Chocolate can reduce hearing loss, study reported

A team of researchers in Korea conducted a rigorous nationwide study of the chocolate consumption of 3,575 subjects—between 40 and 64 years old—and the results were startling: Hearing loss was significantly lower for those who regularly consumed chocolate:

The rate of any hearing loss (unilateral or bilateral) in the subjects who consumed chocolate (26.78% (338/1262)) was significantly lower than that in those who did not (35.97% (832/2313)) (p < 0.001). Chocolate consumption was independently associated with low odds of any hearing loss (adjusted odds ratio = 0.83, 95% confidence interval = 0.70 to 0.98, p = 0.03).

Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

The researchers concluded that “the severity of hearing loss was inversely correlated with the frequency of chocolate consumption.” In other words, the more often you eat chocolate, the better your odds of avoiding severe hearing loss.

A national nutritional/medical survey

The study used data from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (KNHANES), which records the health and nutritional status of Koreans. Respondents were given hearing threshold tests to determine the presence and degree of sensorineural hearing loss.

To control for other pathologies that may have contributed to hearing loss, the researchers performed rigorous physical examinations on each subject. Subjects also provided detailed information on their consumption of chocolate and other foods. Information on the frequency and quantity of food consumption summarizing the subjects’ previous year of eating was collected by trained dietitians.

The research did not identify exactly how or why chocolate prevents hearing loss. However, researchers said the size of the sample and rigor of their analysis gave them the confidence to come to a strong conclusion: “Our results suggest that chocolate plays an oto-protective role against hearing loss.”

Cocoa may be key to preventing hearing loss

Cocoa is known to be an anti-oxidant that can help prevent cardiovascular inflammation. The researchers hypothesized that the same effects could reduce vascular hypertension in the ear, a condition that is associated with hearing loss. While this causative link was not definitive, the researchers did note a high correlation between chocolate consumption and reduced vascular hypertension:

Those who did not consume chocolate had higher risks of hypertension and dyslipidemia than did those who consumed chocolate. Chocolate exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and has been shown to have therapeutic benefits for patients with cardiovascular diseases. Specifically, cocoa, a major ingredient of chocolate, attenuates vascular risks by reducing blood pressure and improving endothelium-dependent vasodilation. In line with this, several investigations demonstrated the causal relationship between vascular risk factors and hearing loss. Thus, our results suggest that chocolate decreases the rates of hypertension and dyslipidemia, which enables the preservation of hearing.

Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey

Unfortunately, other beloved foods don’t appear to have the same preventative properties. Specifically, the researchers l looked into the consumption of ice cream, cake, and cookies. The data indicated that these foods had no impact, positively or negatively, on rates of hearing loss: “there was no association between hearing loss and the consumption of sweet products without cocoa.”

Chocolate doesn’t help relieve tinnitus

The researchers also investigated the relationship between chocolate consumption and tinnitus, the annoying ringing, buzzing, humming and other sounds that many people have in their ears.

Because many people who have hearing loss also have tinnitus, the team hypothesized that chocolate consumption might also help prevent tinnitus, but it didn’t.

Earmold Dome slipping in ear?

If your Dome (eartip) slips in or out of your ear, you are not alone. It is a common problem and it is no wonder. The Domes are round but your ear csnal is irregular and more oval shaped.

The solution is easily and inexpensively solved. Instead of using a tight-fit dome, use a slightly smaller size (preferably OPEN FIT), for comfort. Then mix a small portion of HCPB Medical Grade silicone putty and add it to the dome and tube before inserting it in the ear

The new cstom fit earmold that you made in just 3 minutes will now comfortably lock it in the ear and a side effect will be improved hearing. There will no longer be any dome slippage in the ear and it will prevent the hearing aid from falling off the ear. This will also prevent the dome tip from coming off the tube and staying in the ear, if you have used an Open (not closed ) dome.

For RIC Hearing aids http://earmolds.info/ric-4-ear-molds-kit/ $19.88 Makes 4 earmolds kit For 24 bulk earmold kit http://earmolds.info/ric-hearing-aid-ear-molds/ $29.77

For OPEN FIT Hearing aids: 4 earmold kit http://earmolds.info/open-fit-4-ear-molds-kit/ $19.88 For 24 bulk earmold kit: http://earmolds.info/open-fit-24-earmold-kit-2/ $29.77

More information http://earmolds.info/

HEARING in NOISE and difficult situations

“Live Transcribe” now helps you communicate in the difficult listening situations.

