News from the Worlds of Vision and Hearing

Age-related hearing loss: Do birds hold the key to finding a cure?

September 26, 2017 – New research shows that barn owls keep their hearing into old age. Learning more about how this can happen, could help researchers better understand how hearing works. Read more…

Vision and hearing loss are tied to cognitive decline

September 25, 2017 – …[A] growing number of studies have linked compromised sensory functions like poor vision and hearing to a decline in cognitive abilities. The brain, it seems, can do only so much, and when it must struggle to make sense of the world – from reading the words on a page to understanding the spoken word – it may be less able to perform other important tasks. Read more…

Coming soon: Glaucoma self-care, from home?

September 22, 2017 – For many glaucoma patients, repeat trips to a doctor’s office to check on their eyes can be a real pain. But new research supports the usefulness of a device that allows glaucoma patients to measure their own eye pressure — in the comfort of their own home. Read more…

What should you do about those unpleasant eye floaters?

September 19, 2017 – Strings, blobs, and cobwebs: they all describe types of specks that may appear to float across your field of vision. These “floaters” are usually just a nuisance. “In many cases, floaters become less noticeable or more tolerable over time, and can even disappear entirely,” says Dr. Jeffrey Heier, an ophthalmologist and Harvard Medical School instructor. Read more…

Easier listening: Hearing aids will be more accessible, but there’s a caution

September 4, 2017 – Soon, those with mild to moderate hearing loss will be able to get that same do-it-yourself fix by walking into a store and picking up a hearing aid under a new federal law cosponsored by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH. Read more…

Alzheimer’s may be detected early, via eye exam

August 17, 2017 – Presently, for a definitive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, doctors have to perform a PET scan of patients’ brains. Not only is it expensive, but it also requires the patient to be injected with radioactive tracers. Soon, however, a simple eye scan may be all that’s required – and it could catch the disease sooner than ever before. Read more…

Oticon introduces the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid

August 15, 2017 – The new Oticon Opn, the world’s first internet-connected hearing aid, even pings when you get a text message. Read more…

16-year-old creates smartphone device to screen for retinopathy

August 14, 2017 – A US teenager has created a smartphone device to screen for diabetic retinopathy. Read more…

New hearing aids connect to more than just your ear

August 14, 2017 – Modern hearing aids are pretty smart to begin with, but the latest generation of devices could make life even easier by connecting to our smartphones. Read more…

New study shows hearing loss could provide clues for early detection of Alzheimer’s

August 10, 2017 – If you’ve been diagnosed with hearing loss but haven’t yet done anything about it, you might want to seek treatment soon. New research conducted at the University of Wisconsin-Madison could give you some needed motivation for doing so: left untreated, mild to moderate hearing loss contributes to cognitive decline and may be an early indicator for Alzheimer’s disease. Read more…

Eye doctors on how to properly view the eclipse

August 8, 2017 – The total solar eclipse will soon be shining down on Christian County, and eye doctors are educating viewers on how to properly protect their eyes. Read more…

New vaccine sought for ear infections

August 7, 2017 – Dr. Michael Pichichero and colleagues at the Rochester General Hospital Research Institute received a patent on a vaccine that they hope to start testing within the next two years in Rochester. He said that if initial tests are successful, the vaccine could undergo further tests nationally and internationally. Read more…

How Apple is Putting Voices in Users’ Heads – Literally

August 2, 2017 – My conversation with Mathias Bahnmueller started as pretty much all my phone interviews do. “Can you hear me?” he asked, and I replied affirmatively. Then I asked him the same question. His answer was yes—he could hear me very clearly. And this was a tiny miracle. Read more…

FDA: Serious adverse effects reported in patients receiving eye injections of drug

August 1, 2017 – Health professionals should be aware that FDA has fielded reports of adverse events in patients who received eye injections of a drug compounded by Dallas-based Guardian Pharmacy Services. Read more…

 Mobile Ears iOS App Turns Up the Volume for People Suffering From Hearing Loss

August 1, 2017 – With the recent passing of the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017, 37 million people or 15% of the American adult population suffering from some form of hearing loss will soon have easier access to more cost-effective hearing care solutions. Read more…

Eye problems that are detected and treated early can help kids in the classroom and beyond

July 31, 2017 – As children in most parts of the country head back to school, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s oldest non-profit eye health and safety group, asks all parents and caregivers to set their child on a path to success in the classroom with a certified vision screening or eye exam. Read more…

New app helps ODs conduct eye exams in multiple languages

July 27, 2017 – A new mobile app, OpTranslate, helps English-speaking optometrists conduct eye exams on non-English speaking patients. OpTranslate offers written explanations and diagrams for the patient that walk him or her through the eye exam, according to the company’s website. Read more… 

Controversial over-the-counter hearing aids could be coming soon

July 20, 2017 – Certain hearing aids could soon be as easy to buy as reading glasses, a shift consumer and interest groups say would dramatically boost access to hearing help for the estimated 1 million Arizonans who need it. Read more…

Study: Essential health benefits represent small share of monthly premiums

July 11, 2017 – As part of their plan to replace the ACA with reform that would lower premiums, Congressional Republicans have proposed alleviating the requirement that health insurers provide essential health benefits. However, a new analysis from the Urban Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation finds EHBs account for just a small percentage of overall monthly premiums, on average. Read more…