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Volume 12 Issue 11

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  • Larry M Sivertson
    HOH-LD-News Vol. XII, Issue 11 September 14, 2002 Copyright (C) 2002 Hearing Loss Web. All rights reserved. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Table of Contents
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14, 2002
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      Vol. XII, Issue 11
      September 14, 2002

      Copyright (C) 2002 Hearing Loss Web. All rights reserved.

      Table of Contents

      - Ototoxic Drugs Exposed
      - A Word from the Organizer of "Let's Loop America"
      - US and Canada Approve Advanced Bionics CII without Positioner
      - New TV Series Portrays Deaf FBI Agent
      - NOHR Seeks Grant Proposals
      - Ireland is not Britain

      Contact information is at the end of this newsletter.

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      - Ototoxic Drugs Exposed

      Editor: We've been learning a lot about the impact of various
      drugs on hearing loss, but the information has been scattered
      and not very accessible. Dr. Neil Baumann's SHHH workshop
      entitled "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed" did a wonderful job of
      consolidating this information. Here's Part 2 of the report on
      this workshop from Cheryl Heppner, Executive Director of NVRC.
      We presented Part 1 last week.

      For a more detailed article on ototoxic drugs, you can go to Dr.
      Bauman's website:
      http://www.hearinglosshelp.com/ototoxicdrugs.htm or contact him
      at neil@....


      One disturbing finding was that doctors do not necessarily
      follow the recommended dose for a drug. No tests have been done
      to show what happens if you go beyond the recommended dose or
      use it longer than recommended. The FDA in the past found that a
      lot of doctors prescribing a particular drug were not following
      the recommended dose and that 85% of prescriptions were written
      for doses greater than those recommended.

      Some people experience problems with drugs when they are given
      an adult dose. Unfortunately dosages are often based on total
      weight instead of lean body weight.

      There are a number of things you can do to reduce the risk of
      hearing loss from drugs. Use the Physician's Desk Reference to
      learn more about drugs. Drink lots of fluids. Don't take more
      than one ototoxic drug at a time. Dr. Bauman has a fact sheet
      that lists 13 suggestions for reducing risks.

      Some drugs you can stop taking, but some you can't. Ask your
      doctor what will happen if you stop. If you tell him you have a
      hearing loss he may say "So?" You will have to explain that
      protecting your remaining hearing is important to you.

      Q: How can you know if hearing loss is age-related or
      A: They are related. Typically as you get older, you have taken
      more drugs. Dr. Bauman believes hearing loss is often a
      combination of noise and drugs, also it can be caused by reduced

      Q: How is tinnitus different from auditory hallucinations?
      A: Tinnitus is a simple sound that you hear repeatedly. An
      auditory hallucination is more complex, like a piano playing up
      and down the scale.

      Q: Are there a lot of substitutes for ototoxic drugs?
      A: "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed" has a table that lists ototoxic
      drugs and lists others in the same class. There is also
      information about what other drugs can be used that are not

      Q: What about drugs that cause hearing loss but the doctor says
      hearing will come back when you stop taking them?
      A: Doctors say hearing loss from these drugs is temporary, but
      the hearing loss is not always temporary.

      Q: What about anti-inflammatory drugs?
      A: Lots of them are ototoxic.

      Q: Is aspirin ototoxic?
      A: Taking 6 aspirin per day will cause your ears to ring. In
      some people, less than 6 will cause tinnitus. You have to make
      up your mind whether you are willing to risk it.

      Q: Prednisone is often prescribed for hearing loss. Is it on
      your list?
      A: Prednisone can cause hearing loss. It is often used because
      doctors don't yet know what is happening in your ear. For those
      with an autoimmune ear disorder who took prednisone, 1/3 had no
      hearing loss, 1/3 lost their hearing and then had it come back,
      1/3 took it and the hearing loss stayed the same.

      Q: Are hormones a problem?
      A: Dr. Bauman has heard from women taking estrogen who said they
      experienced hearing loss.

      Q: Is it possible for medication to affect the nerve or
      something that would make a cochlear implant stop functioning?
      A: It's possible but something else that may be of concern is
      loss of the balance system. Be watchful for signs like vertigo.

      Q: Has any research been done on foods to see if they are
      A: Many people who reported hearing loss were coffee drinkers.
      Caffeine definitely causes tinnitus.