With “Live Transcribe”, you can see words appear on your Android phone as they’re spoken.

If it seems like someone says New York, but they’re actually talking about new Yorkshire terriers, the captions will autocorrect on your Android phone.

Pick from over 70 languages and dialects to read accurate captions in the language that’s being spoken. Quickly switch between languages during bilingual conversations.

“Live Transcribe” is easy to use, anywhere you have a wifi or network connection. It’s free to download on over 1.8B Android devices operating with 5.0 Lollipop and up.

To start, simply use “Live Transcribe” anywhere, to have conversations with anyone.

We partnered with “Gallaudet University“, a premier school for the deaf and hard of hearing, to make sure that “Live Transcribe” was helpful for everyday use. Partners at Gallaudet helped with testing and improvements along the way.

Ready to get started?

This new Android Accessibility service is available to download as an app on the Google Play store. After installing the app, turn on Live Transcribe in your phone’s Accessibility settings and tap on the app to use it.

or

If you have a Pixel 3, simply turn on Live Transcribe in your Accessibility settings.

Have a question or want to share your feedback on “Live Transcribe”? Find answers to frequently asked questions in our Help Center or contact us via Google Accessibility support.

BOSE previewS NEW hearing aids

Bose Hearing Aids that are expected to be introduced for sale, look nearly identical to their last hearing-assistive product, the Bose “Hearphones”. (left below photo)The Bose Hearing Aid is the first FDA-approved hearing aid in a new category of products known as “self-fitting air-conduction hearing aids.” (right photo)

Bose Hearing Aid Hearphones

Right photo is FDA Filing): Bose Hearphones (Source – Hearphones User Manual)

Clinical findings

The FDA’s summary of the Bose hearing aid followed the October approval of the company’s “De Novo” application for the newhearing aid. In addition to providing a detailed description of the product, it says clinical findings demonstrate the Bose self-fitting hearing aid “provides performance benefit consistent with that of the same hearing aid fitted by hearing aid professionals.”

The Bose Hearing Aid provides performance benefits consistent with that of the same hearing aid fitted by hearing aid professionals for individuals ages 18 and older with mild to moderate hearing loss, according to the FDA Summary

New category of self-fitting hearing aids

According to the FDA, the Bose self-fitting hearing aid is intended to amplify sound for individuals 18 years of age or older with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment. It is adjusted by the user to meet the user’s hearing needs. No pre-programming or hearing test is necessary. The device is intended for direct-to-consumer sale and use without the assistance of a hearing care professional.

A self-fitting air-conduction hearing aid is a wearable sound-amplifying device that is intended to compensate for impaired hearing and incorporates technology, including software, that allows users to program their hearing aids. This technology integrates user input with a self-fitting strategy and enables users to independently derive and customize their hearing aid fitting and settings.FDA Summary

Although the latest FDA documentation clears the way for Bose to sell its new Hearing Aid, the company has not yet said when it plans to go to market.

Hearing-aid earbuds attached to a flexible neckband packed with electronics

The Bose Hearing Aid looks like the popular Bose Hearphones, with a flexible neckband housing a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and electronic components with extending cables for the right and left ears. Earbuds are connected to the neckband by flexible wires, with an ear-tip mounted on each earbud. Three sizes of tips are packaged with the product so that the user can choose the optimal size.

The Hearing Aid has two microphones in each earbud that may be configured in omnidirectional or directional modes to enhance understanding of speech in noise. Active noise reduction using “feedback and feedforward control loops” reduces environmental sounds, with power from a rechargeable 3.7 V, 250 mAh lithium-ion battery pack.

Like the Hearphones, the Bose Hearing Aid will feature Bluetooth audio streaming from smartphones, for both music and phone calls.

Self-fitting software with mobile “Bose Hear” smartphone app

The Bose Hear mobile smartphone app works with both iPhones and Android smartphones. Bose Hearphones users will find familiar device configurations including “World Volume” and “Treble/Bass” gain settings. The settings are preserved between use sessions and the settings from the previous session are recalled upon power-up of the device.

Bose Hear App

Screenshots from the Bose Hear App for Bose Hearphones

A set of manual buttons located on one of the cables from the neckband can also be used to adjust both the “World Volume” and directional mode.

Hearing Aid Features

Hearing aid signal processing includes 12-channel wide dynamic range compression amplification with compression thresholds fixed at speech-equivalent 52 decibels (dB) sound pressure level (SPL). Noise reduction is continuously active, lessening environmental noise and decreasing amplification of the user’s own voice.

