Is Notched Sound Therapy a Cure for Tinnitus? by Stu Nunnery

Here is yet another informative piece regarding tinnitus by the lovely Stu Nunnery, originally written for the awesome Hearing Like Me website.

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Those of us with hearing loss and tinnitus may be living at a good time in “hearstory.”

Lately, there has been exciting news about the brain’s ability to adapt (called neuroplasticity) and what that might mean for rehabilitating lost hearing. News is also exploding about the effects of music on the brain, how the brain hears, and the importance of feeding the brain sounds and stimulation – for many good reasons – among them the prevention of dementia and other cognitive disorders.

Now comes news about tinnitus, its connection to brain activity and how understanding and treating that connection might be charting a path to the resolution or cure of the condition.

Research confirms that tinnitus affects the ears, but originates in the brain. Some believe it is mainly triggered by age-related hearing loss and prolonged exposure to excessively loud noise. Other studies target tinnitus as a symptom of abnormal hyperactivity in the brain’s auditory cortex. While there are maskers and more traditional sound therapies for tinnitus. new apps are hitting the market to offer their versions of what is called “notched sound therapy.” One such app that is winning awards and getting a lot of attention is called Tinnitracks  – currently available only in Germany.

Tinnitracks claims to to offer a clinically proven therapy for chronic tinnitus. It’s based on research in the fields of neurophysiology and neuroacoustics performed at the Institute for Biosignal Analysis and Biomagnetism by the medical faculty of the University of Muenster, Germany.

“Tinnitus can be triggered by sudden sensorineural hearing loss or noise-induced hearing loss,” according to the company’s website. “Such hearing loss reduces the ability to hear sounds in the frequency ranges in which damage has occurred, but also causes a reduced flow of information to the brain’s auditory center. This change in input can cause the brain to shift its healthy balance between nerve signals. This then leads to over activity in certain nerve cells, which manifests itself as tinnitus.”

Tinnitracks claims to treat the cause of the problem through filtered audio therapy (music therapy). The co-founder of the company,Sonormed, Joerg Land, says that Tinnitracks is unique in its musical cure.“We are treating Tinnitus directly in the human brain – you don’t have to go to a clinic, you don’t need special hardware or a hearing aid,” “Tinnitracks is just listening to music: it’s convenient, it’s easy to integrate into your daily life.”

How it works

Tinnitracks claims it “filters the tinnitus tones out of the music that the patient listens to. You are prescribed the correct frequency for your tinnitus, and you use the app for 90 minutes a day, over at least 4 months. The auditory cortex in human brain is like a piano,” Land explains. “Every frequency sits next to the other, and we just cut out the tones that are the tones of the patient’s tinnitus to have silence in this area. Over time the neighboring nerve cells will lower the hyperactivity of the tinnitus frequencies, and the perceived loudness of the disturbing sound. Essentially, it takes three steps: select music files from your personal collection, filter tinnitus frequencies then upload a personalized track to an MP3 player to start therapy.”

Tinnitracks further claims that it is most effective for those 18-60 who have a tinnitus frequency no higher than 8,500 Hertz (8,5 kHz) and a hearing loss less than 65 dB HL.  The online app is sold with a year license that runs $584US, but the company expects to launch a new version that will be about $20US a month.

OK, just what is notched sound therapy? Here an excellent link but note that the source, Audio Notch, is one of the notched sound therapy apps currently on the market as well.

Does notched sound therapy work?

Our friends at Hearing Tracker have directed me here to a review on the Hearing Blog.

To repeat the summary: “given the positive evidence at hand, while promising, more research needs to be done on Notched Sound Therapy to determine its efficacy and recommend it as a standard clinical treatment for tinnitus: There is not yet enough evidence to support that such a form of treatment is ready for clinical implication.”

Meanwhile there are other sound treatment options on the market you can try, some more affordable than others.

Tiinnitus Pro 

AudioNotch – makes similar claims to those of Tinnitracks and is available for $8-$20 per month.

