D_Strom.jpg (7967 bytes)This issue of The Hearing Review kicks-off the first in a series of articles about ongoing scientific investigations in hearing research laboratories around the world. The first installment of this series, which starts on p. 18, looks at research being conducted at the House Ear Institute (HEI) in Los Angeles. HR Associate Editor Zarpan Osmani takes us inside the laboratories of HEI and introduces readers to the Institute’s work relative to hair cell regeneration, the mechanics of hair cell growth and differentiation, cell placement within the cochlea and research on hair cell amplification mechanics. The feature also includes an interesting article by HEI scientists Andrew Groves and Neil Segil pertaining to how they are approaching the hidden world of hearing, genetics and the ear.

As with all March HR issues, this edition contains our annual marketing review and analysis of the Hearing Industries Assn. (HIA) year-end statistics on hearing instrument sales. This year’s analysis departs from those of previous years by focusing slightly more on the worldwide market, as well as potential trends and events that dispensing professionals may encounter in the next 5-10 years. With recent consolidation, the incredible growth of new technology and an ever-expanding market in other regions of the world, the structure of the hearing industry is changing quickly. We hope this article provides insights into how the U.S. and world marketplace is evolving, and hopefully, how your hearing care business/practice fits into the “big picture.” Similarly, long-time HR contributor Joel Mynders presents his perspectives on how one can incorporate disposable and entry-level hearing aids into a practice. He also provides examples on how his office has adjusted with regard to fee-for-service (i.e., unbundling) and the provision of educational materials on these new products.

This issue also features good clinical information. An excellent article from Randi Pogash and Curt Williams instructs hearing care professionals on how to battle with occlusion and own-voice issues and come out on top. The authors’ counsel-first method and pragmatic, step-by-step solutions for reducing “barrel voice” represents a terrific “how-to” resource. Likewise, Richard Carmen provides extremely useful information on a terribly debilitating patient problem that many hearing care professionals encounter regularly: depression. Carmen provides background on depression, as well as offers practical recommendations on how to proceed when it is evident in clients. Glenys Chartrand, an occupational therapist, presents Part 2 of her three-part series on the concepts of rehabilitation. Chartrand looks at the system models that are used in occupational therapy and applies those systems to the hearing-impaired patient.

We hope you enjoy this edition of HR. As always, we look forward to your comments.

Karl Strom