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When something happens to damage your inner ear interrupting the natural order of how sound occurs, your hearing is impaired. More than ninety per cent of all hearing instrument wearers have sensorineural hearing loss, and this type of hearing loss commonly occurs in the later decades of life.
Small business web directory by catagory and pagesGet listed under world health organization aids category.
Our ears, and what?s inside them, are a complex and delicate structure, and one that?s very easy to damage. Sensorineural Hearing Loss, or SHL for short, is a condition that affects the sense of hearing. There are a number of causes for acquired SHL, with both external (outside world) and internal (the person?s own body) affecting an ear?s health. Whereas conductive hearing loss can be treated (as in the case of acquired CHL if the trauma involves barotrauma, for instance) the treatment of SHL depends on a number of different factors (source). The Hearing Loss Pill is the newest treatment especially designed for Sensorineural Hearing Loss. While there are some causes of SHL that can?t be avoided, such as ageing or genetics, it?s still important to treat the ears as the fragile instruments they are. Think of it this way: we all know how damaging it is to walk around in bright summer sun with little skin protection. If you are interested in learning more detailed information on the available ways to improve hearing loss, including stem cells, cochlear implants, hearing aids and of course The Hearing Loss Pill, please see our hearing loss treatment page. Hearing loss occurring within the Cochlea and or the VIII nerve is called a Sensorineural Hearing Loss. Over 90% of all hearing loss is Sensorineural and cannot be treated through medication or surgery. All information on the website is actively updated and changes with ongoing medical research. Science, Technology and Medicine open access publisher.Publish, read and share novel research.
Speech playback at a slower sampling rate and reduction of zero-crossing rate are some of the frequency lowering methods that were used in surveys conducted before the eighties, as reported by Hicks et al.
Turner and Hurtig (1999) commented that the frequency region where the hearing loss occurs, as well as its extent, are determining factors in word discrimination. McDermott and Dean (2000) evaluated speech recognition in individuals with sloping hearing loss whose tone thresholds at low frequencies were better than 30 dB HL, while in medium and high frequencies presented profound hearing loss.
Kuk (2007) gave a brief discussion about benefits and applicability of frequency transposition. People with SHL can be born with it or else acquire it over the course of a lifetime or as a result of a particular incident, such as head trauma or a sudden loud noise.
It occurs when damage or disorder renders the inner ear (such as the cochlea) ineffective in receiving and transmitting soundwaves as signals to the brain.
In fact, many of us will acquire this in one form or another over the course of our lifetime. Conductive hearing loss is when sound is being blocked from reaching the inner ear in order to be registered as sound by the brain. The basics may simply be for the doctor to cover one of the patient?s ears at a time and speaking at different volumes to determine if there?s anything abnormal. As the particular situation varies from person to person, the approach to treatment varies as well. This new treatment is designed to improve hearing by targeting the nerves in the inner ear that are still working.
Limit time spent in environments with a high level of noise, such as workshops, in traffic or at airports. We?ve been told it?s a one-way ticket to skin damage and potentially risking skin cancer and melanomas. The nerves that make up the hearing process are the vestibulocochlear nerve, the processing centers of the brain, or the actual inner ear itself.
Right now there is an FDA approved study being conducted to evaluate whether or not hearing problems can be cured using stem cell treatments.
The Hearing Loss Pill is not a cure, but is instead an ongoing treatment to gradually help improve the nerves of the inner ear, and help the brain better process it.
The truth is that most people never do anything with the products they buy, so most of the time, they dona€™t get ANY results. The content is intended for informational purposes alone and is not meant for treatment, self treatment or diagnosis. Comparative graphic of average WRR values obtained in groups P and F, with compression factors K = 3, K = 2 and K = 1, now considering both ears (joined).
In general, hearing loss exceeding 60 dB HL at frequencies above 2-3 kHz causes a reduction in speech discrimination.
In that article, he presents the frequency transposition algorithm developed by Widex, available on the Inteo hearing aid.
For minimum distortion at low frequencies, the warping parameter must be chosen by the ratio defined in second part of equation (1). Comparing the Figures 2-ii to 2-iv, one can clearly observe the difference between the spectrogram obtained with the non-linear and the linear compression.The lists of words were heard in order of difficulty, starting the list with K = 3 and ending with K = 1. The movements of these hair cells are transformed into electric impulses that travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. Hearing loss is on the rise, especially in the elderly population, and our modern life is the cause of it.
Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss is something else entirely, and not to be confused with SHL ? SHL used to be known as nerve ?deafness?, which is a simple way of looking at a complex situation.
