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Saturday, November 21, 2015

SCIENCE | Audiology Updates for October and November 2015

Progress related to Audiology continues to run at a great pace. Developments over the past 30 days range from new research outcomes to breakthrough innovative products. Here are some recent updates on the study of hearing and balance.

One study has found out that fitting suitable hearing aids on children is associated with better levels of language development. Published in a supplement of the journal Ear and Hearing, an Outcomes of Children with Hearing Loss (OCHL) study involving children aged six months to 7 years old, showed that children with mid-to-severe hearing loss have poorer language development compared to hearing peers. Furthermore, it found out that a correlation exists between the extent of hearing loss and the impact on language development. The study provides solid proof that early, active intervention helps children with all degrees of hearing impairment catch up or significantly close the gaps with their hearing peers in terms of language development.

Young people have already experienced hearing problems due to exposure to loud sound or noise, this is what a study jointly conducted by French market research specialists Ipsos and the French Week of Sound association has found out. The “Youngsters and the world of sound” study worked on three different population groups: children aged 0 to 6 years old, children aged 7 to 12 years old, and adolescents aged 13 to 19 years old. The study results also showed that earphones or headphone usage when listening to music is common practice among all groups. Those from the adolescents group say they listen with earphones or headphones on for about two hours a day. 8% of 0-to-6-year-olds use earphones, and 16% headphones, for a daily listening average of 31 minutes. Alarmingly, one in every 10 0-to-2-year-olds falls asleep while wearing headphones or earphones.

Image Source: Kickstarter

Meanwhile, a 16-year-old has designed headphones made to protect your hearing which was pitched in Kickstarter and obtained four (4) times his target amount. Kingsley Cheng, together with his electronic industry-veteran dad and a serial entrepreneur Anthony Lye, co-founded AEGIS Acoustics to come up with designs that prevent further hearing loss among headphone-using kids. Their product line, the main product of which is their AEGIS Pro headphones, now includes a hard case and high performance drivers. Their AEGIS Pro utilizes protective hardware and software solutions including its LED lights that change color to notify the user that it’s time to stop listening as per WHO recommendation of a maximum 8 hours, and its digital decibel equalizer technology that normalizes the volume at a safe level (85 dB).

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