Research and development

2015 NFLPA Conference
Former NFL players received hearing care from the NFLPA, EarQ, and Sivantos, who have teamed up to help identify the connection, prevalence, and extent of hearing loss among players.
Figure 1. Illustration of the test setup. The participant (yellow head) sat in the middle, with target speech presented from 0°, and competing speech from the other seven loudspeakers.
At two independent research sites, sentence recognition in surrounding background noise was found to be significantly superior for individuals with mild-to-moderate hearing loss, when aided with a new binaural beamforming technology, compared to individuals with normal hearing. The performance advantage for the hearing-impaired groups was 2-3 dB SNR.
Figure 4. Individual subject Tinnitus Functional Index (TFI) baseline and 6 months post Widex Zen Therapy scores for the 24 subjects. The solid line represents equivalent baseline vs final (post treatment) scores while the dashed line represents the 13-point benefit score required for clinical efforts to be considered clinically significant.
The results from this clinical study strongly support the use of Widex Zen Therapy in tinnitus patient management. This individualized comprehensive approach combining counseling (instructional and adjustment-based cognitive behavioral intervention), amplification, fractal tones and/or noise, and relaxation strategies was highly effective in reducing tinnitus handicap in a short period of time, with improvements apparent through at least the 6-month duration of this investigation.
Researchers at the Cluster of Excellence and Saarland University Language Center in Saarbrücken, Germany, are animating online characters so they can display content in sign language.

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When combined with conventional assistive devices, such as hearing aids or cochlear implants, “audiogames” may be able to provide hearing impaired individuals with an improved ability to reconnect to the auditory world, says the researchers.
Jessica Tyrrell, PhD
Researchers at the University of Exeter Medical School have been able to suggest what goes wrong in the body when people develop Ménière’s disease, and provide new insight into factors that lead to its development.
Credit: Image courtesy of MicroTransponder, Inc.
Researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are launching a clinical trial to test a device that uses nervous system stimuli to rewire parts of the brain, in hopes of significantly reducing or removing tinnitus.
Jespersen author box
A review of previous methods, as well as a new method, for assessing sound quality is presented along with results from a recent study.
anderson toddlers 12-24
By providing information about hearing aid retention strategies throughout early childhood, collecting accurate information about daily hearing aid wear challenges, and working as a team, it should be possible to find appropriate strategies to keep children “on the air,” facilitating listening, language, and learning.