On the other hand, SHL is when sound can reach the ear but the sound isn?t being registered. From there, the tuning fork test may be administered, or an audiometer test for further examination. As such, the ability of the inner ear to recognise and convert sounds to clear signals may be compromised. The product works by helping the existing nerves transfer more "sound information" into the brain for processing and understanding. Obviously, if you?re employed at one of these places, it?s necessary to wear the appropriate type of ear protection to reduce exposure to potentially damaging sound. We already know that it is supposedly already being successfully used in more exotic countries (without much health regulation), but the safety and effectiveness is questionable, not to mention the $30,000+ price tag on the treatment that health insurance will not pay for.
Please make an appointment for any symptoms you may find similar to the content on the website to better evaluate and treat.
Horizontal axis depicts the frequency range of input (original) signal and vertical axis the frequency range of output (processed) signal for the compression factors K = 2 (full line) and K = 3 (dashed line).

The two knee-point frequencies of the frequency compression curve delimiting the three frequency ranges (I, II and III, see Figure 8) are shown by vertical grey lines. All these methods involve signal distortion, more or less noticeable, usually dependent on the degree of spectral change.
They used a nonlinear compression method, increasing progressively the compression ratio for high frequency sounds. The authors presented a new method of frequency transposition applied only on sounds that have significant energy at high frequencies. This was done in order to not provide clues that could facilitate the recognition of words, once all lists are composed by the same words arranged in different forms.The results were treated statistically through the Wilcoxon and Mann-Whitney non-parametric tests.
Then, the brain decodes and interprets the electronic impulses, turning a stream of speech sounds into separate, recognizable words. Hearing aids are inserted into the ear, where they amplify native soundwaves to make them clearer for the ear to recognise. A cochlear implant converts sound to electrical impulses, mimicking the natural hearing process and stimulating the hearing nerve. You know how bad it is to sunbathe without sunscreen, why would you do the same with your ears?
The testimonials you see on this web site are some of our better results and are not typical. Such schemes perceptually modify important speech characteristics such as rhythmic and time patterns, psychophysical frequency (pitch) sensation, and duration of segmental elements.
Initially, the study was conducted with six normal hearing individuals, performing consonant discrimination experiments on these normal listeners and results were compared with the control condition, using low-pass filtering.
The results were similar to those obtained in a previous experiment - which used the same speech material and procedures - performed with normal hearing individuals with a hearing loss simulation using similar low-pass filters and cutoff frequencies.
To evaluate the algorithm, they conducted a study on recognition of monosyllabic words in quiet, with 17 hearing aids users with moderate to severe sloping sensorineural hearing loss.
They set the dead region frequency edge considering this feature a fundamental key in the individual formatting of the frequency transposition algorithm. In this figure we can see that low frequency spectral content (below 1000 Hz) is barely compressed.For better understanding and comparison of frequency transposition and frequency compression spectral effects, in part (a) of Fig. They stuck to the dose as directed and maintained a healthy lifestyle and balanced diet alongside it.
In their paper (Hicks et al., 1981), authors presented a remarkable investigation on frequency lowering. They have observed that Hick’s frequency lowering scheme presented better performance for fricative and affricate sounds if compared with low pass filtering to an equivalent bandwidth.
The authors affirmed that using normal hearing subjects on this type of experiment is advantageous because it ensures that evaluation of the algorithm is not influenced by other factors associated with sensorineural hearing loss. Their objective was to compare phoneme recognition using conventional hearing aids and those with the frequency compression algorithm embedded. According to authors, on the first experience, some users do not like the sound quality provided by this algorithm, referring to sound harsh or unnatural. They concluded that the benefit observed in the use of frequency transposition was reduced by the confusion generated between phonemes.
IntroductionHearing, as a complex function, requires perfect cochlea and auditory pathways and any interference in this system may compromise its performance. Their technique involves monotonic compression of short-time spectrum, without pitch alteration, while avoiding some problems observed in other methods. On the other hand, the performance of the low pass filtering was better for vowels, semivowels and nasal sounds.
Of the 17 participating subjects, eight had improvement in recognition of phonemes using frequency compression; eight showed no differences regarding the amplification used and one subject presented significantly lower performance with the algorithm. They concluded that the great sound change caused by frequency transposition account for this negative reaction, requiring a long-term use so that a reorganization of the cortical tonotopic representation may occur.
Thus, they hypothesized that frequency transposition, instead of improving discrimination of consonants, improves detection of fricatives.
Preliminary qualitative testBoth frequency lowering algorithms (frequency compression and frequency transposition) were not already tested with hearing impaired subjects.