      Q: I experienced tinnitus from my blood pressure medication.
      What if I can't take it?
      A: You can look at switching to one of the medications for blood
      pressure that doesn't affect you.

      Q: Are there drugs that are toxic to the eyes? My vision is very
      important to me now that I have hearing loss.
      A: "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed" has a list of 117 drugs that can
      damage the eyes. Of those 77 can also damage the ears.

      Q: Would it help to keep a diary listing any new things
      happening when you take a medication?
      A: That is a good idea.

      Q: What about drugs for colds -- are they a concern?
      A: You have to balance what a drug might do to what a cold might
      do. Work with your doctor, but work from a position of
      knowledge. Try to live as healthy as you can and take drugs only
      as needed.

      -- Cheryl Heppner, NVRC Executive Director, NVRC

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      support your use of CART? For answers to these and other
      questions, visit www.CARTinfo.org, a site for CART consumers and
      those who make decisions about providing CART services.

      - A Word from the Organizer of "Let's Loop America"

      Editor: We've been reporting on David Myer's "Let's Loop
      America" program for over a year now, and the momentum is
      building. Here are excerpts from his recent email reporting
      progress. For more information on this wonderful program, point
      your browser to http://www.hearingloop.org


      I received [your email] here in Scotland where I'm on a working
      holiday, and where I've seen signs indicating loop systems not
      only in churches, auditoriums, and the like, but also now at a
      Tourist Information Center counter, a pharmacy, at a grocery
      store checkout counter, and at the post office (often with one
      window or lane designated as looped). Clearly, the effort to
      loop Britain is succeeding in a very comprehensive way.

      And we're underway in America. This month's issue of The Hearing
      Review, which goes to 20,000+ hearing professionals, offers
      telecoil/loop-supporting articles by audiological
      researcher-writer Mark Ross (who is surely one of God's gifts to
      hard of hearing people) and myself. More articles are in the
      works with Hearing Loss (the SHHH magazine), Sound and Video
      Contractor (for the folks who sell and install hearing
      assistance systems), and Scientific American.

      As my own community is becoming widely looped, our audiologists
      have responded by including telecoils ("audio coils," Mark Ross
      and I think they should be renamed) in new hearing aids. The
      owner of our largest audiologist practice tells me that they're
      including T-coils in more than 90 percent of new hearing aids.
      Obviously, this helps create a positive feedback loop: Looping
      the community provides a reason for new hearing aids to all have
      T-coils which amplifies the expectation and wish that all
      community facilities be looped. Most major churches are now
      looped, but the few that aren't surely will soon feel the need
      to become so . . . and our work will be essentially finished in
      our town.

      The next phase, already underway, is home installations. I'd
      recommend a looped TV room to anyone . . . no need to wear a
      receiver and headset. And if you've got an M/T setting on your
      hearing aid, you can also hear the phone or carry on
      conversation. I've also had a loop installation in my office for
      telephone input, which enables telephone conversation to
      broadcast through both hearing aids (customized binaural hearing
      is much better, I'm finding, that hearing with but one ear).

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      - US and Canada Approve Advanced Bionics CII without Positioner

      Editor: Those who have been following the story about the
      removal of the Advanced Bionics Clarion CI from North American
      markets will be interested in the recent announcement that both
      the FDA and Health Canada have approved the new CII without the
      Positioner. Note the CII includes the high resolution processing
      strategy that has only been available in clinical trials up to

      For additional information, please visit www.advancedbionics.com
      or contact:
      Emily McCargar

      Here are excerpts from the press release.


      Valencia, CA, September 10, 2002 - Advanced Bionics(r)
      Corporation (Bionics) today announced it received approval from
      the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and Health Canada to
      market its high resolution CLARION(r) CII Bionic EarT System.

      The FDA approval includes the new High Resolution Sound
      Processing software, which had been in clinical trials for the
      last year. High Resolution Sound Processing is designed to
      provide deaf adults and children the fine details of sound and a
      more natural hearing nerve response.

      "Ninety six percent (96%) of patients in the clinical trial
      preferred High Resolution Sound Processing to other conventional
      sound processing strategies," said Mary Joe Osberger, Ph.D.,
      Director of Clinical Research. "Clinical studies demonstrate
      that music sounds better and speech sounds more natural for the
      majority of patients," she added.

