Allegations in a lawsuit filed against Starkey Hearing Technologies suggest that the surprise firings that occurred in September, that included Starkey President Jerry Ruzicka and Operations VP Keith Guggenberger, were the result of an inter-office power struggle that created a schism inside the company. Guggenberger has filed a $10.9 million wrongful breach of contract complaint against the company.
Beltone has announced the launch of Beltone Ally, a line of hearing aids that use 2.4 GHz direct wireless technology and advanced sound processing features. According to Beltone, the full product line offers a selection of hearing aid models that can fit more than 90% of all patients with hearing loss, ranging from mild to severe.
UK Demonstration against hearing aid cuts
The British Academy of Audiology (BAA) has announced that North Staffordshire CCG, a local health authority in the United Kingdom, will be making hearing aid cuts through a new regulation, effective October 1, 2015, that denies free hearing aids or follow-up care to thousands of people with hearing loss who are currently covered by the country’s National Health Service (NHS).
Benson Medical Instruments, which designs and manufactures audiometers, spirometers, and software to manage hearing conservation and occupational spirometry programs for companies, has announced a new ID masking feature in its software for occupational hearing tests that helps protect employees’ private data.
ClarityLife with Ensemble phone
Clarity has launched ClarityLife, a new platform for the company's Ensemble home phone that allows family members to check on seniors living alone. The platform keeps family members up-to-date with their older loved one’s activities through check-ins, medication and appointment notifications, compliance monitoring, and the ability to share social messages, photos, and videos.
The Dallas Morning News
In a September 21, 2015 article for The Dallas Morning News, writer Thor Christensen discusses the annoying decibel levels and potential harm caused by modern hand dryers in public places. The noise produced by many of these new hand dryers can reach 100 decibels, and the machines are a growing nuisance for millions of people with tinnitus or hyperacusis.
HyperSound system by Turtle Beach
Turtle Beach Corporation, an audio technology company based in San Diego, Calif, has announced a new partnership with Beltone New England, which will carry HyperSound Clear in their locations across the east coast when it becomes available this fall.
EarLens CHD
The FDA announced that it is allowing the marketing of a new hearing aid that uses a laser diode and direct vibration of the eardrum to amplify sound: the EarLens Contact Hearing Device (CHD), which is manufactured by EarLens Corp, Menlo Park, Calif.
Young woman learning sign language
In a new study, linguists investigated intonation--a key part of prosody--in American Sign Language (ASL) and found that native ASL signers learn intonation in much the same way that users of spoken languages do.
In response to a statement from HIA, the Academy outlines why the formation of earVenture is in keeping with both the goals and objectives of the Academy, as well as in the best interests of consumers and the industry. It also raises its own concerns about HIA’s interference, asking that the industry trade association “reassess its position towards ADA’s actions, motives or objectives with regard to its relationship to earVenture.”
Otoharmonics Levo System
Otoharmonics Corporation, Portland, Ore, has announced that a new peer-reviewed study using its Levo System for tinnitus showed a reduction in tinnitus symptoms and improvement in daily outlook for many study participants.
Model results showing auditory system of early humans, chimpanzees, modern humans.
Anthropologists from Binghamton University in New York conducted research into the sensory perception of early humans using several two-million-year-old fossil hominins to reveal how the human hearing pattern resembles chimpanzees, but with some slight, important differences.
Geriatric Otolaryngology
Thieme Publishers is introducing 10 new titles at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNSF) Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO taking place in Dallas, Texas on September 27-30, 2015. Featured among the new titles are "Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery" and "Geriatric Otolaryngology."
Man's Ear
A September 24, 2015 article published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, proposes that, based on analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), hearing impairment has been associated with various negative health issues, and possibly earlier death for older adults.
The US Departments of Education (ED) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have released a joint policy statement stating that all young children with disabilities should have access to inclusive high-quality early childhood programs, where they are provided with individualized and appropriate support in meeting high expectations.
brain plasticity and hearing loss
UCSF reports that new intracranial and electroencephalogram (EEG) research, published in a September 23, 2015 online article in The Journal of Neuroscience, supports the neural noise hypothesis that the signal-to-noise ratio in nerve circuits diminishes with aging, leading to diminished performance.
Figure 2
The range of rechargeable options in electronic products has been amazing...except in hearing aids, says the author. He predicts that we are approaching a technological tipping point where this will change, bringing an array of rechargeable hearing devices to our market.
Figure 1
The HyperSound system is designed to reproduce sound in a confined, narrow beam to a targeted area for situations like listening to a teacher in a classroom or to the TV at home. This field study suggests that, by making a directed audio solution part of a broader portfolio of intervention options, hearing care practices have an opportunity to meet the needs of more patients with hearing loss.
In the October 2015 issue of Trends in Cognitive Sciences, researchers explain that identifying the problem that underlies tinnitus and chronic pain is the first step to developing effective therapies. They have found that the neural mechanisms that normally “gate” or control noise and pain signals can become dysfunctional, leading to a chronic perception of these sensations.

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Bettie Borton, AuD
Externs can make significant contributions to clinical and operational efficiencies within private practice settings, and can be a tremendous practice resource. Qualified and dedicated preceptors help prepare audiology doctoral students to meet the challenges of independent practice in today’s competitive hearing healthcare market.