The Paxx100 by The Tinnitus Lab 

Whist Tinnitus Relief 

As for Tinnitracks, they have begun a partnership with a private healthcare company and plan to approach the FDA to make Tinnitracks available in the US. Good luck. “Getting into the health system, it’s a nightmare,” said Land. “The market is not made for digital solutions, there are a lot of regulations around data and security,” he explained. ”

I‘m excited by the notched sound therapy approach as well as other sound therapies but considering the dearth of reliable data, the varying prices, and the lack of patient reviews, I remain skeptical about many of the claims. For now. What do you think? Are you using one of these therapies now? Would you be willing to give one of them a try?

by Stu Nunnery.

(Original source)

 

‘The Reality of Cochlear Implants’ by (Confessions of) a Deafblind Mother

Reality vs perceptions

Reality vs perceptions

SJ passed on a link to a very insightful blog, to our Facebook group and we liked it so much, that we think it deserves to be shared with everyone else.

The writer in this blog has remained very realistic about cochlear implants, which is very close to our readers’ experiences also.

It is somewhat dejecting to realise that the media has not been able to grasp the whole truth concerning CI’s – they give the impression that we will be able to hear perfectly well, almost instantly upon activation whereas that is not the case for most, if not all, of those who were inplanted.

Please visit ‘Confessions of a Deafblind Mother’ to read her very interesting article, ‘The Reality of Cochlear Implants’.

http://www.deafblindconfessions.com/blog/the-reality-of-cochlear-implants

🙂

Thank you.

‘Confessions Of A Raving Lunatic’ by Lesley Kiddell-Spencer

lesleykiddell-spencer

Lesley Kiddell-Spencer and her darling grandson.

Bit about me, I went deaf at seven (that’s not great when you are a Dr Who fan and love music) due to meningitis of course. I have two deaf children (who married deaf spouses) and I also have five grandchildren, all deaf except one. I tell my daughter-in-law, Kaizen must belong to the postman, so you see I have my very own deaf club.

Married 3 times, only one of whom was deaf, I tend to trade them in when they fail their MOT, but my current one is a lovingly restored classic car so he will be fine.  My first husband had to deal with me blasting the chicken instead of basting it as I read the recipe book wrong and he couldn’t understand why I kept going to the kitchen to switch the oven on full blast then back down again. My current one who I met on a dating website had a heck of a shock coming face to face with a whole deaf family when he had never met a deaf person before…you can imagine communication was hilarious.

I am old – 55, and have spent the best part of my life fighting stupid systems made up by idiots with nothing better to do.  I was in the radical FDP – that was a brilliant time, thousands marching for recognition of British Sign Language, I had to make a speech at Trafalgar Square, so I was plied with whiskey beforehand by the other committee members as I was a wreck, and can remember nothing of it except I probably made a right idiot of myself.  We were in the media often… ‘Lesley and her comrades’ in the Guardian newspaper (their words not mine but boy did it turn me into an egoistic eejit) I still smile about that now.  However my life is like the Coldplay song “Viva La Vida” go read it and you will see the higher up you go, the greater the fall.

I have long since learnt, everyone is different, now that was hard because I wanted everyone to think like me because they jolly well should, people can be wonderful, and on the other extreme nasty.

Ten years or so ago I jumped out of my ivory tower as CEO of a deaf organisation and regenerated myself as a female Lovejoy, becoming an antique dealer which had always been my passion. I get hold of the most weird and wonderful items, and meet equally weird and wonderful people, however the antique world is a bit like the Mafia. Fortunately, I have blonde hair, green eyes (never mind fat and 5ft) not to forget deaf so I have been adopted very well, and boy do I play the deaf card, otherwise I would have found a horse’s head in my bed by now.

In my spare time I also take all kinds of deaf people on guided tours of the Richard III centre in Leicester – a man I totally am in love with, despite the fact he has been dead some 500 years plus. Yes, I am eccentric too. Or you can find me in a field full of people and mud, digging up the past with archaeologists (no, I promise I don’t pinch the stuff to sell!) I once found some bones in a Roman children’s cemetery and I was scared stiff, until they told me it was an expired rabbit.

