New articles are published every month under the headings below.

Health beat: Minnesota doctor uncovers potential cause of deafness in preemies

Nov 2015 Star Tribune

Doctors have struggled to prevent hearing loss that is common among premature babies placed in protective incubators to grow and on artificial ventilators to breathe. But a hearing specialist with Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota might have just cracked the case.
Until now, efforts have focused on preemies’ exposure to noisy, hissing ventilators. Solutions have included quieter ventilators, noise insulation around their motors and little mufflers over infants’ ears. “It hasn’t done a bit of good,” said Children’s Dr. James Sidman. “It’s one of those well-kept, not well-acknowledged secrets in the neonatal world.”

Trouble is, these solutions focused on the form of hearing that is most commonly understood: sound waves traveling through the ear canal that are converted with the help of three bones in the ear into vibrations that the brain ultimately interprets.

Sidman said they ignore a secondary form of hearing known as bone conduction — the process by which sound waves rattle the skull, and similarly convert to vibrations that travel to the inner ear. Such sound waves often reach the skull through the thin tissue of a baby’s gums, which happens to come in close contact with ventilator tubing that pipes oxygen into preemies’ developing lungs. Sidman reasoned that air noise from this tubing could pepper the skull with vibrations and tax preemies’ ears from the inside. So he used decibel meters to measure noise produced at the juncture of ventilator tubing that would normally rest near the gums.

The results were alarming. “This study … shows that kids are living in an airport for weeks and months of their young life,” Sidman said. The results, published in the Laryngoscope, don’t prove a single cause. Fragile preemies also might just be predisposed to hearing loss. But the results should encourage the creation of ventilators that address this noise route, Sidman said. Research also should re-evaluate mufflers over infants’ ears, because they might trap in noise produced by bone conduction even while preventing noise from entering the outer ear. “That’s where we thought the problem was coming from,” he said. “Nobody thought about the skull vibration part of it.”

Events Coming Up

No events

Become a Member

Become a Cicada member
For only A$10 per year, you will receive a copy of Buzz magazine and can attend events.

Deafblindness

Here is a link to Deafblindness support and information. They are based in Western Australia and supported by Senses Australia.

VCNT - Visitors 2018

Today 35

Yesterday 45

Week 35

Month 1126

All 11353

Currently are 66 guests and no members online

Kubik-Rubik Joomla! Extensions

Hear For You

Hear For You logo

Hear For You web site

Vision Statement: “For all young people who
are deaf to reach their potential in life.”

Web Analytics