Independent Audiologists Australia – News

Dr Celene McNeill  was awarded the best presentation in audiology for her research on cochlear implant in unilateral hearing loss at the 9th Asia Pacific Symposium on  Cochlear Implants and Related Sciences ( APSCI 2013) held in Hyderabad India, November 2013.

Five members contributed to a multi clinic research project on tinnitus and hyperacusis, which was published in April 2013, in the journal Noise and Health. Led by AAAPP member, Myriam Westcott, the study investigated the symptoms of Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome, which include aural pain, blockage, mild vertigo / nausea, tympanic flutter, headache and muffled hearign, which is reported by many with tinnitus and hyperacusis. The syndrome (or collection of symptoms) is common after acoustic shock, and was reported in those suffering from tinnitus as well as hyperacusis. AAAPP members who co-authored the article and conducted the research in their clinics included Dr Celene McNeill, Dr Ross Dineen, Alison Chiam and Tricia Sharples. The full article can be downloaded here.

It is with sadness that AAAPP learned of the passing away of Life Member Dr Will Tonisson. Will’s contribution to research and clinical audiology is widely known within the Audiology community. Will held a special place in AAAPP. His life membership certificate was awarded to him at the AAAPP seminar in Melbourne in June 2012. Will’s enthusiam, insight and knowledge will be missed.

AAAPP Treasurer, Robin Laing, was nominated for the award of Treasurer of the Year in the Westpac business awards for not for profit organizations. The nomination for the award we made because of Robin’s remarkable accountability, tranparency and responsiveness in keeping AAAPP income and expenditure within a budget, ensuring savings for the association and at the same time ensuring high quality seminars to be available. AAAPP congratulates Robin on her nomination.

AAAPP hosted a promotional event on Sunday 1 July 2012 at the South Australian Museum, Adelaide. Over 50 people attended the event, most of whom were audiologists with an interest in AAAPP activities.

AAAPP was advised that Audiologists will receive Medicare item numbers for diagnostic audiology when the revised Medicare schedule is introduced on 1 November 2012. Referral by a medical specialist will be required. AAAPP welcomes this new development, having contributed to discussions with key stakeholders in Medicare to achieve this.

Dr Judith Boswell has been invited by the Australian General Practice Network (AGPN) to prepare a training package for primary health care workers to inform them about the 2010 update of the ‘Recommendations for Clinical Care Guidelines on the Management of Otitis Media in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Populations’. The training package includes a 2-3 hour Powerpoint presentation, facilitator’s notes and participant’s workbook. The seminar is to be delivered to primary health care workers around the country in 2012, via the Divisions of General Practice and Medical Locals. Anyone interested in attending these seminars should watch the AGPN website for information. The updated Guidelines are available for free download from the AGPN website or from the Department of Health and Ageing website.

Sharyn Lim, owner/operator of independent audiology clinic – Audiology Trio along with two other audiologists – won an award for “best new business” in the the Kippa Ring area, Queensland in 2011. Congratulations Sharyn.

Dr Celene McNeill discusses hearing loss with members of Better Hearing Australia, Central Coast, NSW – click here download

Xth International Tinnitus seminar, Brazil, 2011 – AAAPP members Myriam Westcott and coauthors from AAAPP Alison Chaim, Celene McNeill & Ross Dineen– win the Jack Vernon award for best poster

Named after tinnitus research pioneer and ATA-co founder, the late Jack A. Vernon Ph.D., the ITS 2011 announced the winner of the award for the best conference poster. These posters play a critical part in sharing ideas. They summarize the work that an investigator or team has being doing, present evidence, and form conclusions. These ideas are the bricks that form the structure, which leads to a better understanding of tinnitus and how to treat it. If and when the first cures for tinnitus are found, they will likely be based on this patient, rigorous accumulation of steady scientific work.

Dr. Vernon was, of course, researching tinnitus when practically nobody was willing to touch it with a ten-foot long wooden tongue depressor, since everyone knew that tinnitus could never be treated and patients just had to learn to live with it. Dr. Vernon’s legacy includes the legion of tinnitus researchers over the years who were educated and inspired by him. You can read more about Jack’s lasting impact on the tinnitus community through special tributes penned by his colleagues and those he mentored.

In presenting the award, Dr. Claudia Coelho commented on the need to combine basic research with treating patients. “Science without clinical perspective is empty,” she said. “Clinical treatment without science is blind. There can’t be advances without a dialogue between the two.”

Of the 95 submitted posters [it is rather stirring to think of it: 95 new ideas on how to tackle tinnitus], five finalists were chosen by a petit-committee formed by Drs. Ron Goodey, Jaqueline Sheldrake and Laurence McKenna. Of those five, one was awarded the Jack Vernon prize for originality, innovation, study design, analysis and ultimate impact on the field of tinnitus. That award went to […drum roll please. . .] the co-authors Myriam Westcott, Tanit Ganz Sanchez, Isabel Diges, Margaret Jastreboff, Ross Dineen, Celene McNeill, and Alison Chiam for their multicenter combined studies, in different countries, of a curious condition called Tonic Tensor Tympani Syndrome (TTTS). This is an involuntary anxiety-based condition where a tiny muscle in the ear called the tensor tympani goes into a frequent or continual spasm. This can trigger a whole chain of reactions in and around the ear and irritate the trigeminal nerve. All this can lead to a sense of fullness in the ear, pain around the ear, and a weird feeling called “tympanic flutter” which makes you feel like there’s a moth trapped in your ear. This condition can readily develop with tinnitus patients in a surprising prevalence, since exposure to sound can apparently trigger it. So, TTTS seems to be a complimentary mechanism to explain further sensations in many patients who are exposed to loud sounds, in addition to the outer hair cells damage.

Music To Your Ears: Exlploring the Relationship Between Music and Audiology was held at the Queensland Conservatorium, Southbank, Brisbane. A highlight was a radio intervew on ABC612’s Drive programme with invited speaker from the UK, Andy Schiach. The seminar clearly outlined the role of audiologists in education, counselling, advising and assisting musicians to maximise their hearing potential during the course of their careers and beyond. Below are some snapshots from the seminar, which was attended by over 60 delegates from 2 – 3 September 2011.

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