Few Researchers Consider the Effect of Hearing Loss in Physician/Patient Communication, NYU Study Finds

Few Researchers Consider the Effect of Hearing Loss in Physician/Patient Communication, NYU Study Finds April 5, 2017 | NYU Health and Medicine | See Original Here Of the 67 papers reviewed, only 16 (23.9%) included any mention of the effects that hearing loss can have on health care interactions. Doctors believe that communication with their patients is important, but most studies of physician/elderly patient communication do not mention that hearing loss may affect this interaction. The findings come from a review led by two NYU professors published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. Many researchers have explored communication between doctors and their patients, but how many of them have considered the importance of hearing loss? To investigate this question, a team led by Dr. Joshua Chodosh of New York University School of Medicine and Dr. Jan Blustein,  the NYU’s Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service and the School of Medicine, reviewed the published medical literature on doctor-patient communication, selecting research studies that involved patients aged 60 years and older. Of the 67 papers included in their study, only 16 (23.9%) included any mention of hearing loss. In some cases (4 out of the 67), people with hearing loss were excluded from the study. Three of the studies reported on an association between hearing loss and quality of care. In only one study did the researchers offer patients some kind of hearing assistance to see whether it would improve communication. (It found that offering hearing assistance improved patients’ understanding.) “Hearing loss has long been neglected in the medical community,” said Chodosh. “As a geriatrician, I see many patients...

Are You Hearing This?

Are You Hearing This? Frank Lin’s research ties hearing loss to dementia, with big implications for public health: Unbundled, accessible audiology services and reimbursement for audiologic rehabilitation could be key, he says, to battling cognitive decline associated with hearing loss. Haley Blum – The ASHA Leader, June 2015, Vol. 20, 50-57. doi:10.1044/leader.FTR3.20062015.50 VIEW ORIGINAL ARTICLE Spend some time listening to Frank Lin talk about dementia, and you’ll never look at hearing loss the same way. Research by Lin and his team reveals a strong association between untreated hearing loss and the risk of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults—a link that poses big public health problems because of the aging population, says Lin, an associate professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery, geriatric medicine, mental health, and epidemiology at Johns Hopkins University. As many as 5 million Americans age 65 and older have Alzheimer’s disease—just one specific type of dementia—and that number will increase significantly with current population trends, according to the National Institute on Aging, unless something’s done to treat or prevent it. Lin’s work focuses on three main questions surrounding the dementia-hearing loss link: What are the consequences of hearing loss (which affects about two-thirds of everyone older than 70) for older adults? Does treating hearing loss make a difference? And how do we address the issue from a big-picture, societal perspective? Lin, who will be the opening speaker at the research symposium during the ASHA 2015 Convention, spoke with the Leader about his work, the future of hearing health care and what that all means for older adults. Do we have any insights into the association...

Seahawks Win – Fans Lose for Winning

This past Sunday evening (9/15/13) was a special evening in Seattle-town. The Seahawks overpowered their opponent while the fans succeeded in setting a record for the loudest stadium in the world. The old record was set at the Ali Sami Yen Sport Complex Turk Telekom Arena in Turkey during a soccer match in 2011 – where the crowd set a record by recording a noise level of 130.2dB. Seattle fans, not to be outdone, upped the level to 130.9dB – a truly ear-splitting record. But while the Seahawk fans, better known as the 12th Man, succeeded in making the most noise, many, if not all of them will suffer later on for their effort. Noise induced hearing loss is at epidemic levels in this country with one out of five Americans over the age of 12 having a hearing loss severe enough to cause difficulty in their communication. This incredible number, 20%, is the result of our extremely noisy society. Sensorineural hearing loss is caused by our ears being exposed to noises in excess of what our ears can handle. We might believe that our attendance at events where noise prevails (stadium events, rock concerts, noisy restaurants, etc.) won’t hurt us, but the fact is that noise induced hearing loss – one of the primary components of sensorineural hearing loss category – builds up over time and is not reversible. Most people lose their hearing very slowly. So slowly in fact, that for most people, it takes almost a decade between when they begin to feel that they have a hearing loss until they decide that its time to...

