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Have You Heard? Echoes From Ancient Caves

June 29, 2015

Recent research indicates new insights into humans' closest extinct relative, the Neanderthal. One of the many ways that Neanderthal anatomy differed from our own came to light in the form of a fossilized ear bone from a young Neanderthal child. Included among a skull, jaw, vertebrae, ribs, and hand phalanges was a very complete left temporal bone with an auditory ossicle inside, including a complete "stapes." This bone, which lies in the middle ear of humans and other mammals, conducts sound vibrations to the inner ear. In Neanderthals, the stapes was decidedly different in its structure than our own, which may mean that they heard sounds differently from humans. This may have contributed to their downfall.

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Have You Heard? Word of Mouth

June 22, 2015

The cochlea is the snail-like structure of the inner ear that detects pressure from sound waves and converts them to electrical impulses for the brain to interpret. When the cochlea is damaged, electronic devices can be surgically implanted that enable hearing. These "cochlear implants" bypass the damaged part of the ear to enable signals to be passed to the brain via a microphone and a sound processor that generates electrical impulses. Recently, scientists proposed a less invasive way to treat those with cochlear damage, which involves using a mouthpiece that receives electrical signals from an earpiece positioned behind the ear. The mouthpiece transfers information to thousands of nerves on the tongue and relays them to the brain for interpretation.

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Have You Heard? What is Your Idea of Quiet?

June 15, 2015

Researchers from the National Park Service recently pinpointed the quietest areas in the United States after collecting more than 1.5 million hours of acoustical data. Not surprisingly, the quietest areas were wild areas of dry shrub land and barren flat terrain that exhibit sound levels similar to those that existed before European colonization of America. Even what many consider to be very quiet may be marred by the sound of a nearby highway or a plane overhead. The most peaceful places had background noise levels as low as a whisper (20 decibels) on a summer day. Cities such as New York averaged up to 60 decibels. Prolonged exposure to noise measured 80 decibels and above can contribute to hearing loss.

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Gradual Introduction

June 08, 2015

A new procedure helps seniors address a common problem that many have in adjusting to new hearing instruments due to experiencing new sounds that they may find confusing and irritating. As a result, those aged 70-85 years may simply choose not to wear their hearing instruments or even abandon them altogether. The new intervention procedure seeks to ensure better wearer compliance by asking seniors to wear their instruments for a set amount of time and gradually increase the duration daily over a 30-day period. They begin with one hour for three days, and then increased the time by one-hour increments every three days. The program helped half of the subjects increase their instrument usage from zero to ten consecutive hours.

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Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield Hearing Aid Coverage-Absolute Hearing Solutions

June 01, 2015

If you have Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield health insurance, it covers hearing aids for many companies and/or retirement insurance plan. If you are working or worked for Boeing, (Member of )UAW, or if you worked as a Federal Employee, you have hearing aid coverage. There are many other companies who have hearing aid coverage through Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield. Call Absolute Hearing Solutions at 614-654-4309 for details on Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield hearing aid coverage.

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