Aspirin to Treat Acoustic Tumors?

Audiologists are always concerned with patients who present a unilateral sensorineural hearing loss with poor speech recognition and tinnitus.  We were trained in graduate school to always be suspicious of a possible acoustic neuroma on the auditory nerve.  I can remember several of my past audiology professors imagestrying to drill this into our heads.  A unilateral loss should always be taken seriously and reported to the patient’s primary care physician.  Patients with acoustic neuroma also often experience dizziness since the auditory and vestibular nerves run side by side as they exit the inner ear.  A tumor on the auditory nerve may also push or cause pressure the vestibular leading to the dizziness.  If caught early, acoustic neuromas are usually not life threatening.  Sometimes hearing can be preserved if the tumor has not grown deeply into the auditory nerve.

Below in a study indicating that aspirin may possibly help reduce the size of the tumor.  That’s interesting, because we have also been trained that aspirin can cause tinnitus and if taken in large quantities can cause damage to the hair cells in the cochlea resulting in sensorineural hearing loss.  More studies hopefully will tell us how much aspirin is safe if used for treating #acoustic neuromas.

http://www.hearingreview.com/all-news/22230-aspirin-intake-may-halt-growth-of-acoustic-neuromas

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More on Auditory Deprivation

When the hearing nerves and the areas of the brain responsible for hearing are deprived of sound, they atrophy or weaken.  This can make recovery from hearing loss imageswith hearing aids more difficult because the individual’s ability to understand speech has  deteriorated.  In other words, the brain gradually loses some of its information processing ability.  The term used by hearing professionals to describe this problem is auditory deprivation.

Several investigations have shown that people who wear only one hearing aid experience a reduction in their ability to understand speech in the ear that has not been stimulated with an aid.  As stated above, the ability of the auditory system to process speech declines due to a lack of stimulation.

Many people with hearing impairment wait many years before they try hearing aids.  They have gone for a long time without stimulation to either ear, and their ability to understand speech in both ears is often poor. Hearing aids will make sound louder, but whistleaidspeech may not be clear because of auditory deprivation.  This is very frustrating for the patient and the audiologist.  So often I have tested patients and I have thought to myself, “If only this patient would have come in earlier!”

There are many benefits to  wearing two hearing aids.  Two aids are necessary for sound localization and hearing in noise.  However, another benefit of wearing two hearing aids (binaural amplification) is to reduce the effects of auditory deprivation. The key to hearing better longer is to keep the auditory neurons active and NOT let them atrophy. Through the use of hearing aids, when you first notice hearing loss, you’ll enjoy a better quality of hearing longer. The old expression “use it or lose it” seems to apply to our ability to hear and understand speech.

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BHI: Press – Rock concerts may put teens’ hearing at risk

We have known about this for years, but this study used distortion product otoacoustic emissions testing to confirm a change in cochlear function.  Most people who attend a loud concert experience a shift in hearing with increased tinnitus just like a typical factory worker.  The shift in hearing is usually temporary, but over time the inner ear damage can become permanent.  Use protection at loud concerts!

BHI: Press – Rock concerts may put teens’ hearing at risk.

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Earbuds & Hearing Loss

Video

http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/earbuds-lead-hearing-loss-18679650#.UUDyNpG-DQM.facebook

permissible levels

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Hearing Review – Drug Found to Help Restore Hearing in Mice with NIHL

NIHL = Noise Induced Hearing Loss

There is hope for those who have suffered hearing loss due to damaged hair cells in the inner ear. I don’t know if we will see a cure in our lifetime, but several different researchers are working on this.

Hearing Review – Drug Found to Help Restore Hearing in Mice with NIHL.

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Hearing restored in deaf gerbils with stem cell treatment – latimes.com

Hearing restored in deaf gerbils with stem cell treatment – latimes.com.

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How Do I Know If I Have a Hearing Problem? Symptoms of Hearing Loss

Hearing loss usually develops very slowly, and it often worsens with age.  Hearing loss due to aging is usually permanent.  Most individuals with hearing loss can be helped significantly with properly fit hearing aids.

“Bill, why don’t you get your hearing checked?”

It is not unusual for people with a mild to moderate hearing loss to be unaware of their problem.  However, their family and friends may be quite aware of the problem.   Hearing loss is invisible and usually painless.  The reason it “sneaks” up on a person is because the change is very gradual.  Most hearing losses develop over a period of 25 to 30 years. By age 50 or 60, there can be enough deterioration to interfere with conversation.It is important to first determine if you have a hearing loss.  If you answer yes to three or more of the following statements, you should consider scheduling an appointment with an audiologist.

I need the radio or TV louder than other family members would like.

I use “huh” or “what” more than before.

I ask people to repeat themselves.

I avoid participating in groups because I don’t hear well.

I avoid speaking to strangers because I don’t hear well.

I watch TV less often because I can’t hear well.

I have difficulty understanding people on the phone.

I try to avoid small talk at family gatherings.

I notice that background noise seems to drown out voices.

I find it necessary to watch people with whom I am speaking.

I am bothered by loud sounds.

I tend to withdraw.

I have arguments with family members because of my hearing.

I guess about what people say, and often I am wrong.

I have trouble with unexpected speech or rapid speech.

I complain that people do not talk clearly anymore.

I miss the punch line of jokes.

I cannot easily locate the direction that sound is coming from.

I have ringing or other sounds (tinnitus) in my ear(s).

“It’s time to do something.”

Sometimes a “significant other” needs to have a private chat with the hearing impaired individual and let them know that their inability to hear is causing problems not only in their relationship but also with other friends and family members.

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