Special Interest Group 06 - Hearing and Balance Sciences: Research and Clinical Applications

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What’s New in Ototoxicity Management?
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
Ototoxic medications and chemical agents in the workplace can put individuals' hearing and vestibular health at risk for permanent injury. Proactive ototoxicity management (OtoM) strategies aim to minimize exposure, avoid onset of symptoms, provide ongoing monitoring, and manage auditory and vestibular changes as the clinical needs of the patient evolve. During a 2021 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association Special Interest Groups Open House, members of the International Ototoxicity Management Group discussed how best to integrate OtoM into routine clinical practice, what tools to use, and what special considerations need to be understood to best support patients and their families. Here, we have summarized their viewpoints to encourage widespread adoption of improved OtoM services for at-risk individuals. The field of audiology needs to move to a place where we better understand the full extent of ototoxicity and can agree on expanding minimum guidelines that can be implemented more universally to mitigate, detect, and manage the damage from ototoxic exposures. Only recently has our field seen a therapeutic drug that can protect against ototoxicity; however, the population served is restricted only to children receiving treatment for nonmetastatic carcinoma. This is hopefully just the beginning of future therapeutic interventions to come, but, in the meantime, ototoxicity resulting from other medications in different patient populations and chemical agents persists.
Amplification Effects on the Acoustic Change Complex in Older Adults With Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
As a step toward developing an electrophysiologic method for validating the speech feature discrimination benefits of amplification, the article in this SIG 6 activity evaluates the effect of stimulus level and amplification on the acoustic change complex in adults with sensorineural hearing loss.
Audiologic Variability Among Patients Undergoing Cisplatin Treatment
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
The article in this SIG 6 activity focuses on the audiologic variations seen among patients undergoing the same type of ototoxic drug treatment (cisplatin). Results show a large amount of audiologic outcome variability among the two patients examined, despite similar demographic factors, drug treatments, and types of cancer. Factors relating to ototoxic susceptibility are discussed, and the importance of otoxicity monitoring programs for early detection of audiologic change is highlighted.
Advances in Hearing Diagnostics, Treatment, & Prevention
Format(s): SIG Perspectives
These three articles describe current issues and advances related to hearing diagnostics, treatment, and prevention. The first article is a detailed description of the impact that COVID-19 face masks and social distancing regulations have had on speech recognition and how face masks affect the acoustic signal and increase cognitive effort in listeners with hearing loss. Suggestions for mitigating these deleterious impacts on communication are provided. The second article is a research study examining the correlation between self-perceived hearing difficulty, determined using a questionnaire (Adult Auditory Performance Scale), and speech-in-noise performance (Listening in Spatialized Noise–Sentences Test) in listeners with normal pure-tone thresholds. Results highlight the relationship between self-perceived hearing abilities and binaural speech-in-noise performance supporting the inclusion of speech-in-noise testing even in those with normal pure-tone thresholds. The third article is a review of current genetic, stem cell, and pharmacotherapy research for treatment and prevention of hearing loss. Animal models are discussed, as well as steps to translate this research into clinical practice.

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