It's a mumble out there

February 13, 2001

Bone-jarring, traumatic noise generated by machinery, gunshots, jet engines, and rock concerts can cause hearing loss - and hearing loss is expensive. Noise induced hearing problems costs the Navy some $69 million dollars a year. The Veterans Administration spends over $300 million a year on disability compensation and treatment for hearing loss- the single largest disability expenditure it has. But now there is momentous news in the world of auditory medicine: a U.S. Patent has just been issued for the invention first reported on two years ago that introduces antioxidants to the inner ear to not only reduce damage to auditory tissues and reduce hearing loss due to noise, but - in some cases - to actually reverse it.

The research that led to the invention - an antioxidant "cocktail" pumped directly to the inner ear cochlear through a microcatheter - is funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR), and is being conducted at the Naval Hospital Center in San Diego.

"In the ear, it is the auditory receptors in the cochlea that actually hear sound," says Lt. Cmdr. David Street, ONR program manager for the project. "What we've been able to do is repair and re-grow the tiny auditory hair cells inside the cochlea that are injured and damaged when exposed to traumatic noise. Those auditory hair cells are connected to nerve cells, which are connected to the brain. Destroy those cells, and what you get is the sound of silence."

With the microcatheter, the drugs are dispensed at regular intervals for a two-week period directly to the affected area. They can be delivered before, during or after the noise trauma or exposure. Related research indicates that the new method of treatment, now undergoing clinical testing required for FDA approval, may also help treat Meniere's Disease - a balance disorder caused by excessive inner ear fluid.
-end-


Office of Naval Research

Related Hearing Loss Articles from Brightsurf:

Proof-of-concept for a new ultra-low-cost hearing aid for age-related hearing loss
A new ultra-affordable and accessible hearing aid made from open-source electronics could soon be available worldwide, according to a study published September 23, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Soham Sinha from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia, US, and colleagues.

Ultra-low-cost hearing aid could address age-related hearing loss worldwide
Using a device that could be built with a dollar's worth of open-source parts and a 3D-printed case, researchers want to help the hundreds of millions of older people worldwide who can't afford existing hearing aids to address their age-related hearing loss.

Understanding the link between hearing loss and dementia
Scientists have developed a new theory as to how hearing loss may cause dementia and believe that tackling this sensory impairment early may help to prevent the disease.

Study uncovers hair cell loss as underlying cause of age-related hearing loss
In a study of human ear tissues, scientists have demonstrated that age-related hearing loss is mainly caused by damage to hair cells.

Hair cell loss causes age-related hearing loss
Age-related hearing loss has more to do with the death of hair cells than the cellular battery powering them wearing out, according to new research in JNeurosci.

How hearing loss in old age affects the brain
If your hearing deteriorates in old age, the risk of dementia and cognitive decline increases.

Examining associations between hearing loss, balance
About 3,800 adults 40 and older in South Korea participating in a national health survey were included in this analysis that examined associations between hearing loss and a test of their ability to retain balance.

Veterinarians: Dogs, too, can experience hearing loss
Just like humans, dogs are sometimes born with impaired hearing or experience hearing loss as a result of disease, inflammation, aging or exposure to noise.

Victorian child hearing-loss databank to go global
A unique databank that profiles children with hearing loss will help researchers globally understand why some children adapt and thrive, while others struggle.

Hearing loss, dementia risk in population of Taiwan
A population-based study using data from the National Health Insurance Research Database of Taiwan suggests hearing loss is associated with risk of dementia.

Read More: Hearing Loss News and Hearing Loss Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.