound unilateral hearing loss (six right and five left). Half of the normally hearing children and two-thirds of the children with unilateral hearing loss were from bilingual Spanish/English-speaking homes. One of the 11 children with bilateral hearing loss was from a bilingual Spanish/English-speaking home. All children completed a word recognition test in English and in Spanish, a word-learning task comprised of nonsense words constructed using the phonotactic rules of English, Spanish, and Arabic, and a next-day word-retention test.Results: Word recognition did not differ across groups in English or Spanish. Learning and retention of nonsense words was highest for the children with normal hearing in all three languages. The children with unilateral and bilateral losses learned and recalled the English nonsense words as well as their normally hearing peers, but performance for the Spanish and Arabic nonsense words was significantly and similarly reduced by hearing loss in either ear.Conclusions: Failure to learn and retain new words given a full auditory representation in one ear suggests that children with unilateral and bilateral hearing losses may share a unifying feature of impairment at the level of the central auditory system.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Developmental Outcomes in Early-Identified Children Who Are Hard of
           Hearing at 2 to 3 Years of Age

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      Authors: Stika; Carren J.; Eisenberg, Laurie S.; Carter, Alice S.; Johnson, Karen C.; Hammes Ganguly, Dianne M.; Henning, Shirley C.; DesJardin, Jean L.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: This study examined the psychosocial, adaptive behavior, and language outcomes of young children who are hard of hearing (HH) without additional disabilities or neurocognitive impairments. Relations between early developmental outcomes and child and parent demographic variables, and parenting stress and self-efficacy were also explored.Design: Participants were 39 children with early identified, permanent mild to severe hearing loss, between the ages of 2 and 3 years, and a comparison group of 47 children with normal hearing (NH). Developmental outcomes were measured using clinician-administered standardized tests and parent-completed behavior rating instruments specific to language, psychosocial functioning, and adaptive behavior. Mothers completed self-report measures that assess parenting stress and maternal self-efficacy.Results: The children who are HH were similar to the children with NH in terms of their psychosocial functioning and adaptive behavior, with the exception of their socialization skills. As a group, the children who are HH performed significantly worse than their peers with NH on all measures of language ability. Among the children who are HH, maternal self-efficacy showed a strong positive correlation with adaptive behavior outcomes; however, it failed to contribute unique variance above that explained by language ability and gender. Maternal self-efficacy was also significantly correlated with better psychosocial outcomes, but only parenting stress proved to be a significant predictor of child behavioral problems once other variables considered were in the model.Conclusions: Early-identified young children who are HH can demonstrate age-appropriate development in multiple domains, including language, psychosocial, and adaptive behavior. However, mild to severe hearing loss places young children with no additional disabilities or neurocognitive impairments at risk for language delays. Although the children who are HH demonstrated no more emotional or behavioral problems than their same-age peers with NH, results suggest that language delays increase their vulnerability for delays in various aspects of social competence.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Interhemispheric Auditory Cortical Synchronization in Asymmetric Hearing
           Loss

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      Authors: Chang; Jolie L.; Crawford, Ethan D.; Bhutada, Abhishek S.; Henderson Sabes, Jennifer; Chen, Jessie; Cai, Chang; Dale, Corby L.; Findlay, Anne M.; Mizuiri, Danielle; Nagarajan, Srikantan S.; Cheung, Steven W.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Auditory cortical activation of the two hemispheres to monaurally presented tonal stimuli has been shown to be asynchronous in normal hearing (NH) but synchronous in the extreme case of adult-onset asymmetric hearing loss (AHL) with single-sided deafness. We addressed the wide knowledge gap between these two anchoring states of interhemispheric temporal organization. The objectives of this study were as follows: (1) to map the trajectory of interhemispheric temporal reorganization from asynchrony to synchrony using magnitude of interaural threshold difference as the independent variable in a cross-sectional study and (2) to evaluate reversibility of interhemispheric synchrony in association with hearing in noise performance by amplifying the aidable poorer ear in a repeated measures, longitudinal study.Design: The cross-sectional and longitudinal cohorts were comprised of 49 subjects (AHL; N = 21; 11 male, 10 female; mean age = 48 years) and NH (N = 28; 16 male, 12 female; mean age = 45 years). The maximum interaural threshold difference of the two cohorts spanned from 0 to 65 dB. Magnetoencephalography analyses focused on latency of the M100 peak response from auditory cortex in both hemispheres between 50 msec and 150 msec following monaural tonal stimulation at the frequency (0.5, 1, 2, 3, or 4 kHz) corresponding to the maximum and minimum interaural threshold difference for better and poorer ears separately. The longitudinal AHL cohort was drawn from three subjects in the cross-sectional AHL cohort (all male; ages 49 to 60 years; varied AHL etiologies; no amplification for at least 2 years). All longitudinal study subjects were treated by monaural amplification of the poorer ear and underwent repeated measures examination of the M100 response latency and quick speech in noise hearing in noise performance at baseline, and postamplification months 3, 6, and 12.Results: The M100 response peak latency values in the ipsilateral hemisphere lagged those in the contralateral hemisphere for all stimulation conditions. The mean (SD) interhemispheric latency difference values (ipsilateral less contralateral) to better ear stimulation for three categories of maximum interaural threshold difference were as follows: NH (≤ 10 dB)—8.6 (3.0) msec; AHL (15 to 40 dB)—3.0 (1.2) msec; AHL (≥ 45 dB)—1.4 (1.3) msec. In turn, the magnitude of difference values were used to define interhemispheric temporal organization states of asynchrony, mixed asynchrony and synchrony, and synchrony, respectively. Amplification of the poorer ear in longitudinal subjects drove interhemispheric organization change from baseline synchrony to postamplification asynchrony and hearing in noise performance improvement in those with baseline impairment over a 12-month period.Conclusions: Interhemispheric temporal organization in AHL was anchored between states of asynchrony in NH and synchrony in single-sided deafness. For asymmetry magnitudes between 15 and 40 dB, the intermediate mixed state of asynchrony and synchrony was continuous and reversible. Amplification of the poorer ear in AHL improved hearing in noise performance and restored normal temporal organization of auditory cortices in the two hemispheres. The return to normal interhemispheric asynchrony from baseline synchrony and improvement in hearing following monoaural amplification of the poorer ear evolved progressively over a 12-month period.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Establishing Reproducibility and Correlation of Cochlear Microphonic
           Amplitude to Implant Electrode Position Using Intraoperative
           Electrocochleography and Postoperative Cone Beam Computed Tomography

