The Hearing Knowledge Hub

  • Articles

    Electrodes stimulate the hearing brain to improve hearing speech in noise

    Sometimes the biggest scientific breakthroughs happen by accident. Recently surgeons found that stimulating a specific part of the brain’s auditory cortex near the planum temporale  immediately improved speech perception over background noise. They happened to be implanting electrodes into a patient’s brain to pinpoint the area that triggered the person’s epilepsy seizures – a tactic used in severe cases of the condition. Surgeons stimulated the patient’s planum temporale while playing sound clips of someone talking in extensive background noise. The patient deciphered the spoken sentence and rated the clarity as a 4 or 5 out of 5. Without stimulation, the patient could hear only a few of the words and rated…

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    103 year old gets cochlear implant

    When 103-year-old Leslie Hodgson went to the hospital on his birthday, he told doctors that he had researched cochlear implants, and it was time for him to have one.  Leslie, who is also registered blind, underwent the procedure to fit the electronic device in March at James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough. The implant, which was inserted behind his ear, uses electrical stimulation to provide a sense of sound.The retired architect from Cumbria has no family and lost touch with friends after losing his hearing 10 years ago. He had communicated with friends via telephone but even that became too difficult. Surgeon Noweed Ahmad, who fitted Leslie’s cochlear implant, said: “Leslie…

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    Tips to help with Auditory Processing Disorder

    How to live well with auditory processing disorder (APD) If we diagnose you or a loved one with APD, it’s important to know that there’s plenty that can be done to manage the condition so you get the most out of each day. Use the technology available: There are excellent amplification and assisted listening devices to help you to hear a person who is speaking and to block out background noise. We’ll advise you of the best option for you and your situation. Brain training: No matter what your age, your brain can improve its processing skills. We can support you with brain training programmes to enhance your ability to…

  • Articles

    Do you have auditory processing disorder?

    Do you have APD? Even when a person has normal hearing, they may still face challenges with listening and processing information. This is called auditory processing disorder, or APD. APD is a lifelong disability and an acknowledged hearing impairment by the World Health Organisation. It’s unrelated to intelligence but it can affect your ability to take on board information, follow directions, read and engage in conversation. A child with APD will find it harder to learn to read and spell. Every person who is living with APD is affected differently, depending on their ability to cope and adapt. APD also varies in severity, day-to-day and during the day and can…

  • Articles

    Noise in the workplace. What you need to know.

    Studies show dentists have twice the rate of hearing loss and tinnitus compared to the general population due to the loud drills and equipment that they use daily. The noise from these can top 90 decibels (dB). According to the NHS, any sound over 85dB can be harmful to hearing. Since 2008, the Control of Noise at Work Regulations have applied to all workplaces. These state that a daily noise exposure averaged over eight hours of 80dB requires employers to provide information, training and make hearing protection available. When that level reaches 85dB, employers are required to take measures to reduce noise exposure. That means wearing hearing protection and providing hearing…

  • Articles

    Are the beers affecting your ears?

    Today marks the beginning of Alcohol Awareness Week, and, while we don’t want to get preachy, it’s important to understand how regularly overindulging on the booze can lead to damaged hearing. Excessive drinking causes a toxic environment in the inner ear, damaging those tiny hair cells that translate sound into electrical impulses that are sent to the brain, which can lead to hearing loss. Excessive booze damages the auditory cortex in the brain, making you unable to correctly process sounds. It can also change the volume and composition of fluid in the inner ear, causing dizziness and imbalance as well as hearing loss. Tinnitus can be an unwelcome side effect too.…

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    November is stress awareness month. How does stress affect your hearing health?

    For many people, the past 18 months of pandemic life have been among the most stressful of their lives for a host of reasons. With November the month of International Stress Awareness Week, it seems like a good time to remind everyone of the link between stress and hearing damage. As well as being bad for the heart, circulatory problems can also put your hearing at risk. Good circulation is vital if the small sensory hairs of the inner ear are to work properly and do their job of translating the noise received by your outer ears into electrical impulses for the brain to interpret as sound. Deprive them of…

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    3D Printed Eardrums!

    Hearing in 3-dimensions?  If you’ve been wondering what the point of 3-D printing is, let us introduce you to a new development in hearing health. A team of Harvard researchers and surgeons in the USA have developed a 3-D printed graft that can be implanted to repair a damaged eardrum. Called the PhonoGraft, this innovation has just entered commercial development and aims to solve the pain and hearing loss of eardrum perforation – a problem that affects millions of people worldwide. The eardrum, known as the tympanic membrane, is a thin membrane that conducts sound in the ear and protects against any nasties like bacteria or viruses that may find…

  • Articles

    Are your child’s headphones damaging their hearing?

    We’re obviously all very aware of protecting our children from viewing inappropriate content online, but fewer of us will have thought about the damage being caused to our children’s hearing by the volume of the content they’re viewing. Children today have a world of audio and video content served up to them via computers, tablets, consoles and phones, and they’ll often use devices like headphones, earphones and earbuds – collectively called ‘hearables’ – to listen to this content. But until now it hasn’t been possible for parents to know how loud, or for how long, their children have been listening. This obviously creates the potential for permanent hearing damage. The World Health…

  • Articles

    Is CBT the solution to managing tinnitus?

    Tinnitus does not need to rule your life. There are approaches, ranging from hearing technology to masking and sound therapy, which do genuinely manage the condition, bringing relief from the often-constant noise in your head. Change your thoughts, feelings and response Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for tinnitus is an excellent and effective approach we use at The Hearing Clinic with clients experiencing tinnitus. This NICE-recommended treatment works by teaching you how to completely alter the way you think about, and respond to, tinnitus. Here’s how it works. Your thoughts influence over how you feel and behave. For example, if you’re running late for a meeting, it’s easy to become frustrated,…

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