Loud earphones causes deafness damaging nerves like MS

LOUD music played on earphones causes deafness by having a similar effect on nerves as multiple sclerosis (MS), scientists have learned.

New research shows that noise levels above 110 decibels strip insulation from nerve fibres carrying signals from the ear to the brain.


Loss of the protective coating, called myelin, disrupts electrical nerve signals.


The same process, this time due to an attack from the immune system, damages nerves in the brain and results in MS.


Loud noises are well known to lead to hearing problems such as temporary deafness or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). But this is the first time scientists have been able to identify the underlying damage to nerve cells.


The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.


Lead researcher Dr Martine Hamann, from the University of Leicester, said “The research allows us to understand the pathway from exposure to loud noises to hearing loss. Dissecting the cellular mechanisms underlying this condition is likely to bring a very significant healthcare benefit to a wide population. The work will help prevention as well as progression into finding appropriate cures for hearing loss.”


The scientists found that myelin lost as a result of noise exposure regrows in time, meaning hearing can recover.


“We now understand why hearing loss can be reversible in certain cases,” Dr Hamann added. “We showed that the sheath around the auditory nerve is lost in about half of the cells we looked at, a bit like stripping the electrical cable linking an amplifier to the loudspeaker. The effect is reversible and after three months, hearing has recovered and so has the sheath around the auditory nerve.”


The work is part of ongoing research into the effects of loud noises on the cochlea nucleus, a brainstem region that receives sound signals from the inner ear.

If you have any question about hearing loss contact hidden hearing.


LUCKY Electric Picnic revellers are set to bask in glorious sunshine this weekend.

More than 30,000 music lovers will descend on the Stradbally Estate in Co Laois, and forecasters predict the sun will shine.

Festival goers will face cloudy conditions on Friday as they set up camp, with conditions improving as the weekend progresses.

Top temperatures of 21°C are being forecast for Saturday and Sunday — with the chance of showers breaking out. Big-name acts including The Cure, The Killers, Elbow and Orbital are all preparing to fly in for the annual festival this weekend.

A host of VIP names, including gorgeous presenter Cat Deeley and X Factor judge Louis Walsh, will travel to Laois during the three-day event.

And Sinead O’Connor, who wowed fans on the Main Stage last year, will be in the audience this time round.

She told the Irish Sun: “I’ll be there with my wig on.

“If you are looking for me, I will probably be the only sober person there — I am really looking forward to going down.”

Meanwhile, a top audiologist has warned fans to take care of their hearing at the event.

Hidden Hearing’s Keith Ross said extended periods of exposure to high-decibel noise can lead to irreversible hearing loss.

He said: “The message to Electric Picnic festival-goers is simple. Don’t stand too close to the speakers and give your ears a break from the noise from time to time.”

Lawnmower Man drives across the state for hearing charity!

We came across this great story from USA.  Bob Harms is crossing the state of Minnesota at a maximum speed of 7 mph to raise funds for children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Harms began the journey across the state Aug. 20 on a Toro lawnmower and expects to finish Wednesday at the border with Iowa. He was welcomed Sunday by members of several area Lions clubs to the Rolf and Carol Peterson home on Henderson Lake near Spicer.

Today he’s heading south on U.S. Highway 71 to Redwood Falls. On Tuesday, he plans to visit the Toro plant in Windom.

Harms has suffered from hearing problems since infancy and has a surgically implanted bone-anchored hearing aid. He’s also the executive secretary of the Lions International District that includes Minnesota, northwestern Ontario and Manitoba and works from his home in Kingston.

The funds raised by the ride will go to the Minnesota Lions Children’s Hearing Center at the University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, and for research to improve the lives of children with hearing loss.

“Hearing is directly connected to speech,” Harms explained. “If hearing loss isn’t detected early, a child’s speech is affected.”

At the hearing center, Harms says, children see all of the doctors and specialists they need to help with their hearing issues in one day, streamlining the process and helping their little ears to hear what’s happening in the world around them.

The idea for the 485-mile ride came from a Lions convention earlier this year. Harms was trying to come up with an unusual fundraising idea. He knew a Lions member who had a connection at Toro and simply sent an email asking if the company would support him.

The response was the use of the Timecutter zero-turn-radius mower for the ride, which is fitted with a canopy, GPS locator and a trailer, but that was not all.

The company not only donated the use of the mower but is also offering a brand-new mower, not the one that Harms is riding, that will be raffled off, with all of the proceeds going to the hearing center.

“Toro has been absolutely fantastic in supporting this program,” Harms said.

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Could migraine sufferers develop hearing loss?

People who suffer from migraines are at an increased risk for developing hearing loss, report researchers.

Such individuals are more likely to have lowered otoacoustic emissions (OAE) and auditory brainstem responses (ABR), which are early indicators of impending auditory dysfunction that can lead to hearing loss, they say.

As reported in the American Journal of Otolaryngology, an assessment of 58 migrainesufferers showed that auditory dysfunction symptoms phonophobia (fear of loud noises) and tinnitus were present in 20.7% and 13.8% of individuals, respectively.

In addition, nearly two-thirds of the migraine patients had one or more abnormalities in auditory electrophysiologic testing, despite almost all of them being classified as having a normal hearing level.