However, audiology professionals still face failures, usually related to speech discrimination.
In general, performance in the task of speech in quiet with conventional amplification was similar to performance with frequency compression. But we got some preliminary results with normal listeners, first considering only qualitative aspects of processed speech.
Results of right and left ears are compared.As there were no statistically significant differences between the WRR obtained for the right and the left ear in both groups, as demonstrated by the p-values at bottom line of Table 3, we chose to perform the remaining analysis considering the values of both ears.
This is a common situation in sloping sensorineural hearing loss, which is often associated with marked difficulties in word recognition, especially in detection and discrimination of fricative phonemes, even using hearing aids.There is a consensus that the main difficulty related to hearing loss refers to communication, with the loss in the ability of speech discrimination and recognition. Non-linear frequency compression was used and results were compared with conventional sound amplification.
The authors commented that it is possible that frequency compression has brought benefits in the discrimination of some phonemes and detriment of others, so the final score did not change. The assessment was performed by seven subjects with hearing loss and cochlear dead regions at high frequencies. In this case, a simple low pass filtering process simulates the losses above the frequency where there is no more residual hearing. However, the increase on acoustic information available through hearing aids does not always provide the complete restoration of these abilities. DiscussionEvaluation of human speech recognition using frequency compression has been proposed by many authors in studies dating from the 70's or earlier. Some patients present little or no benefit with amplification, particularly those with severe high frequencies hearing loss.
After, two normal hearing adults (one male and one female) listened to the processed speech signals, as well as to the control condition (low-pass filtering only).
Several studies demonstrate the contribution of high frequencies on speech intelligibility. Comparison of two frequency lowering algorithms for digital hearing aidIn this section we present a new frequency-lowering algorithm that uses frequency transposition instead of frequency compression. Listeners are not previously informed regarding signals’ processing schemes and are asked for ranking the three speech sounds according to their subjective quality.In this preliminary test, only two different speech signals were submitted to the algorithms. Consequently, the sloping sensorineural hearing loss is related to the difficulty in understanding speech, even with the use of hearing aids.Hearing loss is more common for high–frequency and mid–frequency sounds (1 to 3 kHz) than for low–frequency.
Furthermore, the frequency transposition is applied only over fricatives and affricates, leaving the other speech sounds untouched, as previous works have shown that frequency lowering only benefits high frequency phonemes. The original and processed spectrograms of one of these speech signals (a male pronunciation of the words ‘loose management’) are shown in Fig.
Frequently, there are only small losses at low frequencies (below 1 kHz) but almost absolute deafness above 1.5 or 2 kHz.

4, where we can appreciate again the visual difference between the two frequency lowering algorithms. It is important to remark that both listeners are native speakers of Brazilian Portuguese and are not used to listen to English words in their everyday tasks.
For these patients, lowering the high–frequency speech spectrum to the frequencies where the losses are mild or moderate could be a good processing tool to be added in the implementation of a digital hearing aid device. Audiometric data acquisition and processingThe first step of both frequency-lowering algorithms consists in audiometric data acquisition of the hearing impaired subject. This is important because in this way we intend to separate speech quality from speech intelligibility, although both aspects are correlated and cannot be perfectly assessed by subjective evaluation.According to our prevision, only fricative speech sounds were frequency lowered in both algorithms. The audiometric exam is employed for measuring the degree of the hearing impairment of a given patient.
In this exam, the listener is submitted to a perception test by continuously varying the sound pressure level (SPL) of a pure sinusoidal tone in a discrete frequency scale.
But in this case, its pronunciation had high frequency energy, as we can observe in the spectrogram of the original speech signal (see Fig. For each of these frequencies, the minimum SPL in dB for which the patient is capable of perceiving the sound is registered in a graph.The audiogram is the result of the audiometric exam, which is presented by a graph with the values in dB SPL for each of the discrete frequencies. These preliminary results indicate that the frequency shifting (or transposition) method was preferred by the listeners when compared to the frequency compression method. Preliminary intelligibility testWe perform a syllable identification test over 42 normal hearing subjects, 31 male and 11 female; a simple low pass filtering process simulates the losses above the frequency where there is no more residual hearing.
After processing, each utterance generates nine speech signals: low-pass filtered syllable (control), frequency compressed syllable and frequency transposed syllable. Indeed, commonly the threshold of discomfort for the hearing impaired is lower than for normal hearing subjects. Although less common, some audiograms bring both the threshold of discomfort and the threshold of hearing (Alsaka & McLean, 1996), as one can observe in Fig.
