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Jul 15, 2019 · Do hearing aids damage ears? Is the helping hurting in the long run? in Hearing Loss

Thank you, Colleen. I've replied to the discussion on One or two hearings aids just now. Fascinating stuff to consider and not easy to come up with a definitive answer for! Regarding Bobby's question, it fits that same pattern. Given my background of hearing-in-noise and spatial hearing R&D, I think some things that might be generally under-appreciated are how finely tuned our auditory system is to small time delays and frequency changes, how dependent we are upon hearing well in the 6-10 KHz range, and how the outer ear helps enable our ability to localize and extract target sound sources. Hearing aids in one or both ears slightly (and confusingly) change the timing and frequency information that our hearing has used over a life time of learning (presuming onset of hearing issues in older age) to sort out voices and other sounds. In addition, our ears are not exactly the same – the right one deals with speech better and the left one with noise. (Recall how an average person might lean forward with their hand cupped behind their right ear to hear better in a noisy situation). Finally, I'll toss into this mix the idea that while vision and hearing correction are only very superficially alike, one way that they might be is in how the brain learns to always expect a correction. In the early days of someone new to glasses, the change is a hard one. But, over a few weeks, the brain learns to adapt. The same seems to be generally true with hearing aids. Likewise, with glasses, one might be tempted to use them all of the time (even when not needed, like when viewing things far away when you are far-sighted) or even use higher magnifications even when not needed. This trains the brain in a way that is perhaps not optimal and there are those who argue that it even causes atrophy of muscles and neural pathways that would otherwise be beneficial. I'm not an audiologist nor an optometrist and will very willing accept correction by those who understand these matters more deeply. Very best, Keith

Jul 15, 2019 · One or two hearing aids in Hearing Loss

This is a very interesting conversation. There are potentially multiple things going on. One is that the left ear is better at dealing with noise and the right with speech. As far as I am aware, this is independent of other factors, such as one's dominant eye or hand. Another thing is the fine timing resolution required for the normal human hearing system to deal with the small delays that correspond to a sound arriving at both ears from varying angles left to right. Another is the difference between a microphone being in/on the ear canal or behind the ear. Those behind the ear do not benefit from the effects of the outer ear, which help one determine, for instance, where a sound is coming from above one. This list could go longer, but I expect that you get my point. An engineer's response to all of this mix of theoretical knowledge versus your own practical experience might be to go with what works for you, at least as an initial solution.

May 20, 2019 · TEDx Talk on The Future of Hearing in Hearing Loss

Unfortunately, to be effective beyond any but the closest distances and still work in crowded, noisy conditions, this technology needs to have multiple microphones spread far enough left and right and up and down, so earrings are not a very good candidate (except, as I implied, in close or quieter conditions). A necklace could work. For the same reasons, it would not function as well as a t-shirt or camisole. For me as an engineer, the biggest challenge would be designing the fashion aspect so that it would attractive enough for someone besides a geek to be willing to wear. 😉

May 8, 2019 · TEDx Talk on The Future of Hearing in Hearing Loss

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it and we hope to have something available to help people in the not too distant future.

May 8, 2019 · Loss of hearing clarity: Solutions or strategies anyone? in Hearing Loss

You might want to watch the TEDx video that I posted a couple of days ago. It is likely relevant to your issues.

May 7, 2019 · TEDx Talk on The Future of Hearing in Hearing Loss

I am happy to share the video of a recent TEDx talk that I gave on using technology to replace lost spatial hearing: https://youtu.be/RvBWUKG0djQ

Apr 1, 2019 · Loss of hearing clarity: Solutions or strategies anyone? in Hearing Loss

@contentandwell Is your difficulty with clarity primarily happening in crowded spaces (like coffee shops and restaurants) or everywhere (including quiet places like home)? If primarily in crowded spaces, then you might want to discuss the possibility of spatial hearing loss with your audiologist. There are tests that can be performed to diagnose it. JK McElveen