Monthly Archives: August 2013

Hearing Aids That Go In The Mouth

This is not the first bone conduction hearing aid on the market, but the SoundBite is the first that does not require surgery, is easily removable, and you put it in your mouth.

How does it work? The device that is put in your mouth helps one hear through vibrations that is picked up by a microphone fitted in the “bad” ear. This gives the hearing aid user the sense that they can hear with both ears.

The SoundBite device is ideal for patients who are deaf in one ear. In other words, as long as one has near-normal hearing in one ear, and they don’t have bilateral or hearing loss in both ears, this will work.

In the U.S. alone, there are 36 million adults with some type of hearing loss.

Although SoundBite is FDA approved, it is not covered by all insurance companies, unfortunately.

FDA Approves Auditory Brainstem Implant

For those who are born without a hearing nerve or cochlea, there is now a solution approved by the FDA — Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI).

Basically, the ABI is a prosthetic hearing device that stimulate neurons inside the human brainstem, and it was developed by House Research Institute in Los Angeles, CA. The United States Food and Drug Administration recently gave them final approval to begin a clinical trial of the procedure for treating deafness in children.

“This will be the first FDA-approved trial of its kind, and represents a major step forward to bring a sense of hearing to deaf children in the U.S. who are born without a hearing nerve or cochlea (hearing organ) and therefore are unable to benefit from hearing aids or cochlear implants,” said Neil Segil, Ph.D of House Research Institute.

The ABI was first developed in 1979 by Dr. William House and William Hitselberger, and has since offered the technology to more than 1,000 adults worldwide, but it was never approved by the FDA for treating deaf children until now.

“Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is thrilled that the FDA has approved the Auditory Brainstem Implant clinical trial for children. We are looking forward to offering this innovative procedure to provide sound to deaf children in the United States. This prosthetic device has shown great success in providing hearing to children and adults and we look forward to contributing to research on advancing the ABI and to the training of physicians on the surgical implantation techniques,” said pediatric neurosurgeon Mark Krieger, MD, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The evaluation of patients for potential enrollment beings in the next several months.

Hearing Loss Caused By Drugs

Did you know that a lot of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can cause hearing loss? If not, you’re not alone. These drugs are also known as Ototoxic medicines, and many people are unaware that there are over 200 of these drugs on the market today. As a matter of fact, the word Ototoxic means “damage to your ear”, and the effects can be either temporary or permanent (usually temporary).

Below is a list of common used medications that can cause hearing loss and/or tinnitus. Hearing usually change back to normal after taking certain meds (e.g. aspirin), but sometimes hearing can be damaged permanently. Oddly, some of the drugs that cause tinnitus are also used to treat tinnitus.

If you see a medicine you’re currently taking on the list, you should speak to your physician to see if there is another less toxic drug that you can take instead.



1. Aspirin and aspirin-containing products
2. Salicylates and Methyl-salicylates (linaments)

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

1. Diclofenac (Voltaren)
2. Etocolac (Lodine)
3. Fenprofen (Nalfon)
4. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin, etc.)
5. Indomethacin (Indocin)
6. Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Alleve)
7. Piroxicam (Feldene)
8. Sulindac (Clinoril)


1. Aminoglycosides
a. Amikacin (Amakin)
b. Gentamycin (Garamycin)
c. Kanamycin (Kantrex)
d. Neomycin (Found in many over-the-counter antibiotic ointments)
e. Netilmicin (Netromycin)
f. Streptomycin
g. Tobramycin (Nebcin)

2. Erythromycin
a. EES
b. E-mycin
c. Ilosone
d. Eryc
e. Pediazole
f. Biaxin
g. Zithromax

3. Vancomycin (Vancocin)
4. Minocycline (Minocin)
5. Polymixin B and Amphotericin B
6. Capreomycin (Capestat)


1. Bendroflumethazide (Corzide)
2. Bumetadine (Bumex)
3. Chlor-thalidone (Tenoretic)
4. Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
5. Furosemide (Lasix)

