Category: Hearing Loss

Hearing Loss and Social Isolation

Catherine Palmer, PhD

“Blindness separates us from things, but deafness separates us from people.” —Helen Keller These words, spoken so many years ago, unfortunately still hold true for millions of people with untreated hearing loss around the world. While more and more health care systems and insurers are interested in social participation as it is linked to health outcomes and specifically successful aging, scientists and physicians at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, led by Catherine Palmer, PhD, are working diligently to solve the puzzle of hearing loss and its connection to social isolation. Social Participation and Health Social participation has long

A Window to the Brain: Understanding How What We Hear Influences How We Behave

Ross Williamson, PhD

As humans, our senses, such as hearing, influence how we perceive and recognize the world around us. For example, most everyone has experienced the phenomenon of hearing a certain song and instantly being transported to a specific memory of their life. Researchers in the Department of Otolaryngology, however, are now trying to determine how what we hear can also influence how we behave. How Can Hearing Affect Our Behavior? “Our ability to make decisions based on changes in the auditory environment often involves the accumulation of sensory evidence, where newly acquired information is used to update existing beliefs and drive

Hearing Loss and Your Greater Health

Hearing Loss and Your Greater Health

Consistently ranked among the best programs in the country, the Department of Audiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine continues to work towards solving the puzzle of hearing loss. The number of people affected by hearing loss is staggering, with nearly 50 million people here in the United States and roughly 466 million worldwide experiencing some degree of hearing loss. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization expects this number to climb to nearly 900 million by the year 2050 due to an aging population. While hearing loss is routinely thought of as a problem affecting the elderly, there are