What do I want to see? Utopia, where everyone gets on and dances around with flowers in their hair singing and kissing, but oh my days that’s never going to happen.  Technology has brought out a terrific change for deaf people, but with that has come out a new kind of nastiness with respect, morals and tolerance flying out the window into cyberspace and I sadly realise deaf people are never going to unite.  I fortunately have thick skin but many younger than me do not and are open to attacks, which can seriously cause a lot of grief, we have sadly reverted back to school day bullying.

As for expecting the whole world to change to understand hearing loss, and go mad, when they don’t… I was once like that and believe you me it is arrogant to think that because no one has the right to expect everyone to revolve around you – even if you are disabled.  All minority groups have these issues, it’s just a case of trying to teach and have an open mind.  There will always be downright rude nasty horrible people, I was probably one myself and so were you… I learnt to cut out the negative influence in your life.

I saw a saying recently which sums me up perfectly

“Don’t confuse my personality with my attitude… My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are”

by Lesley Kiddell-Spencer.

‘What Is Deaf Geeky?’ by Natalie Jordaan & Claire Sternberg

What is ‘Deaf Geeky’?

‘Deaf Geeky’ is a worldwide portal for geeks alike from different parts of the world and this portal enables us/them to share valuable knowledge. ‘Deaf Geeky’ was established to try to benefit different people by giving them access to this information, using Sign Language and subtitles.

Why is ‘Deaf Geeky’ ideal?

  1. There are many educational sites on the internet, but most of them unfortunately, do not have or provide subtitles. This means deaf people are unable to gain access to useful information, so much so, it is considered as a limitation. There are sadly very few educational yet accessible sites online.
  1. Of course, some ‘Deaf Geeks’ already share knowledge, providing educational materials via the internet but they are separated by different portals. This also means that deaf people find it extremely difficult to access. Hence, ‘Deaf Geeky’ being one portal only that has several categories based on Technology, Economics, Politics, etc. of which can be easily found.

These are several of the reasons why ‘Deaf Geeky’ was established, in order to encourage deaf people who are geeks to join the portal and share their knowledge and provide (further) education.

Goal of Deaf Geeky

Our goal is to integrate international ‘Deaf Geeks’ into one group that can share their knowledge or provide education based on Technology, History, Science, Health, Politics, Economics, Sport, Life Hacks and much more.

To be a portal that enables deaf people worldwide to share knowledge and ideas in a language they can understand.

This portal aims to educate every deaf people in a subject matter of their interest using Sign Language and subtitles. Deaf people can learn and gain knowledge on several educations that ‘Deaf Geeks’ provide.

Benefit of Deaf Geeky

‘Deaf Geeks’ with the same interests can share and learn from each other. They can connect with each other from the many different parts of the world.

‘Deaf Geeky’ wishes to show the world that deaf people who are geeks can do anything.

Short and sweet

  • Deaf Geeky is about Knowledge, Access and Interaction.
  • Deaf people who are geeks should unleash their inner geeks to the world.

If you are interested in taking part in the ‘Deaf Geeky’ portal and sharing your geeky knowledge, please do not hesitate to sign up using the form on our ‘Deaf Geeky’ website:

www.deafgeeky.com

Alternatively, you can also find us on Facebook or Twitter.

By Natalie Jordaan and Claire Sternberg.

Natalie and Claire

Natalie Jordaan and Claire Sternberg.

Thank You For The Service by Paul Leonard

Recognise the guy on the right?  No, I didn’t either!
His name?  Matti Makmatti_makkonenkonen.  So, who is he and why am I writing about him?  He is the guy (with Nokia’s help apparently) who came up with the idea of SMS (Short Message Service) or “texts” over mobile phones (or cell phones to you Americans).  Without his idea, there would be literally tens of thousands of Deaf people still unable to contact their loved ones in the way they do today.  Who would of thought SMS has
been around since 1992?!  Not that long ago really!

compact_minicomObviously technology has moved on leaps and bounds and here is one way Deaf people used to contact their loved ones, whilst on the move.   This is an Ultratec Compact Minicom and was the first minicom I ever owned.   It could be taken out of the house and it ran on 6 AA batteries (that didn’t seem to last very long!) or you could plug it into the mains.  I guess the idea of it was very primitive and how Deaf people used to contact people like the AA or RAC whilst on the move.  I bought mine off a friend about 15 years ago at Birmingham Deaf Club.  Between the two of us, we now have 3!  A great idea Ultratec, but a tad annoying and if your phone came off the cupplers at the top, it seemed to disconnect the call.  Most annoying!

