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Top 8 Hearing News Stories For 2022

We are halfway through 2022, and there have been plenty of news stories that have had the hearing health industry buzzing.  However, when you’re trying to meet your first quarter goals, while preparing for the next quarter, you may have missed a headline or two of worthwhile hearing health news. 

But don’t worry…we have scoured hearing health sites and compiled the most interesting news stories that have been published within the first six months of 2022.  Below are the top eight news stories in hearing health so far. 

1. New Study Visualizes Gene Associated With Hearing Loss

Researchers from Uppsala University have been able to document and visualize hearing loss-associated genes in the human inner ear, in a unique collaboration study between otosurgeons and geneticists. The findings illustrate that discrete subcellular structures in the human organ of hearing, the cochlea, are involved in the variation of risk of age-related hearing loss in the population. The study is published in BMC Medicine. 

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2. Hearing Loss May Be Early Symptom Of Parkinson’s Disease

A study of the health records of over a million people in East London has identified two conditions that might be early symptoms of Parkinson’s disease: hearing loss and epilepsy. Recognizing these as possible signs of Parkinson’s may help providers diagnose the disease earlier, which could help people get access to treatment sooner.

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3. Patients With POAG At A Higher Risk For Tinnitus

Tinnitus was significantly associated with pre-existing primary open-angle glaucoma, researchers reported in the Journal of Glaucoma. Seeking to better understand the association between POAG and tinnitus, Kuang and colleagues conducted a population-based, case-control study using data from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database. Participants were predominantly of Han-Chinese ethnicity and included 542,682 with tinnitus (mean age, 55 years; 43% men) and 1,628,046 controls.

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4. Rare Cause Linked To Vertigo And Hearing Loss

Air bubbles trapped in a woman’s inner ear caused her to develop severe dizziness, seemingly out of nowhere, and she required surgery to make the disorienting, spinning sensation go away. The 51-year-old woman initially went to the doctor after experiencing this strange spinning sensation for about 24 hours, according to a report of the case published Thursday, Apr. 21, in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery. In addition to feeling as though the room were spinning around her, the woman reported that she felt an unusual blockage or pressure in her right ear and was also experiencing right-sided hearing loss. 

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5. OTC Painkillers Shown To Increase Risk Of Tinnitus

Frequent use of common, over-the-counter painkillers such as aspirin and Tylenol isn’t risk-free, with new research suggesting it may increase your risk of tinnitus, or “ringing in the ears.” A study of more than 69,000 women found that, in addition to aspirin and Tylenol (acetaminophen), nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Advil and Motrin (ibuprofen) also raised the risk of tinnitus. 

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6. WHO Releases New Guidelines To Tackle Rise In Hearing Loss

Over 1 billion people aged 12 to 35 years risk losing their hearing due to prolonged and excessive exposure to loud music and other recreational sounds. This can have devastating consequences for their physical and mental health, education, and employment prospects. Ahead of World Hearing Day 2022, under the theme, To hear for life, listen with care! WHO has issued a new international standard for safe listening at venues and events. The standard applies to places and activities where amplified music is played.

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7. Constant Tinnitus Connected To Altered Brain Activity

Tinnitus is currently not classified as a distinct disorder, but as a symptom with many possible causes, such as impaired hearing, noise, disease, or stress. Tinnitus is often described as a phantom sound that is only audible to the sufferer. Researchers from Karolinska Institute in Sweden now show that brainstem audiometry can be used to measure changes in the brain in people with constant tinnitus. The study has been published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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8. Everyday Loud Noises Can Cause Fluid Buildup In Ear

A new study reveals that common loud noises cause fluid buildup in the inner ear and suggests a simple possible treatment for noise-induced hearing loss. The study from Keck Medicine of USC links this type of inner ear nerve damage to a condition known as endolymphatic hydrops, a buildup of fluid in the inner ear, showing that these both occur at noise exposure levels people might encounter in their daily life. Additionally, researchers found that treating the resulting fluid buildup with a readily available saline solution lessened nerve damage in the inner ear.

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