Chemotherapeutic Agents

1. Bleomycine (Blenoxane)
2. Bromocriptine (Parlodel)
3. Carboplatinum (Carboplatin)
4. Cisplatin (Platinol)
5. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
6. Nitrogen mustard (Mustargen)
7. Vinblastin (Velban)
8. Vincristine (Oncovin)


1. Chloroquine phosphate (Aralen)
2. Quinacrine hydrochloride (Atabrine)
3. Quinine sulfate (Quinam)

Mucosal Protectant

1. Misoprostol (Cytotec)


Vapors, Solvents

1. Cychohexane
2. Dichloromethane
3. Hexane (gasoline)
4. Lindane (Kwell)
5. Methyl-chloride
6. Methyl-n-butyl-ketone
7. Perchlor-ethylene
8. Styrene
9. Tetrachlor-ethane
10. Toluol
11. Trichloroethylene


1. Aminoglycosides (see previous section)
2. Amphotericin B
3. Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin)
4. Minocycline (Minocin)
5. Polymyxine B
6. Sulfonamides (Septra, Bactrim)
7. Vancomycin (Vancocin)


1. Bleomycin (Blenoxane)
2. Cis-platinum (platinol)
3. Carboplatinum (Paraplatin)
4. Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
5. Nitrogen mustard (Mustagen)
6. Vinblastin (Velban)


1. Acetazolamide (diamox)
2. Bumetanide (Bumex)
3. Bendrofluazide
4. Clorothalidone (Hygroton, Tenoretic)
5. Diapamide
6. Ethacrynic acid (Edecrin)
7. Furosemide (Lasix)
8. Hydrochlorthiazide (Hydrodiuvil)
9. Methylchlorthizide (Enduron)

Cardiac Medications

1. Celiprolol
2. Flecainide (Tambocar)
3. Lidocaine
4. Metoprolol (Lopressor)
5. Procainamide (Pronestyl)
6. Propranolol (Inderal)
7. Quinidine (Quinaglute, Quinidex)

Psychopharmacologic Agents

1. Amitryptiline (Elavil)
2. Benzodiazepine class
a. Alprazolam (Xanax)
b. Clorazepate (Tranxene)
c. Chlordiazepoxide (Librium)
d. Diazepam (Valium)
e. Flurazepam (Dalmane)
f. Lorazepam (Ativan)
g. Midazolam (Versed)
h. Oxazepam (Serax)
i. Prozepam (Centrax)
j. Quazepam (Doral)
k. Temazepam (Restoril)
l. Triazolam (Halcion)
3. Bupropion (Welbutrin)
4. Carbamzepine (Tegretol)
5. Diclofensine
6. Doexpin (Sinequin)
7. Desiprimine (Norpramin)
8. Fluoxetin (Prozac)
9. Imipramine (Tofranil)
10. Lithium
11. Melitracen
12. Molindon (Moban)
13. Paroxetin
14. Phenelzin (Nardil)
15. Protriptilin (Vivactil)
16. Trazodon (Desyrel)
17. Zimeldin

Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

1. Asprin
2. Acematacine
3. Benorilate
4. Benoxaprofen
5. Carprofen
6. Diclofenac (Voltaren)
7. Diflunisal (Dolobid)
8. Fenoprofen (Nalfon)
9. Feprazon
10. Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil, Nuprin)
11. Indomethacin (Indocin)
12. Isoxicam
13. Ketoprofen (Orudis)
14. Methyl salicylates (BenGay)
15. Naproxen (Naprosyn, Anaprox, Alleve)
16. D-Penicilliamin
17. Phenylbutazone (Butazolidine)
18. Piroxicam (Feldene)
19. Proglumetacin
20. Proquazon
21. Salicylates
22. Sulindac (Clinoril)
23. Tolmetin (Tolectin)
24. Zomepirac


1. prednisolone (Prednisone)
2. ACTH (Acthar)


1. Bupivacain
2. Tetracain
3. Lidocaine (Novacaine)


1. Chloroquine (Aralen)
2. Hydroxychloroquine (Plaquinil)

Miscellaneous Toxic Substances

1. Alcohol
2. Arsenum
3. Caffeine
4. Lead
5. Marijuana
6. Nicotine
7. Mercury
8. Auronofin (Ridaura)

The list was compiled by Orin S. Kaufman, D.O., a late-deafened physician, and League for the Hard of Hearing volunteer.