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      Authors: Soulby; Andrew; Connor, Steve; Jiang, Dan; Nunn, Terry; Boyle, Patrick; Pai, Irumee
      Abstract: imageObjectives: The primary objective of this study was to establish the reproducibility of cochlear microphonic (CM) recordings obtained from a cochlear implant (CI) electrode contact during and immediately after insertion. This was achieved by evaluating the insertion angle and calculating the position of the apical electrode contact during insertion, using postoperative cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). The secondary objective was to create individualized patient maps of electrode contacts located within acoustically sensitive regions by correlating the CM amplitude to the electrode position determined using CBCT.Methods: CMs were recorded from a CI electrode contact during and immediately after insertion in 12 patients (n = 14 ears). Intraoperative recordings were made for a 0.5 kHz tone burst stimulus and were recorded from the apical electrode contact. Postinsertion recordings were made from the odd-numbered electrode contacts (1–15) along the array, using a range of stimulus frequencies (from 0.125 to 2 kHz). The time point at which each electrode contact passed through the round window was noted throughout the insertion, and the CM amplitude at this point was correlated to postoperative CBCT. This correlation was then used to estimate the CM amplitude at particular points within the cochlea, which was in turn compared with the amplitudes recorded from each electrode postoperatively to assess the reproducibility of the recordings.Results: Significant correlation was shown between intraoperative insertion and postinsertion angles at two amplitude events (maximum amplitude: 29° mean absolute error, r = 0.77, p = 0.006; 10% of maximum amplitude: 52° mean absolute error, r = 0.85, p = 0.002).Conclusion: We have developed a novel method to demonstrate the reproducibility of the CM responses recorded from a CI electrode during insertion. By correlating the CM amplitude with the postoperative CBCT, we have also been able to create individualized maps of CM responses, categorizing the cochlea into acoustically responsive and unresponsive regions. If the electrode contacts within the acoustically sensitive regions are shown to be associated with improved loudness discrimination, it could have implications for optimal electrode mapping and placement.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Cochlear Implant Magnet Dislocation: Simulations and Measurements of Force
           and Torque at 1.5T Magnetic Resonance Imaging

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      Authors: Eerkens; Hedwig J.; Smits, Cas; Hofman, Mark B. M.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Dislocation of the magnet inside the implanted component of a cochlear implant (CI) can be a serious risk for patients undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam. CI manufacturers aim to reduce this risk either via the design of the implant magnet or magnet housing, or by advising a compression bandage and cover over the magnet. The aim of this study is to measure forces and torque on the magnet for different CI models and assess the effectiveness of the design and preventative measures on the probability of magnet dislocation.Design: Six CI models from four manufacturers covering all the current CI brands were included. Each model was positioned on a polystyrene head with compression bandage and magnet cover according to the recommendations of the manufacturer and tested for dislocation in a 1.5T whole-body MRI system. In addition, measurements of the displacement force in front of the MRI scanner and torque at the MRI scanner isocenter were obtained.Results: Chance of CI magnet dislocation was observed for two CI models. The design of the magnet or magnet housing of the other models proved sufficient to prevent displacement of the magnet. The main cause for magnet dislocation was found to be the rotational force resulting from the torque experienced inside the magnet bore, which ranges from 2.4 to 16.2 N between the models, with the displacement force being lower, ranging from 1.0 to 1.8 N.Conclusions: In vitro testing shows that two CI models are prone to the risk of magnet dislocation. In these CI models, preparation before MRI with special compression bandage and a stiff cover are of importance. But these do not eliminate the risk of pain and dislocation requiring patient consulting before an MRI exam. Newer models show a better design resulting in a significantly reduced risk of magnet dislocation.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Exploring the Types of Stories Hearing Parents Tell About Rearing their
           Children Who Use Cochlear Implants

