December 2010

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Another explanation for "age related" hearing loss

Researchers at the University of Florida and the University of Wisconsin have discovered that the protein Bak can be partially responsible for up to 50% of all over 65’s suffering from hearing loss.

Millions of tiny sensory hair cells in the inner ear enable you to hear. Age-related hearing loss involves the death of some of these sensory hair, nerve and membrane cells. Since hair and nerve cells do not regenerate in humans, their death leads to permanent hearing loss.

Researchers in the USA have now, with the help of research on mice, found out that these sensory hair cells can be destroyed if the so-called mitochondrial membrane, which protects the cells, is destroyed.

This can occur if there is too much Bak protein present. Should this happen, proteins can find their way into the cells and break them down, causing the cells to die.


Annual Noisy Toys List

Before you make your toy purchases, you must know about a few very noisy toys out there.  Instead of bringing joy to your children, these toys could give them unwanted, permanent hearing loss. That’s right; many of the toys for children on the market ring in at more than 129 decibels (dB.)

Noisy Toys 2010That’s well above what the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH) considers a safe level that won’t damage hearing. In fact, the set standard level for safe noise (that is, noises that lead to dangerous hearing loss) is 85 dB.