Do you struggle to hear properly even with hearing aids?
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As a lawyer specialising in Noise Induced Hearing Loss, I was interested to read about a new project funded by Deafness Research UK. The project is developing a new test for the hard of hearing through the latest research exposing the secrets of the dead regions of the cochlea. Hearing loss is often associated with damage to the hair cells of the cochlea, the inner ear, and an area of the cochlea with complete loss of function is known as a "dead region". Hearing aids can only aid those areas which are not yet dead and are only effective if they are tuned and programmed to compensate for the wearer's pattern of loss. Hearing aids are not designed or capable of restoring hearing.
It has transpired that current hearing tests miss these dead regions resulting in people receiving hearing aids with no benefit from them. The new research has led to the development of a test for detecting the presence of the dead region. This test is known as the Psychophysical Tuning Curves test. The test has been developed as a computer program, meaning it can be run on any computer with a good quality sound card and headphones.
It is hoped that the test will result in more accurate information being generated to enable hearing aids to be more finely tuned to aid enhanced performance and hearing ability.
Deafness Research UK endeavour to aid people whose hearing has been effected. They also continue their mission in other areas such as warning of the dangers of noise induced hearing loss through to their innovative Bionic Ear Show.
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