Additional features include:

  • Feedback cancellation
  • Steady state noise reduction
  • Directionality (three modes controllable by user)
  • Impulse noise control
  • Left/Right balance
  • Bluetooth-compliant 2.4 GHz wireless radio for streaming audio, telephony, and control
  • Microphone array to help clarify voices on phone calls
  • Volume-optimized audio equalization (selectable high-frequency boost when listening to streamed content)
  • Voice prompts
  • Battery life of approximately 10 hours
  • NFC pairing for compatible Android devices

Clinical tests satisfy FDA that self-fitting software works

A human-factors study, non-clinical bench tests, and two clinical studies satisfied the FDA that the Bose Hearing Aid will be safely deliver on the promise of self-fitting software for people with mild-to-moderate hearing loss.

Among two groups of users, one with a professional fitting and one that used the self-fit software, the studies concluded that: Subjects in the self-fit group were satisfied with (or preferred) their own settings to the professionally-selected settings more than were/did subjects in the professionally fit group.

The subjects in the self-fit group rated themselves significantly happier with the sound quality than did those in the pro-fit group.

There was no difference in speech intelligibility benefit between the self-fit and pro-fit groups.

The report concludes that the clinical data support the claim that the Bose self-fitting hearing aid “provides performance benefit consistent with that of the same hearing aid fitted by hearing professionals for individuals ages 18 and older with mild to moderate hearing loss.”

Rechargeable hearing aid batteries

Rechargeable Hearing Aid batteries may be repeatedly charged and are typically charged every night to provide continual daily use. The daily battery life varies by battery size, chemistry, the amount of energy stored in the battery, the hearing aid programming,and the listening habits of the user. The batteries themselves will typically last as long as one year. There are 3 major types of rechargeable batteries.

Nickel metal hydride (NiMH) hearing aid batteries do not have sufficient energy to last a full day. In addition, they cannot be charged more than 300 times (i.e., cycle life) and, therefore, do not last a full year.

Silver-zinc  batteries offer greater daily and overall battery life than NiMH batteries. Silver-zinc batteries operate on a lower voltage,(1.6-1.7V) and are non-toxic and non-flammable, and there are fewer risks if swallowed or ingested by their family, or pets.

Lithium-ion batteries, on the other hand, operate at a higher voltage (3.6-3.7V) and do carry considerable risks related to flammability and toxicity. Due to these risks, lithium-ion batteries are sealed into the hearing aid case.

Disposable batteries as a backup

Silver-zinc rechargeable hearing aid batteries are often removable from the hearing aid case, and interchangeable with disposable zinc-air batteries. This provides flexibility to hearing aid users when they go “off the electric grid”, or there is a power outage and need to use disposable batteries temporarily. Forgetting to charge your hearing aid batteries is also less of a problem when disposables are available as a backup.

How long do rechargeable hearing aids last on a single charge?

Depending on the hearing aid model, and the number of hours of wireless streaming, the rechargeable batteries provide anywhere from 7.7 (with full time streaming) to 24.7 (without streaming) hours of use time. But, wireless streaming has a significant impact on how much life you can expect out of your hearing aid battery.

Four primary factors influence battery performance:

  1. Advanced features
  2. Wireless streaming
  3. Amount of amplification
  4. Battery current drain

Advanced features

Modern hearing aids employ a number of advanced features, which provide louder, cleaner, more comfortable sound. Technologies like noise suppression and feedback cancellation continuously monitor and process sound in the hearing aid built-in computer. This increases power consumption leading to higher battery drain. These features not only differ among the hearing aids but also by the hearing aid user.As an example, a person with a more pronounced hearing loss may require more feedback cancellation and result in a shorter battery life.

Wireless streaming

A significant amount of energy is used every time you stream audio from your smartphone, TV, iPad, or other wireless accessories. Wireless streaming also happens when your left and right hearing aids communicate with each other to exchange audio or data.

Amount of amplification

For those with more severe hearing loss this means more power consumption.  Also, if one ear has more hearing loss than the other ear, the battery life on the more impaired ear could be shorter.

Battery current drain refers to how fast the hearing aid drains power from the battery. Hearing aid manufacturers typically publish current drain figures for every new hearing aid they produce. When current drain is measured by the manufacturer, hearing aids are put into a “test mode,” which disables advanced features and wireless connectivity which under-states true battery drain in actual use.

