American Tinnitus Association
The American Tinnitus Association (ATA) is funding two separate studies to better understand what parts of the body create tinnitus and how that noise is generated. The ATA has awarded $130,000 for a 2-year study at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, in which researchers will examine how the brain produces both tinnitus and the experience of residual inhibition. For the second separate study, the ATA awarded $99,710 for a 2-year study at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, Lexington, Ky, Department of Surgery, Division of Otolaryngology, which will examine the effect of salicylate on the electrical activity of the inner ear hair cells. (800) 634-8978; www.ata.org.
University of Florida
Audiologists at the University of Florida (UF), Gainesville, Fla, conducted a pilot test to measure noise risk for motorcyclists and warn that the noise produced by motorcycles poses a similar risk of hearing damage as loud music. In a pilot test of 33 motorcycles, UF audiologists found nearly half produced sounds above 100 decibels when throttled up, a noise level equivalent to a loud rock concert or a chainsaw. Noise levels were tested at riders ear levels from stationary motorcycles when idle and throttled up. Further research will include measurement of noise levels when the motorcycles are driven at cruising speeds to account for the effects of wind noise.
Interactive Education Tool
Sensimetrics Corp, Somerville, Mass, offers Auditory Interactivities (AI), which consists of a collection of structured interactivities designed to allow users to experience and study auditory phenomena using Windows-compatible personal computers. AI is a supplementary tool for teaching hearing science for undergraduate students in speech and hearing science, audiology, and communication disorders, as well as students of biomedical, electrical, and acoustical engineering. AI contains major units on signals and signal transformations, physical acoustics of hearing, monaural perception of stationary signals, monaural temporal phenomena, binaural hearing, spatial hearing, and pattern perception. (617) 625-0600; www.sens.com.
Cochlear Americas, Advanced Bionics Corp, and AG Bell
Cochlear Americas®, Bionic Ear Association (BEA), the hearing health advocacy division of Advanced Bionics Corp, and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (AG Bell) have partnered together to form the Circle Alliance Partnership. The partnership aims to provide the hearing loss community, including educators and clinicians, with information and resources that promote listening and talking. The main objective of the Circle Alliance Partnership program is to increase awareness about spoken language options for people with hearing loss around the world. For this goal, Cochlear Americas and AG Bell will codevelop educational resources for health care professionals. For more information, contact: (800) 458-4999; www.cochlear.com.
Hearing Test Checklist
Better Hearing Institute
The Better Hearing Institute (BHI), Alexandria, Va, has developed Quick Hearing Check pads to the materials included in BHIs Physician Referral Development Program. The self-scoring Quick Hearing Check, based on the revised American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery 5-minute hearing check, allows the patient to evaluate their hearing loss against the National Council on the Aging norms. The form explains to respondents how their significant other views their hearing loss and recommends actions to address their hearing loss based on their score. Quick Hearing Check pads are available to all dispensers who are participants in BHIs Physician Referral Development Program. (703) 684-3391; www.betterhearing.org.
Company Web Site
Unitron Hearing US
Unitron Hearing US, Plymouth, Minn, has launched its own Web site offering comprehensive resources and services on hearing loss in an accessible design. Users can find educational information and support resources for both people with hearing loss and hearing professionals. New sections for consumers include an overview of the symptoms of hearing loss, benefits of wearing hearing instruments including binaural amplification, and care and cleaning tips. The Web site also features information about Unitrons latest digital products, as well as customer testimonials. For practitioners, the Web site offers a Downloadable Resources section that contains technical data sheets, brochures, and technical backgrounders. For more information, contact: (800) 888-8882; www.unitronhearing.com.