New research can build to more understanding that will facilitate new treatment and noise protection strategies.
Louisville, KY (June 17, 2020)- Louisville nonprofit and leader in audiology, Heuser Hearing Institute (HHI) is thrilled to share that the HHI Research Center has published a study in the July 2020 issue of “Hearing Research”. The study finds that noise exposure may help explain why some people struggle understanding speech in loud environments even if they have normal hearing on an audiogram. “Hearing Research” is a leading peer-reviewed scientific journal that publishes research on basic peripheral and central auditory mechanisms.
This research was supported by a partnership between the Heuser Hearing Institute, the University of Louisville, and Sonova, which is a leading manufacturer of hearing assistive devices. The study involved researchers from each entity working in close collaboration. The study authors were: Dr. James Shehorn Ph.D. (HHI), Dr. Olaf Strelyck Ph.D. (Sonova), and Dr. Pavel Zahorik Ph.D. (University of Louisville). As part of HHI’s ongoing commitment to the field of audiology, the HHI Research Center interacts with many of Louisville’s top audiologists, hearing researchers and scientists.
Clear evidence from animal studies has shown that noise exposure can lead to cochlear synaptopathy, a loss of connections between inner hair cells and auditory nerve fibers. In humans, synaptopathy cannot be detected using standard audiometric testing, and to date, no other measures have been proven reliable enough to diagnose synaptopathy. There is therefore a strong need for new approaches to investigating synaptopathy in humans. The current study shows that testing speech understanding at high sound levels is a promising new approach.
“Hearing Research” is a recognized and well-respected journal in the field, so we’re honored to have our work published there,” says Dr. Pavel Zahorik Ph. D. “We view this research as an important step in understanding potential relationships between noise exposure and self-reported hearing difficulties that are not detectable with standard testing from an audiologist. This understanding will facilitate new treatment and noise protection strategies.”
The Heuser community understands the risk that being out in public poses to some patients so Heuser is currently staying open to provide essential services so patients with ear, hearing and speech disorders can continue to hear urgent information from officials, and communicate with their doctors and loved ones.
If you or your loved ones are experiencing hearing loss, please reach out to Heuser Hearing Institute at (502) 584-3573. Additionally there are several outlets which can help support and educate located at the Heuser Hearing Institute webpage, www.thehearinginstitute.org.
About Heuser Hearing Institute:
Heuser Hearing Institute (HHI) is a multi-specialty nonprofit campus promoting the needs of children and adults with disorders of hearing and balance. Our organization has been serving Louisville and many of the surrounding Kentucky and Indiana communities since 1948. HHI began as an educational center called the Louisville Deaf Oral School many decades ago. Today, the institute includes three facilities: the Heuser Hearing & Language Academy, which offers outstanding preschool and kindergarten programs for children with speech and hearing challenges; Heuser Hearing Clinic, which is home to a full-time staff of audiologists, otolaryngologists and researches serving patients of all ages; and the regional Heuser Early Intervention Program, which provides home-based services for infants and toddlers through the Kentucky and Indiana First Steps programs. For more information visit www.thehearinginstitute.org.