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Seoul, South Korea

Kim J.-H.,Anyang University, China | Kim J.-H.,Hallym University | Lee J.H.,Hallym University | Lee H.-K.,Soree Ear Clinic
Clinical and Experimental Otorhinolaryngology

Objectives. The goal of the present study was to examine whether Acceptable Noise Levels (ANLs) would be lower (greater acceptance of noise) in binaural listening than in monaural listening condition and also whether meaningfulness of background speech noise would affect ANLs for directional microphone hearing aid users. In addition, any relationships between the individual binaural benefits on ANLs and the individuals' demographic information were investigated. Methods. Fourteen hearing aid users (mean age, 64 years) participated for experimental testing. For the ANL calculation, listeners' most comfortable listening levels and background noise level were measured. Using Korean ANL material, ANLs of all participants were evaluated under monaural and binaural amplification with a counterbalanced order. The ANLs were also compared across five types of competing speech noises, consisting of 1- through 8-talker background speech maskers. Seven young normal-hearing listeners (mean age, 27 years) participated for the same measurements as a pilot testing. Results. The results demonstrated that directional hearing aid users accepted more noise (lower ANLs) with binaural amplification than with monaural amplification, regardless of the type of competing speech. When the background speech noise became more meaningful, hearing-impaired listeners accepted less amount of noise (higher ANLs), revealing that ANL is dependent on the intelligibility of the competing speech. The individuals' binaural advantages in ANLs were significantly greater for the listeners with longer experience of hearing aids, yet not related to their age or hearing thresholds. Conclusion. Binaural directional microphone processing allowed hearing aid users to accept a greater amount of background noise, which may in turn improve listeners' hearing aid success. Informational masking substantially influenced background noise acceptance. Given a significant association between ANLs and duration of hearing aid usage, ANL measurement can be useful for clinical counseling of binaural hearing aid candidates or unsuccessful users. © 2014 by Korean Society of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. Source

Choi S.-Y.,Kyungpook National University | Lee K.Y.,Kyungpook National University | Kim H.-J.,Kyungpook National University | Kim H.-K.,Kyungpook National University | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Medicine

Mutations in the gap junction β2 (GJB2) gene, encoding the connexin26 (CX26) protein, are the most common cause of non-syndromic hearing loss (HL) in many populations. In the East Asian population, two variants, p.V27I (c.79G>A) and p.E114G (c.341G>A), are considered benign polymorphisms since these variants have been identified in both HL patients and normal hearing controls. However, some studies have postulated that homozygotes carrying both p.V27Iand p.E114Gvariants could cause HL. To elucidate possible roles of these variants, we used in vitro approaches to directly assess the pathogenicity of four haplo-types generated by the two polymorphisms: VE (wild type), I*E (p.V27I variant only), VG* (p.E114G variant only), I*G* (both variants). In biochemical coupling assays, the gap junctions (GJs) composed of VG* and I*G* types displayed defective channel activities compared with those of VE wild types or I*E types, which showed normal channel activities. Interestingly, the defect in hemichannel activity was a bit less severe in I*G* type than VG* type, suggesting that I* variant (p.V27I) may compensate for the deleterious effect of G* variant (p.E114G) in hemichannel activities. Our population studies using 412 Korean individuals showed that I*G* type was detected at around 20% in both HL patients and normal controls, suggesting that I*G* type may not be a pathogenic polymorphism. In contrast, VG* type was very rare (3/824) and detected only in HL patients, suggesting that VG* ho-mozygotes (VG*/VG*) or compound heterozygotes carrying VG* type with other mutations may cause HL. © 2011 The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research. Source

Yoon Y.-S.,Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center | Shin Y.-R.,Soree Ear Clinic | Gho J.-S.,Liberty University | Fu Q.-J.,University of California at Los Angeles
Cochlear Implants International

