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Hearing loss and deafness: Normal hearing and impaired hearing

The actual organ of hearing is the cochlea in the inner ear. The cochlea receives sound waves and passes them on to the brain. This works smoothly in people with normal hearing. The ears receive sound waves and change them into signals which are sent along nerves to the brain. The brain then analyzes the signals, recognizes them as sounds and interprets them – for instance, as soft music, loud honking or human voices.Sound waves are created when an object moves, for example when a guitar string or speaker cone vibrates. Whether we hear a sound depends both on the power of the sound (“sound level” or “sound pressure level”) as well as on the frequency (or “pitch”) of the vibration.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 12, 2014

Hearing loss and deafness: Overview

In Germany and other countries, it is routine practice to test the hearing of newborn babies, to be able to diagnose and treat hearing problems early on. This can help improve language development in hearing-impaired children.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: March 12, 2014

Antiviral drugs for sudden hearing loss (without known cause)

Idiopathic sudden sensorineural hearing loss (ISSHL) is sudden loss of hearing where clinical assessment has failed to reveal a cause. Patients may also suffer from additional symptoms such as tinnitus (a background ringing noise), together with dizziness and a sensation of fullness in the ear. Prompt investigation is essential to identify and treat the hearing impairment. In a large proportion of patients, however, no cause can be found.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2012

Hearing aids for tinnitus in people with hearing loss

Tinnitus describes 'ringing', 'whooshing' or 'hissing' sounds that are heard in the absence of any corresponding external sound. About 10% of people experience tinnitus and for some it has a significant negative impact on their quality of life. Tinnitus is commonly associated with some form of hearing loss and is possibly the result of hearing lossrelated changes in brain activity. It is logical to think, therefore, that providing people who have hearing loss and tinnitus with a hearing aid will not only improve their ability to hear sound but will also reduce their tinnitus symptoms. Hearing aids increase the volume at which people hear external sounds so this may help mask or cover up the tinnitus sound. They also improve communication, which may reduce the symptoms often associated with tinnitus such as stress or anxiety. Hearing aids may also improve tinnitus symptoms by reducing or reversing abnormal types of nerve cell activity that are thought to be related to tinnitus. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the evidence from high‐quality clinical trials that try to work out the effects hearing aids have on people's tinnitus. We particularly wanted to look at how bothersome their tinnitus is, how depressed or anxious tinnitus patients are and whether hearing aid use has an effect on patterns of brain activity thought to be associated with tinnitus.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2014

Tinnitus: Overview

Most people experience ringing in their ears every now and then, for instance after a loud concert. But some people constantly hear sounds such as a whistling noise for no apparent reason. Tinnitus can seriously affect your everyday life. Read what has been shown to help – and what hasn't.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 20, 2016

Enzyme replacement therapy with galsulfase for mucopolysaccharidosis type VI

We reviewed the evidence about the effectiveness and safety of treating mucopolysaccharidosis type VI by enzyme replacement therapy with galsulfase (a manufactured version of the enzyme arylsulphatase B) compared to other interventions, no intervention or placebo.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2016

Adding arginine to prevent necrotising enterocolitis in preterm infants

What is the issue? Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a condition in which inflammation damages an infant's gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The rate of NEC ranges from 4% to 22% in very low birth weight infants. Necrotising enterocolitis may be caused by an infant's immaturity, lack of blood flow to the GI tract and surface (mucosa) breakdown resulting from infection or feeding with formula. To protect the GI tract, the body makes a natural substance ‐ nitric oxide ‐ from the amino acid arginine. Plasma arginine concentrations are reported to be low in very low birth weight infants and preterm infants who develop NEC. Adding extra arginine to the feeding solution may prevent NEC.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Late Effects of Treatment for Childhood Cancer (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the health problems that continue or appear after cancer treatment has ended.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 25, 2017

Health care in Germany: Health insurance in Germany

All residents of Germany are required by law to have health insurance. About 85% of the population – around 70 million people – have statutory health insurance. You can find answers to some of the most common questions about health insurance costs, benefits and guiding principles here.Everyone who has statutory health insurance in Germany is entitled to the same health care – regardless of how much they pay for their insurance. The premium is determined solely by income level. Statutory health insurance (gesetzliche Krankenversicherung, GKV) is based on the principle of solidarity, so people who earn more money pay more than those who earn less, and healthy and ill people pay the same amount. In this way, if people get ill, the costs of their medical care and loss of earnings are shared by everyone with that insurance.The health insurance premium is the same across all statutory insurers – 14.6% of your gross income, but only up to a certain income level (Beitragsbemessungsgrenze). The employer and insured employee share the costs equally, paying 7.3% each. Insurers may charge extra fees if their insurance premiums and other funding sources are not enough to cover their costs.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: May 6, 2015

Underactive thyroid: Overview

If you suddenly start feeling tired and listless all the time and notice a slow pulse and constipation, you may wonder what the cause might be. These kinds of symptoms can have any number of causes, but they are typical of an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism). A blood test can tell you for sure whether you have it.

Informed Health Online [Internet] - Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

Version: October 8, 2014

Cannabis and Cannabinoids (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the use of Cannabis and cannabinoids in the treatment of cancer-related side effects, such as nausea and vomiting.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 13, 2017

Targeting lower or higher oxygen levels in preterm infants

Background: Giving additional ('supplemental') oxygen to babies born very early ('extremely preterm infants') who have breathing difficulties has been common practice since the 1940s. Despite this, there is little agreement as to what levels of oxygen will maximise short‐ or long‐term survival and development. Technology ('pulse oximetry') that can easily measure the level of oxygen in a baby's blood (oxygen saturation) has been in widespread use since the 1990s. Despite this, until recently there were no randomised trials that had tested whether it is better to target lower or higher oxygen saturation levels in extremely preterm infants, from birth or soon thereafter. As a result there is a great deal of variation in the target ranges aimed for in different newborn care units around the world.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews: Plain Language Summaries [Internet] - John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Version: 2017

Depression (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of depression in adults and children who have cancer.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: May 12, 2017

Childhood Ependymoma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood ependymoma.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 7, 2017

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors Treatment Overview (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of various childhood brain tumors.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: February 8, 2017

Childhood Brain Stem Glioma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood brain stem glioma.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: June 9, 2017

Childhood Craniopharyngioma Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood craniopharyngioma

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 26, 2016

Chronic Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of chronic myeloproliferative neoplasms.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: August 5, 2016

Childhood Astrocytomas Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood astrocytomas.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: April 7, 2017

Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis Treatment (PDQ®): Patient Version

Expert-reviewed information summary about the treatment of childhood Langerhans Cell Histiocytosis.

PDQ Cancer Information Summaries [Internet] - National Cancer Institute (US).

Version: October 3, 2016

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