Tips for charging your hearing aids

  • Rechargeable hearing aids should be charged every night to maximize battery life. If you charge the battery every other night, this will not help extend the battery life, and could lead to issues down the road. Silver-zinc chemistry must have the opportunity to recharge to full capacity every night to get the best performance from the battery.
  • Leave your hearing aids in the charger when they are not being worn. The charger will not overcharge the hearing aids and will ensure the batteries stay at full charge. Leave in the charger when not in use.
  • Do not unplug the charger while the hearing aids are inserted. If the charger is not receiving power, then the hearing aids will automatically be turned on. This will cause the hearing aids to turn on, and the batteries to begin discharging.
  • Remember, your hearing aids may take up to 7 hours to recharge fully, and the charging lights will turn from blinking to solid green when charging is complete.
Zpower Charger

Storing your hearing aids

  • Short term storage – If you don’t plan to wear your hearing aids for a few days,leave the hearing aids in the charger with the charger plugged in.
  • Long term storage  it’s best to remove the rechargeable batteries from your hearing aids and store them separately.

Hearing aids price & product development update

Hearing Aid merger will effect consumer price and product choices

How will the new Widex and Sivantos MERGER effect the hearing aid community? I will review some of the probabilities.

Usually, when two big companies combine in an industry that’s already highly concentrated, antitrust regulators are suspicious. It can mean less competition, higher prices, slower innovation, and weaker customer service.

But the hearing-aid industry is already in the midst of technology-driven economic change. New low-priced competitors are now challenging the Industry leaders by taking advantage of constant reductions in the costs of advanced hearing-aid technologies. And in the U.S., the “Over-The-Counter Hearing-Aid Act” Which deregulated hearing aid sales is expected to continue making it easy for new competitors to enter the retail market.

The largest Six hearing-aid manufacturers have already responded to increased competition by lowering prices for their entry-level products. At the same time, they have consolidated their leadership in the premium-priced high end of the market with a succession of new, high-tech innovations. And the profits from those high-end sales are helping them continue their traditional investments in hearing-technology improvements.

Widex and Sivantos MERGER should be able to compete more effectively at the entry level on price with affordable, high-quality products. And they will probably continue to compete with the other leading manufacturers to be first to develop and deliver the latest new products and technologies to high-end customers.

So consumers looking for the latest advancements in high priced hearing aids should be able to continue looking forward to a constant stream of innovation from the “Biggest Five Manufacturers,” including Widex/Sivantos. At the same time, they should continue seeing more moderate prices for entry-level custom hearing aids.

“Sivantos” was grown out of the former “Siemens”hearing-aid business in 2015 with backing from EQT Partners, a private equity firm funded by Sweden’s Wallenberg family. EQT is known as a patient investor that has said it’s committed to the company’s long-term growth.

“Widex” has been a family-owned company since its introduction decades ago and is known for its commitment to R&D and constant development. The merger should help meet Widex’s need for a stronger financial foundation to continue competing at both the high-end and entry level of the hearing-aid market.

So, hearing-aid sellers can expect continuity from their sales, supplier and support relationships. And professionals should look forward to more cutting-edge products and technologies coming from the combined company.

However there are countless uncertainties. Especially about how it will impact consumers and the professionals who depend on both companies.

For example, if there’s a big push to save money, consolidation of Home-office functions could impact the professionals who rely on consistent product and sales support from each company. The details will be revealed when the merger is finalized, in about one month

More important will be how the combined companies respond to competition from new market entrants. If Widex/Sivantos and the rest of the “Big Five” are able to compete successfully with new, lower-priced competitors while continuing to lead the industry in hearing-technology innovation, then everyone wins.

Bose Launches Self-Fitting Hearing Aids with FDA Approval

Bose Launches Self-Fitting Hearing Aids with FDA Approval

 October 05, 2018

Bose Small

Bose SoundSport Free wireless earphones.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA today allowed marketing of a new device, the Bose Hearing Aid, intended to amplify sounds for individuals 18 years or older with perceived mild to moderate hearing impairment (hearing loss).

This is the first hearing aid authorized for marketing by the FDA that enables users to fit, program and control the hearing aid on their own, without assistance from a health care provider.

“Hearing loss is a significant public health issue, especially as individuals age,” said Malvina Eydelman, M.D., director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

“Today’s marketing authorization provides certain patients with access to a new hearing aid that provides them with direct control over the fit and functionality of the device. The FDA is committed to ensuring that individuals with hearing loss have options for taking an active role in their health care.”

