More than 20 per cent of people with hearing aids use their devices for less than one hour a day because of problems they encounter with tuning the settings. But now users can participate in fine-tuning their devices themselves.
Following are a selection of interesting news items from our field. This section will be updated on a continuous basis so check back often in between issues, to see what is new.
In the future, those with substantial hearing loss may no longer need a doctor to surgically implant a cochlear device into their ear to restore their sense of sound.
If researchers at Colorado State University are successful, they may just pop a retainer into their mouths. The team of engineers and neuroscientists are developing a hearing device that bypasses the ear altogether and puts words in the mouth.
Scientists at the University of Oxford are working on an algorithm that can differentiate various birdsongs amid a cacophony of background sounds. The software could be helpful to conservationists and researchers looking to count the number and species of birds in a specific area.
If you're a musician, this sounds too good to be true: psychologists have been able to train some adults to develop the prized musical ability of absolute pitch, and the training's effects last for months.
Male purring wolf spiders use leaves to transmit their courting song to females, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the Acoustical Society of America. To reach their findings, researchers set up a small recording studio to capture sounds made by male wolf spiders on various surfaces, discovering that leaflike surfaces worked best.
An existing anti-stroke drug is an effective treatment for middle-ear infections, showing the ability to suppress mucus overproduction, improve bacterial clearance and reduce hearing loss, according to researchers.
A technique called auditory brainstem implantation can restore hearing for patients who can't benefit from cochlear implants. A team of experts has mapped out the surgical anatomy and approaches for auditory brainstem implantation.
Researchers suggest that the portion of the brain devoted to hearing can become reorganized even with early-stage hearing loss, and may play a role in cognitive decline. They have applied fundamental principles of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to forge new connections, to determine the ways it adapts to hearing loss, as well as the consequences of those changes.
A new genetic test now available on the NHS will improve the identification of the genetic cause of someone's hearing loss. Professor Maria Bitner-Glindzicz, who led the development of the test, tells us more about it, and how other genetic research is helping to find new genes linked to hearing and deafness.
A bonelike structure made of calcium carbonate found in the inner ear canals of salmon is giving researchers information about all the places the fish have been. Otoliths grow along with the salmon and absorb elements from whatever waters it swims in, offering lots of information, including how old the fish is. "This is an underutilized tool. If you invest the time and energy to build a robust map, this is a good way to actually get at some of the fundamental questions about the movement patterns of salmon," said Sean Brennan, author of the study published in Science Advances.