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      Authors: Barker; Brittan A.; Scharp, Kristina M.; Chandler, Kelsey L.; Bowman, Emma B.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: The majority of children born in the United States with hearing loss (HL) are born to parents with hearing. Many of these parents ultimately choose cochlear implantation for their children. There are now decades of research showing which these children’s speech, language, listening, and education seem to benefit from cochlear implantation. To date, however, we know little about the experiences of the parents who guided these children throughout their journeys. We propose that elucidating the types of stories these parents tell is a first step toward understanding their varied experiences and has the potential to ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for both children and their families. Thus, to better understand parents’ experience, we asked the following research question: what types of stories do parents with hearing tell about rearing their children with HL who use cochlear implants?Design: In this prospective qualitative study, we used a narrative approach. Specifically, we conducted narrative interviews with 20 hearing parents who are rearing young children (mean age = 5.4 years) born with HL who use cochlear implants. We then used thematic narrative analysis to identify recurring themes throughout the narratives that coalesced into the types of stories parents told about their experiences.Findings: Thematic narrative analysis revealed five story types: (1) stories of personal growth, (2) proactive stories, (3) stories of strain and inundation, (4) detached stories, and (5) stories of persistence.Conclusions: In the present study, different types of stories emerged from parents’ experiences that share common events—a family’s baby is identified at birth with unexpected permanent HL, the family chooses to pursue cochlear implantation for their child, and then the family raises said pediatric cochlear implant user into adulthood. Despite these similarities, the stories also varied in their sensemaking. Some parents told stories in which a positive life narrative turned bad, whereas others told stories in which a narrative of surviving turned into one of thriving. These findings specifically contribute to the field of hearing healthcare by providing professionals with insight into parents’ sensemaking via the types of stories they shared centered on their perceptions and experiences following their child’s diagnosis of HL and their decision to pursue cochlear implantation.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Optimized Diagnostic Approach to Patients Suspected of Superior
           Semicircular Canal Dehiscence

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      Authors: Noij; Kimberley S.; Remenschneider, Aaron K.; Herrmann, Barbara S.; Guinan, John J. Jr.; Rauch, Steven D.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Current methods of diagnosing superior semicircular canal dehiscence syndrome (SCDS) include a clinical exam, audiometric testing, temporal bone computer tomography (CT) imaging, and vestibular evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) testing. The main objective of this study was to develop an improved diagnostic approach to SCDS optimized for accuracy, efficiency, and safety that utilizes clinical presentation, audiometric testing, CT imaging, high-frequency cervical VEMP (cVEMP) testing, and patient treatment preference. A secondary aim was to investigate the cost associated with the current versus proposed diagnostic paradigms.Design: All patients who underwent cVEMP testing since introduction of the 2 kHz cVEMP in our clinical protocol in July 2018 were screened. Patients suspected of SCDS based upon symptoms who also had available audiogram, CT scan, and 2 kHz cVEMP were included (58 ears). Patients were categorized as dehiscent, thin, or not dehiscent based on their CT scan. Symptom prevalence and cVEMP outcomes were analyzed and compared for all groups. The accuracy of the 2 kHz cVEMP was calculated using CT imaging as the standard. Using a combination of patient symptomatology, audiometric, CT and 2 kHz cVEMP data, as well as patient preference, a best clinical practice approach was developed. The cost associated with this approach was calculated and compared with cost of the current SCDS diagnostic workup using Medicare reimbursement rates.Results: In the overall patient population suspected of SCDS based on clinical presentation, the sensitivity and specificity of 2 kHz cVEMP were 76% and 100%, respectively, while the positive and negative predictive values were 100% and 84.6%, assuming that the CT scan finding was correct. Autophony was the most common symptom in patients who had both superior semicircular canal dehiscence on CT imaging plus abnormal 2 kHz cVEMP (p 
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Cervical Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials That Are Absent at 500 Hz
           But Present at 1000 Hz Are Characteristic of Endolymphatic Hydrops-Related
           Disease

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      Authors: Fujimoto; Chisato; Kinoshita, Makoto; Ichijo, Kentaro; Oka, Mineko; Kamogashira, Teru; Sugasawa, Keiko; Kawahara, Takuya; Yamasoba, Tatsuya; Iwasaki, Shinichi
      Abstract: imageObjectives: It remains unclear whether the dominance of 1000 Hz responses over responses at 500 Hz in cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (cVEMPs) are characteristic of endolymphatic hydrops (EH), due to the presence of patients with absent responses at both frequencies. The purpose of the present study is to examine whether the dominant cVEMP responses at 1000 Hz over 500 Hz are characteristic findings of EH-related diseases among patients who show various cVEMP findings.Design: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 470 consecutive patients who underwent cVEMP testing with short-tone bursts at both 500 Hz and 1000 Hz. We categorized the cVEMP responses of these 470 patients into the following five groups: (group 1) present responses at both frequencies bilaterally, (group 2) present responses at 500 Hz but absent at 1000 Hz on at least one side, (group 3) absent responses at 500 Hz but present at 1000 Hz on at least one side, (group 4) absent responses at both frequencies on one side and present at both frequencies on the other side, and (group 5) absent responses at both frequencies bilaterally. We compared the proportion of EH-related diseases between each group and the other four groups and then investigated any increased or decreased disease incidence in each group.Results: In group 3, the proportion of EH-related disease was significantly higher (p < 0.01), and the incidence of an EH-related disease was greatly increased (standard residual value> 3).Conclusions: cVEMPs that are absent at 500 Hz and present at 1000 Hz may be characteristic of EH-related disease.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Measuring Auditory Fitness in Locomotive Engineers: Development and
           Validation of a Signal Detection Test