Approximately 37.5 million adults aged 18 and over report having some trouble hearing without a hearing aid, ranging from “a little trouble” to “deaf.” Hearing loss can be caused by aging, exposure to loud noises, certain medical conditions and other factors. Hearing loss may be permanent or temporary. Individuals with permanent hearing loss can use hearing aids to help them hear the speech and sounds around them better, enabling them to communicate more effectively with others.

The Bose Hearing Aid is a user-fitted wireless air conduction hearing aid. Air conduction hearing aids work by capturing sound vibrations through one or more microphones. The signal is processed, amplified, and played back through an earphone placed in the ear canal. Patients can adjust the hearing aid through a mobile application on their phone. This technology enables users to fit the hearing aid settings themselves, in real-time and in real-world environments without the assistance of a health care professional.

While users may fit, program and control the Bose Hearing Aid on their own, the device must comply with applicable federal and state laws regarding the sale of hearing aids, including state laws that might require hearing aids to be purchased from or dispensed by a licensed hearing aid dispenser. The FDA is in the process of drafting proposed regulations for a new category of over-the-counter hearing aids as required by the FDA Reauthorization Act of 2017.

In authorizing marketing of the Bose device, the FDA reviewed data from clinical studies of 125 patients, which demonstrated that outcomes with self-fitting of the Bose Hearing Aid are comparable on average to those with professional fitting of the same device with respect to the amount of amplification selected, speech in noise testing and overall benefit.

In addition, when participants self-fit the Bose Hearing Aid, they generally preferred those hearing aid settings over the professionally-selected settings. The Bose Hearing Aid has been labeled to inform the consumer when to consult a hearing health care professional.

The Bose Hearing Aid was reviewed under the FDA’s De Novo premarket review pathway, a regulatory pathway for some low- to moderate-risk devices that are novel and for which there is no prior legally marketed device.

The FDA granted marketing authorization of the Bose Hearing Aid device to Bose Corporation.

The FDA, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, protects the public health by assuring the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.

Source: FDA

One app. Complete control.

The Bose Connect app gives you easy access to everything your product has to offer. Get tips, unlock product features and personalize your settings, so you can spend more time enjoying the music instead of setting it up.

Worried about losing an ear bud? Or both? Don’t worry; the Connect app is here for you. Enable the Find My Buds feature, so you can easily see where your buds were last connected. Follow the map and boom! Got ‘em.

Download on the App Store
Get it on Google Play

TRULY WIRELESS

Enjoy complete freedom of movement.

RELIABLE CONNECTIONS

They’re designed to maximize the strength and reliability of a wireless signal.

STAYS COMFORTABLE. STAYS PUT.

StayHear+ Sport tips are designed for comfort and stability.

VOLUME-OPTIMIZED EQ

For consistent performance at any volume.

WATER RESISTANT

IPX4 rating means these are earbuds that aren’t afraid of sweat or rain.

BATTERY & CASE

5 hours of battery. Place them in the protective case for safe-keeping and to recharge. The case provides 10 hours of battery.

SoundSport Free wireless headphones

30-day Risk Free Trial
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$199.95
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Future Hearing Aids COST REDUCTION

 

CBS Sunday Morning Special Explores the Future of Hearing Aids

In this this Sunday’s new “Sunday Morning” CBS special, David Pogue takes a deep dive into all things hearing aids – past, present, and future. David explores the cost breakdown associated with hearing aid prices, and explains the value of some of the services you’re actually paying for when you purchase bundled hearing aids. Watch Video.

Watch Video

20 NEW TREATMENTS RESTORE LOST HEARING

Over 20 treatments for hearing loss and tinnitus are currently being tested in clinical trials.

 

Treatments that regenerate hearing

 

Last month, Frequency Therapeutics announced that its regenerative therapy for hearing loss had progressed to Phase I/II of clinical trials. Frequency Therapeutics is a US-based company developing a drug called FX-322. This drug has the potential to repair the damaged inner ear by regenerating the Inner Ear hair cells and restoring hearing.

Hair cells transform sound into electric signals that the brain understands and are frequently damaged or lost in sensorineural hearing loss. At the end of 2017, Frequency “Therapeutics” finished an initial test in a small group of people showing that the drug was safe. They are now progressing to test how well the drug restores hearing, and how safe it is, in a larger number of people. READ MORE

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