Are you taking any of the drugs listed above? If so, have you been experiencing hearing loss and/or tinnitus?

Hearing Loss In Children Caused By Noisy Toys

The toys you got for your children on Christmas may cause them hearing problems. Those police car toys and rubber duckies can give off sounds of 90 decibels (dB). That’s as loud as a lawnmower. Noise at this level is painful and can result in permanent hearing loss in your children.

Doctors are seeing a number increase of children with hearing loss. The American Medical Association say almost 15-percent of children are showing signs of a hearing problem. If you are concerned about your children’s hearing, have their hearing checked by your local audiologist.

2012 Ten Noisiest Toys

1. Disney Pixar Toy Story Talking Buzz Lightyear – 111 dB
2. Nickleodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Leonardo’s Electronic Sword – 109.2 dB
3. Dora the Explorer/Dora’s Desert Friends – 108.2 dB
4. Barbie Little Learner Laptop – 108 dB
5. Playskool/123 Sesame Street Let’s Rock Grover Microphone – 107.3 dB
6. B. Woofer (Guitar) – 106.5 dB
7. Matchbox/Power Shift Fire Truck – 105.7 dB
8. Playskool/Rock-tivity Jump n’ Jam Guitar – 105.1 dB
9. Fisher-Price/Disney Pixar Cars Shake ‘n Go!El Materdor – 105 dB
10. Twister Dance – 104.6 dB

Tip: Next time you’re shopping for a new toy, listen to it, and if the toy sounds too loud, don’t buy it. At home check the toys your children already have, and remove the batteries or discard the toy if they are too loud. Alternatively, you can place a duct tape over the speakers on noisy toys.

If you are a parent reading this, it is very important to protect your children’s hearing now!

Sudden Hearing Loss May Be Good

Contrary to popular belief, sudden and temporary hearing loss, especially after being exposed to loud noise, may be good and not necessarily bad or damaging. In fact, when sound levels rise, the cells in our cochlea releases the ATP hormone, which causes temporary reduction in hearing sensitivity. There has been cases where people lost their hearing for hours or days after going to a rock concert (are you one of them?), but that’s just the body’s way to cope with it loud music.

However, that’s not to say that you should constantly expose your ears to loud noise, because that would do no good and can result in irreversible and permanent damage.

“It’s like sun exposure,” said lead researcher Professor Housley. “It’s not the acute exposure, but the chronic exposure, that can cause problems years later.”

A popular case of sudden temporary hearing loss is that of rapper Foxy Brown’s. Apparently, she lost her hearing completely back in late 2005. It was so bad that she needed people to tap out beats on her shoulder when she was recording in the studio.

Eventually, Brown underwent surgery, and although she refused to reveal what the specifics of her hearing surgery and treatment were, she regained her hearing 100% after 6 months.

Has this happened to you before? If so, how long did it take before you regained your hearing?

Noise Pollution

It seems to be that noise pollution is all around us. Hearing people generally have no escape from it unless they take steps to mitigate it. You can be near construction work sites for some time. An airport is nearby, or railroad tracks are close by. Maybe you live in a unhealthy, crime-ridden area where visitations in the area by emergency vehicles for crime and health reasons are commonplace. You have several children who are infants and wake up during the night (there’s no escaping this, deaf or hearing, however). Or you drive noisy tractors or a vehicle with muffler effects and operate noisy equipment like jackhammers and so on. I’m lucky in that the only thing that will wake me up at night (other than someone waking me up) is thunder that is loud enough to be felt and heard, and that I can turn my hearing aids off. I have had to do the latter in the case of noisy tractors because my vision would bounce so much that I would have a hard time lip-reading the person yelling over the noise!

