One of the intriguing things about publishing The Hearing Blog is looking at the list of search engine terms people all over the world use to reach our humble publication. Sometimes, we like to copy & paste them into Google to see where we rank, and it heartens us when we are near or even at the very top of the list, as it shows us Google believes our content is relevant. So, with that in mind, here is a list of some of the more popular terms and how many hits they have, with a discussion on each (note that variations in spelling are combined for the hit count). When you click on the term, a new window will pop up in Google so you can see where it ranks.
• “Advanced Bionics recall” (757 hits): This makes us both heartened as we delivered relevant content, but also saddened because these articles were on Advanced Bionics’ fifth implant recall in less than a decade. It’s sad because they have, by far, the best implant technology, superior to the Med-El i100 and light years ahead of Cochlear CI512; and many thousands of people in fact benefit from them. However, their poor implant reliability has been proven repeatedly, with their assurances of “we fixed it this time” being (deservedly) subject to ever-increasing scrutiny by the medical device branch of the FDA. We are saddened by this as every time there is an implant recall from any maufacturer, the anti-CI crowd seizes on it and tars with a broad brush CI’s in general.
• “John Niparko” (27 hits) and “Kirsty Gardner-Berry” (15 hits): We really like both of these outstanding people: Dr Gardner-Berry is an audiologist and researcher at Sydney Cochlear Implant Centre (SCIC) and National Acoustics Labs (the people who bring you the NAL hearing aid fitting prescriptive methods), and is one of the world’s leading authorities on ANSD. We had the pleasure of meeting her at the Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder Conference 2012, and came away very impressed with her knowledge of this very complex subject. Dr Niparko practices at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore where he runs their world-class CI program. According to our sources inside the CI manufacturers, he is one of the very top CI surgeons in the world, not only handling difficult cases other surgeons turn down, but also cleaning up the messes other surgeons make (including one that happened to a close friend). I know a number of people who were implanted by Dr Niparko, and all of them have outstanding outcomes. In addition, Dr Niparko is on the boards of The River School and the Hearing Loss Association of America, where he hosts very popular convention workshops on the latest advances in hearing and also fields any & all questions in his “Ask the Doctor” sessions.
► June 18th, 2015 Update: Dr Niparko decamped Johns Hopkins in February 2013 for sunny southern California, where he whipped the USC-Keck program into shape. According to their PR rep he has performed 15 implant procedures in the last two weeks alone; and this is Very Good News for the hearing impaired community, giving the surgeons across town at House a run for their money.
• “Starkey AMP review” (57 hits): This came from Frustration with so-called “minimal” hearing loss, where we discuss various factors where the pure tone audiogram does not adequately convey the patient’s communications difficulty, either through peripheral or central auditory deficits, and how the Starkey AMP and the (now-discontinued) Songbird FlexFit are indeed helping people overcome their listening difficulties.
• “Dr Shelley Borgia” (202 hits; when combined with “Matt Lauer hearing aids” & related, 279 hits): This one has been at the top of the rankings since it appeared, as it related to what was otherwise a dynamite seven minute NBC Today segment on hearing loss, seen by many millions of people on August 10th, 2011. Unfortunately, the title of our article on this sums up our equal disappointment with audiologist Dr Shelley Borgia and subject Jim McDade: Less-than-honest NBC Today segment on hearing loss. We have invited Dr Borgia to respond either in a comment or in a standalone article, unedited; but so far, despite 481 people googling her name or her NBC Today appearance reading our article, we have received no response from her. Update (6/26/2012): In the last 3o days, the total number of searches with “Shelley Borgia” has climbed to 266, including several that she has left Park Avenue Acoustics.
• “Adiabatic vs isothermal propagation” (24 hits) This came from Rarefaction and condensation… or should it be compression? …and it warms our hearts as we made the case that using the term “condensation” in acoustics is improper, as it implies a gas-liquid phase change; and instead “compression” should be used as the opposite to “rarefaction.”
• “Advanced Bionics layoffs” (173 hits): This article was a world scoop when we broke the news on that Friday night, with some AB employees reading about it even before they received their pink slips when they reported to work the next Monday; and in fact our scoop it was quoted in The Wall Street Journal Sadly, Advanced Bionics’ reliability problems has hurt a lot of good people besides just their implant recipients: In fact, there were over a hundred people laid off around the world just in that Sonova division alone; and more saw the handwriting on the wall and headed to the exits even before the axe fell on their necks… And the remaining people saw their retirement accounts take a big hit, as Sonova stock lost one-third of it’s value.
• “Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder” (82 hits) These hits came from our entries on the Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder Conference 2012 in March. This reminds us we need to post the rest of the articles which have the papers. Also, as a “teaser” we have nearing completion an article on this titled The “Black Swan” of Deafness: Auditory Neuropathy/Dys-synchrony (now called “Auditory Neuropathy Spectrum Disorder”), which after completion will be sent out for vetting before publication~