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      Authors: van der Hoek-Snieders; Hanneke E.M.; Houben, Rolph; Dreschler, Wouter A.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: To perform their job safely and effectively, locomotive engineers are required to detect auditory warning signals in the noisy work setting of a train cabin. Based on audio recordings of Dutch train cabins, we have developed a task and job-specific test for assessing the engineer’s ability to detect the two acoustic warning signals for the Dutch situation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability, agreement, and construct validity of this test.Design: Two experiments were performed. In the first experiment, reliability and agreement of the signal detection test were assessed. Normally hearing individuals (N = 12) completed a signal detection test twice in 12 driving conditions. In the second experiment, construct validity was assessed. We retrospectively identified locomotive engineers, suspected of being hearing impaired, who were referred to the Amsterdam UMC for an auditory fitness for job assessment. All included engineers (N = 83) performed the signal detection test in four driving conditions, underwent tone audiometry and two speech perception in noise tests, and rated the effort and concentration it takes to detect the auditory signals. Seven a priori formulated hypotheses were tested.Results: In the first experiment, sufficient reliability and agreement were found in nine driving conditions (ICC = 0.54–0.81; standard error of measurement = 1.15–1.92), poor reliability in two driving conditions (ICC 
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Resonance Effect of the Frontal Sinus on Ocular Vestibular-Evoked Myogenic
           Potential Recordings

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      Authors: Lin; Kuei-You; Jaw, Fu-Shan; Young, Yi-Ho
      Abstract: imageObjective: This study performed ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (oVEMP) test via Fpz bone vibration (termed Fpz-oVEMP) and Fz bone vibration (termed Fz-oVEMP) using a minishaker. The aim of this study was to evaluate the resonance effect of the frontal sinus on the oVEMP recordings, so as to establish an optimal clinical protocol for eliciting oVEMPs by bone vibration.Design: Thirty healthy volunteers (15 children and 15 adults) and 15 adults with frontal sinusitis were enrolled in this study. All subjects underwent oVEMP test via Fpz and Fz bone vibration stimuli, and volume of the frontal sinus was measured by CT scan.Results: Because healthy adults (3.20 ± 1.08 mL) had significantly larger frontal sinus volume than healthy children (2.04±1.87 mL), the former (100%) showed higher response rates of Fpz-oVEMP than the latter (30%), but not Fz-oVEMP. When the frontal sinus volume is>1.91 mL (approximately at the age of 14 years), Fpz-oVEMP displayed larger reflex amplitude than Fz-oVEMP did. In contrast, Fpz-oVEMP (30%) displayed lower response rate than Fz-oVEMP (73%) in patients with frontal sinusitis.Conclusions: Both developmental (frontal sinus volume) and pathological (frontal sinus inflammation) factors may affect the oVEMP responses via altering resonance function. For the developmental factor, frontal sinus volume>1.91 mL may initiate the resonance effect on oVEMPs, as evidenced by higher response rate with larger reflex amplitude of Fpz-oVEMP than Fz-oVEMP. For the pathological factor, frontal sinusitis may hamper the resonance effect on oVEMPs, as shown by the lower response rate of Fpz-oVEMP than Fz-oVEMP. Hence, oVEMP test may be performed via Fpz bone vibration first in healthy adults, while via Fz bone vibration first in children aged under 14 years or subjects with frontal sinusitis.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Age Effects of Bone Conduction Vibration Vestibular-evoked Myogenic
           Potentials (VEMPs) Using B81 and Impulse Hammer Stimuli

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      Authors: Patterson; Jessie N.; Rodriguez, Amanda I.; Gordon, Katherine R.; Honaker, Julie A.; Janky, Kristen L.
      Abstract: imageObjective: Recently developed, the Radioear B81 bone oscillator allows for higher bone conduction vibration output; however, normative data are lacking regarding its use in vestibular-evoked myogenic potential (VEMP) testing. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of age on cervical and ocular VEMP (c- and oVEMP) responses using the B81 and to compare with air conduction stimuli (ACS) and impulse hammer (IH) VEMP response characteristics.Design: c- and oVEMP were completed with ACS, B81, and IH stimuli in healthy participants (age range = 10 to 87 years, n = 85).Results: Regardless of stimulus type, c- and oVEMP amplitudes and response rates decreased with age. For cVEMP response rates, ACS performed better or equal to B81, which was superior to the IH. For cVEMP corrected amplitude, ACS had significantly higher amplitudes compared with B81 and IH. There was no difference in cVEMP corrected amplitude between B81 and IH. For oVEMP, response rates were comparable between stimuli with the largest disparity in response rates occurring in the oldest groups where IH outperformed both ACS and B81. For oVEMP amplitude, IH had significantly higher amplitudes compared with B81 and ACS. There was no difference in oVEMP amplitude between B81 and ACS.Conclusions: Age significantly affected c- and oVEMP amplitudes regardless of stimulus type (ACS, B81, IH). All stimuli are appropriate for eliciting c- and oVEMP in the young individuals. While ACS resulted in higher cVEMP corrected amplitudes, either ACS or B81 are appropriate for older individuals. However, for oVEMPs, higher response rates and larger amplitudes were noted for IH followed by B81 and ACS. Overall, the B81 performed well across the lifespan for c- and oVEMPs and may be a reasonable bone conduction vibration option for patients with absent ACS VEMPs, but at this time is not recommended as a replacement to ACS.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Cost-benefit Analysis of Cochlear Implants: A Societal Perspective