Objectives: The present study characterizes the relationship between bimodal benefit and hearing aid (HA) performance, cochlear implant (CI) performance, and the difference in the performances of the two devices. Methods: Fourteen adult bimodal listeners participated in the study. Consonant, vowel, and sentence recognition were measured in quiet and noise (at a +5 and +10 dB signal-to-noise ratio (SNR)) with an HA alone, a CI alone, and with the combined use of an HA and CI in each listener. Speech and noise were presented directly in front of the listener. Results: The correlation analyses showed that bimodal benefit was significantly associated with the difference in performances of a CI and an HA in all testing materials, with HA-alone performance in vowel recognition, and with CI-alone performance in sentence recognition. However, regression analyses showed that the independent contribution of the difference in performance across ears to bimodal benefit was significant, irrespective of the testing material or the SNR: the smaller the difference, the greater the benefit. Further, the independent contributions of HA-only performance and CI-alone performance were not significant factors in predicting the existence of bimodal benefit across testing materials and SNRs when the effect of the difference between CI and HA performance was removed from the model. Conclusion: The results suggest that bimodal benefit is limited by how effectively the modalities integrate, rather than HA-only or CI-alone performance, and that this integration is facilitated when the performances of the modalities are similar. © 2015, W. S. Maney & Son Ltd. Source

Kim B.G.,Yonsei University | Shin J.-W.,Yonsei University | Park H.-J.,Soree Ear Clinic | Kim J.M.,Yonsei University | And 2 more authors.
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology

Objectives: SLC26A4 (PDS) mutations are common cause of congenital hearing loss in East Asia. Hearing loss caused by PDS mutations tends to have delayed presentation; thus universal newborn hearing screening (UNHS) can be less effective in these patients. We examined the efficiency of newborn hearing screening test in patients with bi-allelic PDS mutations. Methods: Forty-three patients with sensorineural hearing loss were recruited. Patients had an enlarged vestibular aqueduct and biallelic PDS mutations. Among them, newborn hearing screening test had been performed on 14. The remaining 29 patients did not undergo newborn hearing screening test. Another 15 patients without a PDS mutation but who had sensorineural hearing loss were also recruited as a comparison group. We reviewed the hearing loss history of the children using medical records and parent interviews. Results: Among 14 patients with PDS mutation, four (28.6%) passed newborn hearing screening test in both ears and six (42.9%) passed in one ear. In contrast, only 2 of 15 (13.3%) children without a PDS mutation passed newborn hearing screening test bilaterally. The age at confirmation of bilateral hearing loss in bilateral "pass" patients with PDS mutation was 31.5 ± 17.9 months, which was significantly delayed compared to the age for bilateral "refer" children (1.75 ± 0.96 months) (p< 0.05). Conclusion: The UNHS is not an accurate tool for predicting long-term hearing loss in patients with PDS mutations. We recommend that genetic screening be combined with UNHS, particularly in communities with a high prevalence of PDS mutations, to better identify children in need of early habilitation. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. Source

Yoon Y.-S.,House Research Institute | Shin Y.-R.,Soree Ear Clinic | Fu Q.-J.,House Research Institute
Ear and Hearing

OBJECTIVES: This study investigated whether a spectral mismatch across ears influences the benefit of redundancy, squelch, and head shadow differently in speech perception using acoustic simulation of bilateral cochlear implant (CI) processing. DESIGN:: Ten normal-hearing subjects participated in the study, and acoustic simulations of CIs were used to test these subjects. Sentence recognition, presented unilaterally and bilaterally, was measured at +5 dB and +10 dB signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) with bilaterally matched and mismatched conditions. Unilateral and bilateral CIs were simulated using 8-channel sine wave vocoders. Binaural spectral mismatch was introduced by changing the relative simulated insertion depths across ears. Subjects were tested while listening with headphones; head-related transfer functions were applied before the vocoder processing to preserve natural interaural level and time differences. RESULTS:: For both SNRs, greater and more consistent binaural benefit of squelch and redundancy occurred for the matched condition whereas binaural interference of squelch and redundancy occurred for the mismatched condition. However, significant binaural benefit of head shadow existed irrespective of spectral mismatches and SNRs. CONCLUSIONS:: The results suggest that bilateral spectral mismatch may have a negative impact on the binaural benefit of squelch and redundancy for bilateral CI users. The results also suggest that clinical mapping should be carefully administrated for bilateral CI users to minimize the difference in spectral patterns between the two CIs. © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. Source

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