TEOAE and DPOAE are generated when the ear’s outer hair cells, which are responsible for cochlear sound amplification, move in response to acoustic stimuli – a process known of as electromotility.

“Otoacoustic emissions permit sensitive assessment of cochlear function and objectively monitor dynamic changes in cochlear responsiveness before functional and significant hearing loss occurs from any cause,” explain Sherifa Ahmad Hamed (Assiut University Hospital, Egypt) and colleagues.

However, basic audiologic examination revealed that few patients had evidence suggesting a conductive hearing problem – otoscopy and standard aural imittance procedures confirmed normal middle ear status in all but five ears.

The finding that migraine patients are at high risk for peripheral and/or central auditory dysfunction is important for specialists caring for these patients, say Hamed and team.

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Hearing returned instantly when bug was removed

After 11 fruitless visits to her doctor over three years, Danielle Eccles was beginning to think that her severe earache would never  be cured. Over that time, the 28-year-old, an NHS administration manager, was prone to temporarily losing all hearing in her blocked and swollen right ear, and bouts of ‘unbearable’ pain that caused her to take time off work. Then, one day, while putting in yet more eardrops as prescribed by the doctor, a ladybird’s head fell out of her ear.

It was then that she remembered that around the time her symptoms first began with a tickling sensation in August 2009, she was convinced that something had crawled into her ear. Mrs Eccles, who lives with husband Neil, 32, a landscaper, said: ‘A few nights earlier I’d felt sure a bug had crawled in my ear and was so relieved when my GP said he couldn’t see any insect in there.’

This time, however, she was finally referred to hospital, where an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist removed the rest of the perfectly preserved ladybird. Yesterday Mrs Eccles, who is making a formal complaint to the surgery, said: ‘It sounds funny but I thought I was going mad. ‘It’s made my life a nightmare. I just can’t believe no one saw it. After all, it must be the brightest, spottiest bug in the UK.’ By May 2010 she had already gone back to the surgery six times.

‘I kept on getting ear infections and deafness,’ she said. ‘At restaurants I had to position myself at the table so my left ear was turned towards people speaking and walking along a road with someone I had to walk to their right so I could hear them properly. ‘Neil got fed up having to say everything twice to me. ‘Before this I was rarely ill. But I’ve had to have two lots of time off work because the pain was unbearable and the antibiotics I’ve had to take ruined my immune system leaving me prone to lots  of colds.’ Last year and earlier this year,  she went back to the Elizabeth Courtauld surgery near her home in Halstead, Essex, a further  five times.

By that point, doctors had issued Mrs Eccles with a total of 12 prescriptions of earspray, eardrops, antibiotics and painkillers, none  of which managed to solve  the problem. She said: ‘One doctor did see something but diagnosed it as a “glob of wax”. ‘It was only in June this year when putting some eardrops in, that the head and jaws of a ladybird fell out of my hand that I recalled the night I believed the insect had crawled in. ‘Mrs Eccles took the beetle’s head to show her GP, who finally referred her to an ENT consultant. She said: ‘Waiting six weeks for the appointment was difficult as by then the deafness and discomfort in that ear was getting worse.’ However, within five minutes the consultant had removed the insect’s body. Mrs Eccles said: ‘We could clearly see from its spots it was a ladybird. I was instantly able to hear again and that was such a relief.

‘But I feel angry. I was made to feel I was making a fuss about nothing and feel I should have been referred to a specialist much earlier.’ Dr Azhar Shaida, a consultant ENT surgeon from The Harley St ENT Clinic, said: ‘It would appear the ladybird was hiding behind some wax. ‘A GP surgery does not possess the same level of equipment that an ENT specialist department has, so it appears when doctors looked into the ear, all they saw was wax. ‘Because the insect body was encased in wax, it would have stopped the air getting to it so it wouldn’t have degraded.’

If you have any questions about hearing loss contact Hidden Hearing.

Source Daily Mail:

London 2012 Olympics: boxing and cycling experienced a new level of noise

The Olympic Stadium, the velodrome and the boxing venue at the Excel all generated unforgettable noise:


In another part of the pool, Tom Daley elicited a curiously deep concern after imploding in mid-round in the men’s 10m platform synchronised diving with Peter Waterfield.

All the expectation of the last four years seemed to be twisting his spirit and his dives. But after a nervy start to the individual event, Daley came through to win bronze, and dedicated it to his late father, who died from brain cancer last year.

Paula Radcliffe was forced to give up her quest for an Olympic medal when injury kept her out of the women’s marathon but Farah took distance running to new heights.

By Paul Hayward, Telegraph

Read More …

Visit us online for more information

Westmeath nominations sought for Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards


Athlone Advertiser, August 10, 2012.

Westmeath entries are now being sought for the 2012 Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards – an all-Ireland awards initiative to highlight the achievements of those who are deaf or hard of hearing.

The Hidden Hearing Heroes Awards, created by one of Ireland’s premier hearing healthcare providers Hidden Hearing in association with the Irish Deaf Society, is seeking nominations for those who are deaf or hard of hearing and have made a significant contribution to society, their community, workplace, family, or through sporting excellence.

Nominations can be submitted online at www.hiddenhearing.ie or at Hidden Hearing branches around the country including John Broderick Street, Irishtown Central, Athlone.