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      Authors: Neve; Olaf M.; Boerman, Jenneke A.; van den Hout, Wilbert B.; Briaire, Jeroen J.; van Benthem, Peter P.G.; Frijns, Johan H.M.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: While the costs and outcomes of cochlear implantation (CI) have been widely assessed, most of these analyses were solely performed from the perspective of healthcare costs. This study assesses the costs and benefits of CI in the Netherlands from a broader societal perspective, including health outcomes, healthcare cost, educational cost, and productivity losses and gains.Design: The cost and benefits of CI were analyzed in this cost-benefit analysis, in which a monetary value is put on both the resources needed and the outcomes of CI. The costs and benefits were analyzed by prototypical instances of three groups, representing the majority of cochlear implant patients: prelingually deaf children implanted at the age of 1, adults with progressive profound hearing loss implanted at the age of 40 and seniors implanted at the age of 70 with progressive profound hearing loss. Costs and benefits were estimated over the expected lifetimes of the members of each group, using a Markov state transition model. Model parameters and assumptions were based on published literature. Probabilistic and one-way sensitivity analyses were performed.Results: In all three patient groups, the total benefits of CI exceeded the total cost, leading to a net benefit of CI. Prelingually deaf children with a bilateral CI had a lifetime positive outcome net benefit of €433,000. Adults and seniors with progressive profound hearing loss and a unilateral CI had a total net benefit of €275,000 and €76,000, respectively. These results ensue from health outcomes expressed in monetary terms, reduced educational cost, and increased productivity.Conclusions: Based on estimates from modeling, the increased healthcare costs due to CI were more than compensated by the value of the health benefits and by savings in educational and productivity costs. In particular, for children and working adults, the societal benefit was positive even without taking health benefits into account. Therefore, CI generates an advantage for both patients and society.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Reflex Decay Test Can Reveal Ear Involvement in Fabry Disease

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      Authors: Kiykim; Ertugrul; Kaya, Melda; Dincer, Mevlut Tamer; Bakir, Alev; Alagoz, Selma; Aktuglu Zeybek, Ayse; Gulcicek, Sibel; Seyahi, Nurhan; Trabulus, Sinan; Atas, Ahmet
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Fabry disease (FD) is an X-linked lysosomal storage disorder that causes multisystem involvement, including ear disease. In this study, we aimed to investigate the nature of auditory issues in FD using a wide spectrum of audiological tests.Design: This cross-sectional study was conducted between June 2017 and December 2018. We collected the clinical and laboratory data of 40 eligible FD patients, 45 healthy subjects, and 26 diabetic controls. All patients and controls completed audiologic evaluations that included tympanometry, acoustic reflex threshold test, reflex decay test, pure-tone audiometry, speech audiometry, transient otoacoustic emissions (TEOAEs), high-frequency audiometry, and distortion product otoacoustic emission (DPOAE).Results: In our study population, hearing was reduced at higher frequencies starting at 4 kHz in both the FD and diabetic groups. Regarding the acoustic reflex threshold test, FD and diabetic patients had similar results. In all frequencies, positive decay was significantly more frequent in FD patients when compared with the diabetic patients and healthy controls (p 
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • The Sensitivity of the Electrically Stimulated Auditory Nerve to Amplitude
           Modulation Cues Declines With Advanced Age

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      Authors: Riggs; William J.; Vaughan, Chloe; Skidmore, Jeffrey; Conroy, Sara; Pellittieri, Angela; Carter, Brittney L.; Stegman, Curtis J.; He, Shuman
      Abstract: imageObjectives: This study aimed to investigate effects of aging and duration of deafness on sensitivity of the auditory nerve (AN) to amplitude modulation (AM) cues delivered using trains of biphasic pulses in adult cochlear implant (CI) users.Design: There were 21 postlingually deaf adult CI users who participated in this study. All study participants used a Cochlear Nucleus device with a full electrode array insertion in the test ear. The stimulus was a 200-ms pulse train with a pulse rate of 2000 pulses per second. This carrier pulse train was sinusodially AM at four modulation rates (20, 40, 100, 200 Hz). The peak amplitude of the modulated pulse train was the maximum comfortable level (i.e., C level) measured for the carrier pulse train. The electrically evoked compound action potential (eCAP) to each of the 20 pulses selected over the last two AM cycles were measured. In addition, eCAPs to single pulses were measured with the probe levels corresponding to the levels of 20 selected pulses from each AM pulse train. There were seven electrodes across the array evaluated in 16 subjects (i.e., electrodes 3 or 4, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18, and 21). For the remaining five subjects, 4 to 5 electrodes were tested due to impedance issues or time constraints. The modulated response amplitude ratio (MRAR) was calculated as the ratio of the difference in the maximum and the minimum eCAP amplitude measured for the AM pulse train to that measured for the single pulse, and served as the dependent variable. Age at time of testing and duration of deafness measured/defined using three criteria served as the independent variables. Linear Mixed Models were used to assess the effects of age at testing and duration of deafness on the MRAR.Results: Age at testing had a strong, negative effect on the MRAR. For each subject, the duration of deafness varied substantially depending on how it was defined/measured, which demonstrates the difficulty of accurately measuring the duration of deafness in adult CI users. There was no clear or reliable trend showing a relationship between the MRAR measured at any AM rate and duration of deafness defined by any criteria. After controlling for the effect of age at testing, MRARs measured at 200 Hz and basal electrode locations (i.e., electrodes 3 and 6) were larger than those measured at any other AM rate and apical electrode locations (i.e., electrodes 18 and 21)Conclusions: The AN sensitivity to AM cues implemented in the pulse-train stimulation significantly declines with advanced age. Accurately measuring duration of deafness in adult CI users is challenging, which, at least partially, might have accounted for the inconclusive findings in the relationship between the duration of deafness and the AN sensitivity to AM cues in this study.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Optimizing Ocular Vestibular Evoked Myogenic Potentials With Narrow Band
           CE-Chirps