UniphoneThis is what we have now, a Uniphone 1150.  I only bought it about 10 years ago at a whopping amount of £300!  We can both use it and it acts as a minicom and an ordinary phone.

But who uses these now?  Which companies actually accept calls from Text Direct – this is whole different blog.

But what do we use now?  We still use faithful SMS (thanks Matti!) but now with the invention of smart phones, two apps. have been created that has literally changed the lives of Sign Language users overnight.

Firstly, on Apple iPhone, you have FaceTime.  10/10 Apple!  With this, you can make voice or video calls free iPhone to iPhone perfect for Sign Language users to communicate with one another in their first (or preferred) language.

And the second?  Even if you don’t have an iPhone, you can download this on any Android or iOS device – welcome Glide!  This is a brilliant app. wherebyglide-logo-blue you can leave video messages of up to 5 minutes in length using your phones camera using sign language.  I can’t tell you how brilliant it is.  I don’t use it every day but we use between each other and friends on a regular basis.  The videos are not saved on your device and so don’t waste space on your phone.  The founder(?)  Sarah has taken the initiative and learnt ASL.  If you haven’t already got it, download it today!

Thanks Sarah(!) and RIP Matti.

~PAL

Who often rambles here and there 🙂

A Simple Awareness Maybe? By Paul Leonard

paul

Today was the day Peter (our son) had to go to the Birmingham Children’s Hospital. To cut a long story very short (too late!), he isn’t talking and to get some speech therapy, he needed to have (another) hearing test. (This would now be test number 4.) Having arrived there, under slightly calmly circumstances compared to last time, I was impressed. (That’s a whole other blog post.)

You go in, take a ticket like you do it at the delicatessen and wait for your number to be called. The automated system, eventually calls out your number and tells you which kiosk to go to and so you can check in. We were both impressed, not only did the system call out your number but it also displayed on a relatively huge TV screen – BCH, 10 out of 10 for deaf awareness … but that’s where it stopped unfortunately.

We checked in and waited right next to audiology. Looking up, I saw two kids, brother and sister, I assumed. Both with hearing aids with their mother. Their names got called and in they went … but was it shown on the display? Oh no! Good job their mother could hear I thought. A short while after, it was our turn and … “Peter Leonard”. Again nothing shown on the TV! Why not?!

How hard would it be to add the patient’s name to the TV screen? It is basic! Need teaching? All you need is a computer and a monitor to project the name on … you have hundreds of computers scattered around the building being a hospital and a few TV’s positioned around the room for the “deli. counter” display. So, why don’t you make use of the technology you have and put on the next patient’s name? It’s a good job I was with Rebekah otherwise, how would she know his name had been called?!

Then, upon going through – Peter had to have his hearing test but this caused dilemma. Only one of us could go in the room with him so as not to distract him. Fair enough I guess, but the lady who greeted us couldn’t sign which meant Rebekah couldn’t go in and so I had to. (She wasn’t the “proper” audiologist, she was more of her assistant.) That’s fine but what if Peter really wanted his mummy whilst being whisked away in a tiny claustrophobic room?!

After the tests were over, Rebekah was allowed in the room for the consultation where Rebekah could come in to hear the results with the audiologist. She scored 10 points for spotting Rebekah’s hearing aids, but then promptly lost them all by saying, “can you hear what I am saying?” Why oh why can’t these people in this profession sign? Would it be that hard? Why can’t the NHS make this a prerequisite of the job? Why is there such little deaf awareness? Why why why?!

Answers on a postcard to the usual address! #RantOver!

~ PAL

(who often rambles here and there :-))