The technology for diagnosing and treating hearing loss has changed dramatically in the past couple of decades, meaning there are more options than ever to address hearing problems. There are also many simple steps people can take to prevent further hearing loss. On this Patient Power program, host Andrew Schorr is joined by Dr. Jay Rubinstein, Director of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington Medical Center to answer listener questions and update you with the latest developments in otolaryngology.
Dr. Rubinstein spends a good portion of the program discussing the evolution of the hearing aid. He helps listens understand the reasons behind many patients’ complaints that their hearing aids are “noisy.” Also, learn how cochlear implants, which can restore hearing to people with profound deafness, are being used. Dr. Rubinstein answers questions about tinnitus—the common white-noise ringing many people experience; Ménière's disease, an illness of the inner ear which usually produces attacks of roiling vertigo; and hearing loss as a hereditary trait.
Hearing loss can also be noise-induced. Dr. Rubinstein contends any chronic exposure to loud sound is of concern for long-term hearing health, raising the question: What constitutes loud? He offers advice about everything from protective gear to wear on the job to how loud a person should listen to their music. Hearing loss is something that affects a large number of people, especially increasing with age. This program provides listeners with tremendous hope when it comes to treating and preventing hearing loss.
As Dr. Rubinstein says, “It [Hearing Loss] is usually eminently treatable, and if one is not happy with one’s hearing health one should be aggressive about seeking other opinions, about seeking treatment and about managing the problem. There’s no reason in most cases why one needs to live with untreated hearing loss.”
Jay Rubinstein, M.D., Ph.D.
Director of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, UW MedicineDr. Jay Rubinstein is Director of the Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center at the University of Washington. He received both his medical degree and his doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Washington. His research interests include computational biophysics, clinical and basic electrophysiology, human psychophysics and clinical trials of new cochlear implant technology. more >