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      Authors: Mat; Quentin; Duterme, Jean-Pierre; Tainmont, Sophie; Lelubre, Christophe; Manto, Mario
      Abstract: imageObjectives: To evaluate the effects of narrow band CE-Chirp (NB CE-Chirp) on the amplitudes and latencies in ocular vestibular evoked myogenic potentials (oVEMPs) at 500 and 1000 Hz in comparison with tone burst (TB).Design: Twenty-one healthy volunteers were included in the study and tested in air conduction with a “belly-tendon” montage. Recording conditions were randomized for each participant and each modality was tested twice to check the reproducibility of the procedure.Results: NB CE-Chirps at 500 Hz revealed larger n1-p1 amplitudes than 500 Hz TBs (p = .001), which were also larger than NB CE-Chirps and TBs at 1000 Hz (p = .022, p < .001, respectively). Besides, n1 and p1 latencies were shorter in NB CE-Chirp than in TB at 500 Hz (p < .001) and 1000 Hz (p < .001). The older the participants, the lower the amplitudes (p = .021, p = .031) and the longer the n1 (p = .030, p = .025) and p1 latencies (p < .001, p < .001) in 500 Hz NB CE-Chirps and 500 Hz TBs. Interaural asymmetry ratios were slightly higher in 500 Hz NB CE-Chirps as compared to 500 Hz TBs (p = .013).Conclusions: NB CE-Chirps at 500 Hz improved the amplitudes of waveforms in oVEMPs. As for TBs with clicks before, enhancing oVEMPs amplitudes is an essential step to distinguish a healthy person from a patient with either utricular or its related pathways disorder and potentially minimize the risk of cochlear damages. Additional studies including a higher number of healthy participants and patients with vestibular disorders are required to confirm this hypothesis. The large interindividual variability of interaural asymmetry ratios in NB CE-Chirp and in TB at 500 Hz could be explained by the selected montage.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Association Between the Right Ear Advantage in Dichotic Listening and
           Interaural Differences in Sensory Processing at Lower Levels of the
           Auditory System in Older Adults

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      Authors: Ianiszewski; Alejandro; Fuente, Adrian; Gagné, Jean-Pierre
      Abstract: imageObjective: Current evidence suggests that an enhanced right ear advantage (REA) in dichotic listening (DL) among older adults may originate from age-related structural changes in the corpus callosum and age-related decline in cognitive processes. Less is known about the effect of information processing at lower portions of the auditory system on DL performance. The present study investigates whether interaural differences (ID) in sensory processing at lower levels of the auditory system are associated with the magnitude of the REA in DL among older adults.Design: Sixty-eight older adults participated in the study. Participants were assessed with a DL test using nonforced (NF) and forced attention paradigms. Hearing sensitivity, transient-evoked otoacoustic emission (TEOAE), contralateral suppression of TEOAE, a proxy measure of medial olivocochlear activation, and auditory brainstem response to speech stimuli (speech-ABR) were tested in both ears separately. The ID in sensory processing at lower levels of the auditory system was derived by calculating the difference between the RE and LE for each auditory measure. Bivariate and multivariate regression models were performed. One multivariate model for each DL paradigm (NF and forced attention) was independently constructed. Measures of cognitive speed of processing and cognitive flexibility were accounted for in the regression models.Results: For both multivariate regression models, ID in pure-tone thresholds and ID in MOC suppression of TEOAE were significantly associated with the magnitude of the REA for DL among older adults. Cognitive measures of speed of processing and cognitive flexibility also contributed to the magnitude of the REA.Conclusion: These results suggest that ID in sensory processing at lower levels of the auditory system account, at least in part, for the increased magnitude of the REA in DL among older adults.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Detection of Translocation of Cochlear Implant Electrode Arrays by
           Intracochlear Impedance Measurements

