As the proportion of senior citizens grows, their special needs are gaining momentum. Human eyesight, for example, weakens with age. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has been developing new NFC-based applications that make life easier for the visually impaired. A group of affected persons recently tested an innovative, speech-based item identification system and new "talking" packaging for medicine and food. Solutions that link products and digital product info are becoming ever more common. They offer a range of possibilities for both the normal-sighted and the visually impaired. Food packaging, for example, can include links to information relevant to the individual customer, from the origins of the product to ecological aspects and possible allergy risks. The HearMeFeelMe project, a collaborative effort by VTT, TopTunniste (Finland) Tecnalia (Spain) and Demokritos (Greece), introduced five different applications for acquiring medical information, all of them based on NFC technology (Near Field Communication).
It is common knowledge that it takes a while for the hearing to become 'normal' again after listening to music that is too loud. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that there are almost 50 million people in the U.S. and millions more worldwide who suffer from tinnitus, which can range from being intermittent and mildly annoying to chronic, severe and debilitating. There is no cure for tinnitus. A new study published in the first February issue of The Journal of Neuroscience has shown that researchers at the University of Michigan Health System suggest that over-exposure to noise can actually cause more lasting changes to our auditory circuitry that potentially lead to tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in the ears. In a previous study, the researchers proved that touch-sensing "somatosensory" nerves in the face and neck could become overactive after hearing damage.
Having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the metabolic disorder is not well controlled with medication, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. Women between the ages of 60 and 75 with well-controlled diabetes had better hearing than women with poorly controlled diabetes, with similar hearing levels to those of non-diabetic women of the same age. The study also shows significantly worse hearing in all women younger than 60 with diabetes, even if it is well controlled. Men, however, had worse hearing loss across the board compared to women in the study, regardless of their age or whether or not they had diabetes. "A certain degree of hearing loss is a normal part of the aging process for all of us, but it is often accelerated in patients with diabetes, especially if blood-glucose levels are not being controlled with medication and diet, " says Derek J.
A new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, presented at the annual Triological Society's Combined Sections Meeting, on January 26 in Miami Beach, shows that diabetes is likely to cause a greater degree of hearing loss in women as they get older, particularly if the diabetes is not well controlled with medication. The study showed that women aged between 60 and 75 years, whose diabetes was controlled appropriately, were able to hear better with similar hearing levels to non-diabetic women of the same age, compared with those who had poorly controlled diabetes. The findings also demonstrated substantially worse hearing levels in all diabetic women below the age of 60 years, even when their diabetes is controlled appropriately. In contrast, the study showed that all men, irrespective of age, and whether or not they were diabetic, displayed worse hearing loss compared with women.
A revolutionary surgical technique for treating perforations of the tympanic membrane (eardrum) in children and adults has been developed at the Sainte-Justine University Hospital Centre, an affiliate of the Universite de Montreal, by Dr. Issam Saliba. The new technique, which is as effective as traditional surgery and far less expensive, can be performed in 20 minutes at an outpatient clinic during a routine visit to an ENT specialist. The result is a therapeutic treatment that will be much easier for patients and parents, making surgery more readily available and substantially reducing clogged waiting lists. "In the past five years, I've operated on 132 young patients in the outpatient clinic at the Sainte-Justine UHC using this technique, as well as on 286 adults at the University of Montreal Hospital Centre (CHUM) outpatient clinic, " says Dr.