Finding Quiet by Turning Up the Volume: People are Retreating into a World of Increasing Volume… Losing Their Hearing and More

Our world is filed with noises, some invited, others not. Voices of conversation, babies crying, music and the warning sounds of car horns and alarms are invited. Externally, the sounds of buses, trucks, motorcycles and the broad low frequency hum of ever present office electronics are not. Multi-speaker televisions, stereos and conveniences devices have overtaken our homes. Our entertainment has become louder without our awareness but with our permission. Digital sound has allowed movie theaters to dramatically boost sound levels without distortion. Needless to say our beloved rock concerts use extreme volume to pump up the crowd and “drive the sound into our inner being” but in doing that they have become painfully loud. Even our “quiet-little-booth-in-the-corner” restaurant is no longer quiet. It seems that we can’t escape from excessive noise, which can be problematic and distracting for anyone seeking a little quiet and solitude for concentration, creativity or rest. Where can we go to find a little quiet? Home? Library? How about the neighborhood park? Many people, it seems, have given up even looking. Instead of seeking quiet time, people are gravitating towards self-directed distraction. To block out the noise around us we plug-up our ears and turn up the volume. MP3 players, cell phones, personal video game players…. people of all ages use them, not only to keep themselves entertained, but to block out the surrounding noise. Fighting noise with our own self-chosen noise requires us to crank up the volume even louder than the noise we’re trying to avoid. In general, it takes about 13 dB of additional volume to begin to block out the outside...

One In Five Children Have A Hearing Loss – So What?

There has been a lot of press recently about the study conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Collected data was studied on 2,929 adolescents who took part in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Study which ran from 1988 to 1994 and compared the results to the 1,771 teens who took part in the same survey from 2005 to 2006. Among the children (aged 12-19) in the first study, 14.9% showed demonstrable signs of a hearing loss, while in the latter group the percentage jumped to 19.5% – a 31% increase between the groups. Imagine, one out of every five of our children already has some level of hearing deficiency! This dramatic increase in hearing loss amongst our youngsters needs to be viewed as a real and growing threat to the educational vitality of our nation and considered as, and treated like a true public health epidemic. We take our hearing for granted. Hearing loss is, in most cases, a very slow, transitional process, slow enough for us to develop compensating behaviors which allows us to deny the problem: we move closer to the speaker; we increase the volume of the TV, radio, or our personal music player. We do these things to persuade ourselves that we can control the problem and that the ‘loss’ is not real. It’s just that the volume needs adjusting. If we can just get the volume up to acceptable levels everything will be alright. We believe that we can live with hearing loss because everything we own, and all the people around us, have a volume control… huh?… what?… please...

Hearing and Listening Health Affect All of Our Children

Adopted or Not, Hearing Health and Listening Comprehension Affect Our Children There was a very interesting article posted on the ASHA Sphere Blog today. Written by Deborah Hwa-Froelich, PhD, CCC-SLP, the article titled Hearing Health and Development Following Adoption brings up a number of very important – and tightly linked – issues. How a small amount of fluid buildup in the middle ear can affect balance and hearing acuity. How, after seeking medical advice and completing impedance testing, she says that her results were in the low-normal range and that “most medical professionals would not treat a patient who exhibited these symptoms preferring to wait until the patient demonstrated consistent flat tympanograms or infection.” But, without exhibiting either of these conditions, she had significantly reduced hearing acuity, especially in noisy environments like the classroom. She wonders how children can focus and learn when they have fluid in the middle ear. How children who have resided in orphanages around the world – who receive less than adequate medical care – may have untreated otitis media and become accustomed to the symptoms of ear pain, imbalance, and poor hearing acuity. And when parents who adopt these children they expect the child to exhibit and demonstrate certain behaviors of discomfort when the child is ill. However, because of the lack of attention to hearing health, the children do not show the typical symptoms of pain or lack of balance and thus the parents may not recognize – and then not seek – medical care. Many orphanages do not provide the social interaction that children need to learn which sounds are meaningful to...