Due to the random choice of the syllables that were presented to the listeners, there were some syllables that were less listened than others. In this figure, points of audiogram corresponding to the right ear are signalled with a round mark and those corresponding to the left ear are signalled with an X mark. In the first column we have all the possible fricatives for each (three) filter cutoff frequencies.
But for the impaired subject, that never (or for a long time) had any perception of sounds with frequencies above 2 kHz, may be the difference between the processed signals was not so slight.Relatively to the results of the intelligibility test, results are difficult to analyze if we consider the set of syllables as a whole. Only patients with this type of impairment can be aided by any frequency lowering method.After that, the first frequency where there is a profound loss is determined. In the case of fricative sound [ Z ], the better results are also obtained with our frequency shifting algorithm, independently of the signal bandwidth.
This destination frequency is considered as the geometrical mean between 900 Hz and the highest frequency where there is still some residual hearing. The geometrical mean was empirically chosen because it provides a good trade-off between minimum spectrum distortion and maximum residual hearing profit. But considering invidual phonemes, we can conclude that if we incorporate a simple automatic phoneme classifier in the system, it is possible to choose the better frequency lowering algorithm to be applied for each specific phone, given the maximum frequency where there is some residual hearing. In order to obtain more accuracy in the losses thresholds, audiogram points are linearly interpolated.As will be explained further, tests were done first in normal hearing people, simulating hearing losses by means of low-pass filtering. This is not difficult to do, considering the advances observed in the performance of automatic phoneme recognition algorithms over the last years (Scanlon et al., 2007). Finally, it is important to remark that both algorithms have demonstrated to be fast enough to enable their usage in digital hearing aid devices.3. Speech data acquisition and processingSpeech signals are sampled at 16 kHz and Hamming windowed with 25 ms windows. Frequency compression and its effects on human speech recognitionIn this section we present the development and evaluation of the same frequency compression algorithm described in section 2, but with some modifications. A 1024-point FFT is used for representing the short–time speech spectrum in the frequency domain.If in the previous audiometric data analysis a ski–slope kind of loss was detected and the frequency transposition criterion was matched, a destination frequency has already been determined.
Then, we have to find out (in a frame–by–frame basis) if the short–time speech spectrum presents significant information at high frequencies that justify the frequency transposition operation. The criterion used for transposing or not the short–time spectrum of each speech frame depends on a threshold.
All participants signed the free and informed consent form.The study included 18 normal listeners of both genders, with ages between 21 and 42 years. When the signal has high energy in high frequencies the algorithm transposes high frequency information to lower frequencies.
Speech material used in this study consisted of monosyllabic words applied through TDH 39 headphones at 60 dB NA intensity, in silence, monotic task, both ears.
The origin frequency is the frequency 100 Hz below the beginning of the 500 Hz bandwidth window with maximum energy. The part of the spectrum that will be transposed corresponds to the range of all frequencies above the origin frequency.
This empirical criterion guarantees that the unavoidable distortion due to the frequency lowering operation will be profitable. A new organization of the words list was played in another CD in three different sequences of the same words, to reduce the listener learning effect.To determine the pure tone and speech tests thresholds, we used the Aurical™ audiometer from Madsen Electronics™, coupled to a personal computer. The speech procedures were applied in a sound proof booth using a portable compact disc player, model 4147 from Toshiba™, coupled to the Aurical™ audiometer and TDH 39 headphones, besides the CD containing speech samples.The words in the lists had the speech spectrum modified by frequency compression.
We performed all speech processing using Matlab™, at the Engineering and Modeling Center of the ABC Federal University (UFABC. These curves were implemented directly in the frequency domain, in a frame-by-frame basis, using the equation shown in the lower right corner of the figure, where variable a controls the degree of nonlinearity of the curves (a = 0 turns the curve into a straight line). Horizontal axis depicts the frequency range of input (original) signal and vertical axis the frequency range of output (processed) signal for the compression factors K = 2 (full line) and K = 3 (dashed line).The total lack of compression corresponds to K = 1 and a = 0.
When a = 0 and K = 2 for example, the compression is linear (a = 0) in the ratio of 2:1 (K = 2). This means, in this example, that output frequencies (of processed signal) correspond exactly to half the values of input frequencies (of original signal).
That is, if the original signal has a frequency component at 2000 Hz, this will correspond to 1000 Hz in the processed signal.On the algorithm originally proposed (6), the curves were approximately linear and with no compression in the range from 0 to 1 kHz. In this study, the approximate range of linearity (and no compression) was extended up to 1.5 kHz, aiming to reduce as most as possible the perceptual distortion of main pitch harmonics and formants of the original speech signal.

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