National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research (NCRAR)
A crucial focus of the NCRAR is to develop and evaluate new clinical interventions and to engineer and test new technologies for the rehabilitation of Veterans with auditory and balance disorders. Auditory dysfunction leads to deficits in both communication and awareness of the auditory environment, and can lead to debilitating tinnitus. Balance disorders may lead to devastating falls in aging Veterans. The negative effect that these deficits have on quality of life is a significant issue for many Veterans. A hearing aid is the most common technological intervention for hearing-impaired Veterans. NCRAR investigators evaluate advances in technology that have the potential to address difficult hearing problems and investigate how to improve signal processing and fitting algorithms. Center investigators are also evaluating the benefit of therapies for reducing bothersome tinnitus such as Progressive Tinnitus Management, use of sound-based therapies that stimulates the frequency region around the patient’s tinnitus pitch, or treatment with prescription medications. Our researchers consider the whole patient. For example, NCRAR studies have yielded clinical tools for health care providers in various disciplines (audiology, physical therapy, neurology, etc.) to take an interprofessional approach to treating patients with somatosensory tinnitus or TBI.
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