      The FDA approval now lowers the age at implantation in the
      United States from 18-months down to 12-months. The system is
      already available to Canadian children 12 months of age and

      Bionics will begin distribution of the system immediately. The
      system configuration will not include the separate component
      called the Positioner, which had been used in previous models.
      Clinical data show that efficacy results are indistinguishable
      between systems configured with and without the Positioner.

      - New TV Series Portrays Deaf FBI Agent

      Editor: We don't normally publicize television programs
      featuring people with hearing loss, but we're making an
      exception for this one, because it seems to have several things
      going for it. It premieres October 13.


      "Sue Thomas: F.B.EYE," a groundbreaking, original drama
      premiering Sunday, October 13 with a two-hour opener at 9/8 pm
      is inspired by the true story of Sue Thomas, who although
      profoundly deaf from the age of 18 months, overcame significant
      obstacles to work surveillance for the F.B.I. This series is a
      coming-of-age, suspenseful drama starring Deanne Bray, a
      severely deaf actress who like Sue Thomas, was strongly
      encouraged by her parents to speak and read lips. "Sue Thomas:
      F.B.Eye" is entertainment aimed not just at hearing audiences
      but at the more than 28 million deaf and hard of hearing
      individuals in the United States (10% of the population).

      As portrayed in the series, Thomas (Bray) is a somewhat
      sheltered young deaf woman who has recently graduated from
      college and is about to start her first real job - which happens
      to be with the F.B.I. Disappointed when she is relegated to the
      tedious task of analyzing fingerprints, Sue doesn't remain there
      for long. A new acquaintance, F.B.Eye. agent Jack Hudson
      (Yannick Bisson) discovers her unique lip reading ability and
      enlists her to join the bureau's elite surveillance team.
      Suddenly Sue and her hearing dog, Levi, are "G-men," caught up
      in a good deal more action than they ever bargained for. But
      what they lack in experience, they make up for in spirit and

      "We believe this is a precedent-setting series," says Dave Alan
      Johnson, creator of "Sue Thomas: F.B.EYE" "Never before has
      there been a television show about the real life experiences and
      career of a deaf person - who is also portrayed by a deaf actor.
      When Deanne came in and auditioned against numerous other
      actresses - both hearing and deaf - she won the role. We knew
      right away what an incredibly gifted woman she was and that she
      perfectly embodied the persona of Sue Thomas."

      In addition to Bray, the cast of "Sue Thomas: F.B.EYE" features
      Yannick Bisson, Rick Peters, Mark Gomes, Tara Samuel, Ted
      Atherton, Enuka Okuma and Jesse as Sue's golden retriever Levi.

      For more information on the TV series on PAX TV and pictures:

      - NOHR Seeks Grant Proposals

      Editor: The National Organization for Hearing Research (NOHR)
      Foundation is soliciting grant proposals for hearing loss
      research. The submission deadline is October 4. Here's the info.


      In January 2003, The National Organization for Hearing Research
      will award grants of approximately $10,000 each, primarily in
      the form of seed money, for exploration into innovative research
      areas in the prevention, causes, treatments and cures of hearing
      loss and deafness.

      Clinicians and researchers qualified in the field of auditory
      science may apply. Applications from researchers in other
      disciplines who will conduct research directly relevant to
      auditory science are also encouraged. Grant support is generally
      provided for one year. Applications are reviewed by the NOHR
      Foundation's Scientific Review Committee.

      The deadline for submission of applications is October 4, 2002.
      For application materials, please contact: National Organization
      for Hearing Research Foundation
      225 Haverford Ave., Suite 1
      Narberth, PA 19072
      Telephone: (610) 664-3135
      Fax: (610) 668-1428
      email: peggyatnohr@...

      - Ireland is not Britain

      Your editor is a little embarrassed at his display of
      geopolitical ignorance last week. In the article entitled "Irish
      Program Embraces Deaf AND Hard of Hearing - Really!", I made the
      mistake of referring to the Irish as "British". Several savvy,
      sharp-eyed readers corrected my errant notion that Ireland is
      part of the British Commonwealth. Thanks to all who took the
      time to point it out.

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