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Melissa Karp, AuD

Hearing Loss Blog


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Hearing and the Brain

Thursday May 29, 2014

One of my favorite classes in grad school was brain anatomy; but, the day we dissected a real brain was a letdown. This was what controlled our thought, emotions, learning, speaking, movement? It seemed so small and....rubbery. Later, I got to see the brain in the operating room when learning how to do interoperative monitoring. It pulsed. It was fascinating. Audiology is usually thought of in terms of hearing loss, but the ears are simply a gateway to the brain; the brain is truly how we hear. In The Effect of Hearing Loss on Development, we look at how the brain is impacted when sound can not get to it during the critical periods of learning. I am also starting a series of articles about Auditory Processing Disorders (APD). There is a lot of confusion surrounding this topic so this series will break it down into manageable chunks starting with Why Can't My Child Listen? and Evaluation of APD. Later articles will examine the different categories of APD and the treatments available. As always, please drop me a line with your ideas, questions, or observations. You may see them in the next articles!


A little of this, a little of that

Sunday May 4, 2014

Charlotte, NC - NASCAR racing is big business and draws big crowds to the city. To discuss a negative about the sport is blasphemy to some people; so I was a little hesitant hitting the "publish" button on Racing Towards Hearing Loss. I really hope that it is read with an open mind; decreasing the noise exposure of the crew and drivers could theoretically increase reaction time and performance - perhaps enough to make a difference between winning and losing. How amazing would it be to have a winning team go home and be able to hear their grandchildren's voices? Sounds like a win-win to me!

I recently got a chance to sit down with an area infectious disease physician specializing in cytomegalovirus (CMV). That discussion was absolutely fascinating and inspired me to write CMV: The Second Leading Cause of Childhood Hearing Loss. There is a general misconception that newborn hearing screening catches most cases of childhood hearing loss. In cases of CMV, most babies have hearing loss of later onset; they pass the newborn hearing screening so parents do not know there is a cause for worry. CMV is not routinely tested for at birth and is currently the second leading cause of hearing loss in children (the first is genetic hearing loss), yet most people have never heard of this virus.

Two very different topics but I hope they are informative and interesting to readers.

When interests meet

Monday April 14, 2014

Cooking has always been a passion of mine; I admit that starting out it was a bit rocky - there was that time in college I had to mop macaroni and cheese off the ceiling and cabinets - but with practice I learned how to cook healthy and delicious meals. How what we eat affects our bodies and prevents disease is fascinating. I completed the health coaching program at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and learned so much about nutrients, antioxidants, and different theories of eating. In Nutrition and Hearing Loss, both my interest in nutrition and audiology meet.

In Women and Hearing Loss, I examine how hearing loss impacts women and their role in society and in their families. Hearing loss can have an incredible impact on quality of life and relationships; too often women put themselves last on their care list. Hopefully, this will inspire women with hearing loss to take those first steps toward better hearing and a better life.

Both women and men tend to put off hearing tests; hearing loss is an invisible problem and it is all to easy to blame difficulty hearing on earwax, a cold or allergies, or people mumbling. In Sudden Sensorineural Hearing Loss, symptoms, evaluation, and management of this medical emergency are discussed. The take home message : if you have a hearing loss that develops suddenly, don't assume it is nothing. Get it checked immediately because there is a window of opportunity for treatment.

Hearing 101

Monday April 7, 2014

Every day I go to work I get the opportunity to educate people. Some days it is teaching other professionals what diagnostic tests and rehabilitation options audiology can provide to their patients. Other times it is helping a person navigate the complexities of getting help for hearing loss. Then there are the days when I tell parents that their child has hearing loss and they are about to become experts about something they never considered would affect their family. In "What is an Audiologist", we start with the basics about the difference between an audiologist, otolaryngologist, and hearing aid dispenser.

The next article "New Advances in Bone Conduction" is a quick peek at some of the newer technology approved by the FDA.

As Deafness.About.Com grows, I hope to achieve a balance of good basic information that is easy to understand along with relevant technology and social issues surrounding hearing loss. If you have ideas or articles or want to participate in the conversation I invite you to contact me at deafness@aboutguide.com.


I look forward to hearing from you!



Federal Judge: OK to Sue CNN

Wednesday March 28, 2012

A Federal judge has ruled that it is okay for the Greater Los Angeles Council on Deafness to continue with its lawsuit against CNN for its failure to closed caption online.  The judge rejected CNN's arguments such as that its refusal to caption online was an exercise of its First Amendment rights.  CNN.com, getting the message yet? All we want is access!

Just Replace "Black" With "Deaf"

Thursday March 22, 2012

By now, almost everyone knows what happened to Trayvon Martin in Florida.  I can easily imagine a similar situation happening with any deaf person in Florida. Picture someone like George Zimmerman calling out "Hey! What are you doing here?" to a deaf person walking in the neighborhood. When the deaf person does not answer, the "neighborhood watch" person runs up, clearly irritated at being "ignored" and that there was no response and pushes the deaf person out of frustration. The deaf person, startled by the push from a stranger, instinctively reacts in a physical way. A fight starts...the "neighborhood watch" person shoots...deaf person is dead.

What I am trying to say is, the "stand your ground" law as it is now in Florida (and several other states) could easily result in the unpunished deaths of deaf people walking around innocently due to impatient, or trigger-happy, hearing people. Then those killers, if no witnesses saw what actually happened, can claim "it was self defense! The deaf person punched me!"

Florida's insane stand your ground law has got to go or be modified so it doesn't result in the unpunished deaths of innocent people, black or deaf.

Latino Moms and Deaf Babies

Wednesday March 21, 2012

Fox News Latino has a report about how a Latino mother threw herself into learning sign language and becoming part of the deaf community, when her three sons were born deaf. This mother holds weekly sign language classes in her own home. Her active involvement led to her becoming a parent mentor in a Department of Education program for parents of deaf children.

Gallaudet University's New Master's Degree

Sunday March 18, 2012

Last week Gallaudet University announced it was offering a new master's degree in Public Administration. The article quotes the Gallaudet president citing the need for such a degree to help deaf and hard of hearing government and nonprofit employees advance. The new program starts this coming fall.

Will Rocky Mountain Deaf School Get New Home?

Thursday March 15, 2012

The Rocky Mountain Deaf School is trying to build a new home for itself. Its current home is to say the least, substandard. Would you want your child attending school next door to a bar? The neighbors at the potential new site, are trying to stop the school from being built on its proposed new home, which is already zoned for a school. RMDS is up against the clock because if it doesn't succeed, it could lose a needed state grant to pay for the new school building.

Bullied Deaf Kids in Chicago Schools

Saturday March 10, 2012

Are Chicago's public schools incapable of protecting deaf and hard of hearing children from being bullied? Maybe, if this story about a deaf nine year old boy with a cochlear implant is any indication. For one thing, a school bully ripped off the boy's speech processor and threw it on the school playground.  Instead of hunting for the implant the school sent the boy home without his implant and it became broken from lying on the playground in the rain.

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