Hearing Screening an Imperative for HIV Patients (The Hearing Journal)


Working in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Jay Buckey, MD, Dartmouth Medical School professor and adjunct professor of engineering, is conducting leading-edge research on the relationship between HIV and hearing loss. Using a portable auditory device originally intended for research on the International Space Station, Buckey and a team of colleagues from Dartmouth’s Global Health Initiative’s DarDar Programs are seeking to fill the knowledge gap about HIV and its effects on auditory function through a comprehensive series of audiological tests on people with HIV as well as HIV-negative controls.

“Even in the earliest days of the AIDS epidemic, people would present with hearing problems, often because of an inner ear infection,” said Buckey. “But only recently, as people are living longer with HIV, has it been noted that a significant percentage of people with HIV have an abnormal hearing test.”

The study puts patients through a comprehensive series of audiological tests. Patients return every six months for reassessment.

Early results indicate that the HIV-positive cohort reports an unusually high rate of problems associated with their hearing, along with a high rate of tinnitus and other related symptoms. Ultimately, Buckey hopes that the study will develop methods for identifying who among those with HIV are at risk for hearing loss and how frequently they should undergo a hearing screening.

Read the full story, published 2/2/2012 by The Hearing Journal.

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