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      Authors: Dong; Yu; Briaire, Jeroen J.; Siebrecht, Michael; Stronks, H. Christiaan; Frijns, Johan H. M.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Misplacement of the electrode array is associated with impaired speech perception in patients with cochlear implants (CIs). Translocation of the electrode array is the most common misplacement. When a CI is translocated, it crosses the basilar membrane from the scala tympani into the scala vestibuli. The position of the implant can be determined on a postoperative CT scan. However, such a scan is not obtained routinely after CI insertion in many hospitals, due to radiation exposure and processing time. Previous studies have shown that impedance measures might provide information on the placement of the electrode arrays. The electrode impedance was measured by dividing the plateau voltage at the end of the first phase of the pulse by the injected current. The access resistance was calculated using the so-called access voltage at the first sampled time point after the start of the pulse divided by the injected current. In our study, we obtained the electrode impedance and the access resistance to detect electrode translocations using electrical field imaging. We have investigated how reliably these two measurements can detect electrode translocation, and which method performed best.Design: We calculated the electrode impedances and access resistances using electrical field imaging recordings from 100 HiFocus Mid-Scala CI (Advanced Bionics, Sylmar, CA) recipients. We estimated the normal values of these two measurements as the baselines of the implant placed in the cochlea without translocation. Next, we calculated the maximal electrode impedance deviation and the maximal access-resistance deviation from the respective baselines as predictors of translocation. We classified these two predictors as translocations or nontranslocations based on the bootstrap sampling method and receiver operating characteristics curves analysis. The accuracy could be calculated by comparing those predictive results to a gold standard, namely the clinical CT scans. To determine which measurement more accurately detected translocation, the difference between the accuracies of the two measurements was calculated.Results: Using the bootstrap sampling method and receiver operating characteristics–based optimized threshold criteria, the 95% confidence intervals of the accuracies of translocation detections ranged from 77.8% to 82.1% and from 89.5% to 91.2% for the electrode impedance and access resistance, respectively. The accuracies of the maximal access-resistance deviations were significantly larger than that of the maximal electrode impedance deviations. The location of the translocation as predicted by the access resistance was significantly correlated with the result derived from the CT scans. In contrast, no significant correlation was observed for the electrode impedance.Conclusions: Both the electrode impedance and access resistance proved reliable metrics to detect translocations for HiFocus Mid-Scala electrode arrays. The access resistance had, however, significantly better accuracy and it also reliably detected the electrode-location of translocations. The electrode impedance did not correlate significantly with the location of translocation. Measuring the access resistance is, therefore, the recommended method to detect electrode-array translocations. These measures can provide prompt feedback for surgeons after insertion, improving their surgical skills, and ultimately reducing the number of translocations. In the future, such measurements may allow near-real-time monitoring of the electrode array during insertion, helping to avoid translocations.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Longer Cochlear Implant Experience Leads to Better Production of Mandarin
           Tones for Early Implanted Children

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      Authors: Tang; Ping; Yuen, Ivan; Xu Rattanasone, Nan; Gao, Liqun; Demuth, Katherine
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Children with cochlear implants (CIs) face challenges in acquiring tones, since CIs do not transmit pitch information effectively. It has been suggested that longer CI experience provides additional benefits for children implanted early, enabling them to achieve language abilities similar to that of normal-hearing (NH) children (Colletti 2009). Mandarin is a tonal language with four lexical tones and a neutral tone (T0), characterized by distinct pitch and durational patterns. It has been suggested that early implantation (i.e., before 2 years) greatly benefits the acquisition of Mandarin tones by children with CIs (Tang et al. 2019c). In this study, we extend those findings to investigate the effect of CI experience on the acquisition of Mandarin tones for children implanted early. We asked the extent to which they were able to produce distinct pitch and durational patterns of both lexical tones and T0 as a function of CI experience, and the extent to which their tonal productions were acoustically like that of NH children.Design: Forty-four NH 3-year olds and 28 children implanted with CIs between 1 and 2 years, aged 3 to 7, were recruited. The children with CIs were grouped according to the length of CI experience: 3 to 6 years, 2 to 3 years, and 1 to 2 years. Lexical tone and T0 productions were elicited using a picture-naming task. Tonal productions from the children with CIs were acoustically analyzed and compared with those from the NH children.Results: Children with 3 to 6 years of CI experience were able to produce distinct pitch and durational patterns for both lexical tones and T0, with NH-like acoustic realizations. Children with 2 to 3 years of CI experience were also able to produce the expected tonal patterns, although their productions were not yet NH-like. Those with only 1 to 2 years of CI experience, however, were not yet able to produce the distinct acoustic patterns for either lexical tones or T0.Conclusions: These results provide acoustic evidence demonstrating that, when Mandarin-speaking children are implanted before the age of 2, only those with 3 to 6 years of experience were able to produce NH-like tones, including both lexical tone and T0. Children with shorter CI experience (less than 3 years) were unable to produce distinct acoustic patterns for the different tones. This suggests that at least 3 years of CI experience is still needed for early implanted children to acquire tonal distinctions similar to those of NH 3-year olds.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Individual Variability in Recalibrating to Spectrally Shifted Speech:
           Implications for Cochlear Implants

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      Authors: Smith; Michael L.; Winn, Matthew B.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: Cochlear implant (CI) recipients are at a severe disadvantage compared with normal-hearing listeners in distinguishing consonants that differ by place of articulation because the key relevant spectral differences are degraded by the implant. One component of that degradation is the upward shifting of spectral energy that occurs with a shallow insertion depth of a CI. The present study aimed to systematically measure the effects of spectral shifting on word recognition and phoneme categorization by specifically controlling the amount of shifting and using stimuli whose identification specifically depends on perceiving frequency cues. We hypothesized that listeners would be biased toward perceiving phonemes that contain higher-frequency components because of the upward frequency shift and that intelligibility would decrease as spectral shifting increased.Design: Normal-hearing listeners (n = 15) heard sine wave-vocoded speech with simulated upward frequency shifts of 0, 2, 4, and 6 mm of cochlear space to simulate shallow CI insertion depth. Stimuli included monosyllabic words and /b/-/d/ and /∫/-/s/ continua that varied systematically by formant frequency transitions or frication noise spectral peaks, respectively. Recalibration to spectral shifting was operationally defined as shifting perceptual acoustic-phonetic mapping commensurate with the spectral shift. In other words, adjusting frequency expectations for both phonemes upward so that there is still a perceptual distinction, rather than hearing all upward-shifted phonemes as the higher-frequency member of the pair.Results: For moderate amounts of spectral shifting, group data suggested a general “halfway” recalibration to spectral shifting, but individual data suggested a notably different conclusion: half of the listeners were able to recalibrate fully, while the other halves of the listeners were utterly unable to categorize shifted speech with any reliability. There were no participants who demonstrated a pattern intermediate to these two extremes. Intelligibility of words decreased with greater amounts of spectral shifting, also showing loose clusters of better- and poorer-performing listeners. Phonetic analysis of word errors revealed certain cues were more susceptible to being compromised due to a frequency shift (place and manner of articulation), while voicing was robust to spectral shifting.Conclusions: Shifting the frequency spectrum of speech has systematic effects that are in line with known properties of speech acoustics, but the ensuing difficulties cannot be predicted based on tonotopic mismatch alone. Difficulties are subject to substantial individual differences in the capacity to adjust acoustic-phonetic mapping. These results help to explain why speech recognition in CI listeners cannot be fully predicted by peripheral factors like electrode placement and spectral resolution; even among listeners with functionally equivalent auditory input, there is an additional factor of simply being able or unable to flexibly adjust acoustic-phonetic mapping. This individual variability could motivate precise treatment approaches guided by an individual’s relative reliance on wideband frequency representation (even if it is mismatched) or limited frequency coverage whose tonotopy is preserved.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Tinnitus and Its Central Correlates: A Neuroimaging Study in a Large Aging
           Population