Noise pollution has a big impact on people and animals. Stress, lack of sleep/tiredness, irritability, body function levels, coordination, reaction times, distraction, and especially hearing loss are some factors affected by noise pollution. A lack of sleep can also contribute to reduced body maintenance, leading to disease, as the body needs to have sufficient deep sleep to regenerate for the next day.

A source for help with noise pollution is the Noise Pollution Clearinghouse in Vermont. They state on their web site, “We have a library of resources, experience assisting individuals and groups opposed to noise pollution, and access to sound level monitoring equipment that individuals often do not have. We will assist with testimony and comments presented to planning commissions, zoning boards, city councils, and judges. We can also get you in touch with experts in the field and others working on similar projects in your local area or nationally.”

There are things you can do. When you move to a new place, TRY to stay away from airports and rail lines. You’ll have to factor in transportation modes of commuting and the cost of each one in avoiding areas of noise sources. You could invest through an audiologist in custom-molded ear plugs. Ear plugs would be part of a sensory-deprivation strategy in getting more sleep, and they can be worn where noise is an occupational hazard. Try to build an “inner house” in which you build a simplified, non-heavy-load bearing “house” inside your bedroom with lightweight, insulated walls and a ceiling. This would be completely standalone with no attachment to your house structure, as you need the isolation to decouple the sound transmission from the house’s walls into the inner house. Plus, it’ll provide better insulation against hot and cold as an added benefit. Another thing you can do is either have no sound or pleasant, soothing music playing in the house just prior to bed time.

You have avenues for escaping the consequences of modern civilization, so make use of them and protect your hearing!

Memory Problems For Adults With Hearing Loss

Who would have thought? In a research study done by hearing experts at Johns Hopkins are saying that older adults with hearing loss are more likely to develop problems thinking and remembering than those with normal hearing.

Over the course of six years, volunteers with hearing loss underwent repeated cognitive tests, and they showed a cognitive decline of 30 to 40 percent faster than those with normal hearing. In addition, cognitive abilities were impaired 3.2 years sooner than those whose hearing was normal.

One possible reason is that hearing loss forces the brain to spend most of its energy on processing sound.

“Our results show that hearing loss should not be considered an inconsequential part of aging, because it may come with some serious long-term consequences to healthy brain functioning,” says Dr. Frank Lin, an assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

What about those who wear hearing aids? Will hearing devices help prevent or delay cognitive decline? That’s another study that is under way by Dr. Lin and his team.

There are about 27 million Americans over the age of 50 suffer some type of hearing loss.

Readers: What is your take on this?

Reverse Deafness in Humans Possible

For a while now, scientists have been trying to come up with a way to restore hearing in mammals before it can be applied to humans. Well, apparently earlier this month the researchers at Harvard Medical School have for the first time demonstrated hair cels being regenerated in an adult mouse. They used a drug, with a protein called Notch, to stimulate resident cells to become new hair cells in the mouse’s ear after it was damaged by noise trauma.

“The missing hair cells had been replaced by new hair cells after the drug treatment, and analysis of their location allowed us to correlate the improvement in hearing to the areas where the hair cells were replaced,” Dr. Edge said.

It won’t be long before therapeutic application can reverse deafness in humans.

When the day comes and you were given the option to remain deaf or reverse it, which would you choose and why?

My Introduction

Hello and welcome to the new website!

My name is Alex and I will be contributing to this blog. I am hard of hearing and wear a hearing aid on my left ear. I speak and lip-read nearly all of the time and sign fluently as well. I love music and play guitar in my spare time (thank God I have some hearing left).

This blog will cover a variety of topics related to hearing loss, hearing aids, stem cell therapy and its implications, my daily live, interviews and so on. If you have a topic you’d like to share with us, please let me know and I’ll gladly post it here.

See you on! 🙂