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      Authors: Oosterloo; Berthe C.; Croll, Pauline H.; Goedegebure, André; Roshchupkin, Gennady V.; Baatenburg de Jong, Robert J.; Ikram, M. Arfan; Vernooij, Meike W.
      Abstract: imageObjectives: To elucidate the association between tinnitus and brain tissue volumes and white matter microstructural integrity.Design: Two thousand six hundred sixteen participants (mean age, 65.7 years [SD: 7.5 years]; 53.9% female) of the population-based Rotterdam Study underwent tinnitus assessment (2011 to 2014) and magnetic resonance imaging of the brain (2011 to 2014). Associations between tinnitus (present versus absent) and total, gray, and white matter volume and global white matter microstructure were assessed using multivariable linear regression models adjusting for demographic factors, cardiovascular risk factors, depressive symptoms, Mini-Mental State Examination score, and hearing loss. Finally, potential regional gray matter density and white matter microstructural volume differences were assessed on a voxel-based level again using multivariable linear regression.Results: Participants with tinnitus (21.8%) had significantly larger brain tissue volumes (difference in SD, 0.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.06 to 0.13), driven by larger white matter volumes (difference, 0.12; 95% confidence interval, 0.04 to 0.21) independent of hearing loss. There was no association between tinnitus and gray matter volumes nor with global white matter microstructure. On a lobar level, tinnitus was associated with larger white matter volumes in each lobe, not with gray matter volume. Voxel-based results did not show regional specificity.Conclusions: We found that tinnitus in older adults was associated with larger brain tissue volumes, driven by larger white matter volumes, independent of age, and hearing loss. Based on these results, it may be hypothesized that tinnitus potentially has a neurodevelopmental origin in earlier life independent of aging processes.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Montage-related Variability in the Characteristics of Envelope Following
           Responses

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      Authors: Urichuk; Matthew; Easwar, Vijayalakshmi; Purcell, David
      Abstract: imageObjectives: The study aimed to compare two electrode montages commonly used for recording speech-evoked envelope following responses.Design: Twenty-three normal-hearing adults participated in this study. EFRs were elicited by a naturally spoken, modified /susa∫i/ stimulus presented at 65 dB SPL monaurally. EFRs were recorded using two single-channel electrode montages: Cz-nape and Fz-ipsilateral mastoid, where the noninverting and inverting sites were the vertex and nape, and the high forehead and ipsilateral mastoid, respectively. Montage order was counterbalanced across participants.Results: Envelope following responses amplitude and phase coherence were significantly higher overall in the Cz-nape montage with no significant differences in noise amplitude. Post hoc testing on montage effects in response amplitude and phase coherence was not significant for individual stimuli. The Cz-nape montage also resulted in a greater number of detections and analyzed using the Hotelling’s T2.Conclusions: Electrode montage influences the estimated characteristics of speech-evoked EFRs.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • A Measure of Long-Term Hearing Aid Use Persistence Based on Battery
           Reordering Data

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      Authors: Zobay; Oliver; Dillard, Lauren K.; Naylor, Graham; Saunders, Gabrielle H.
      Abstract: imageObjective: We describe the construction of a hearing aid long-term use persistence measure based on battery reorder data. The measure is derived from the notion that hearing aid users keep using their devices for some time after placing a battery order.Design: A hearing aid user is defined as persistent at time T if they placed a battery order within a time span W preceding T. We characterize and validate this measure using electronic health records from a large sample of US Veterans.Results: We describe how to choose parameters T and W for calculating persistence rates in the patient sample. For validation, the associations of persistence with: (1) the duration over which users received outpatient hearing aid care; (2) self-reported hearing aid use shortly after fitting; and (3) patient age and hearing loss are investigated. In all cases, plausible dependencies are observed.Conclusions: We conclude that our persistence measure is viable and hope this will motivate its use in similar studies.
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
  • Ear and Hearing Care Workforce: Current Status and its Implications:
           Erratum

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      Abstract: No abstract available
      PubDate: Wed, 01 Sep 2021 00:00:00 GMT-
       
 
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