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A Cure for Hearing?

I often have patients ask me in jest “When will you figure out a cure for my hearing loss?”

While advances in hearing aids are becoming more and more sophisticated, as to mimic some of the functions of a healthy inner ear, we are still a long way out from reaching perfection with a cure. We have an earlier blog post on this topic, but here is some addtional information about where we stand on a cure for permanent hearing loss.

is-there-a-cureThe type of science that is leading the way in realizing a cure is called âBioinformatics,â or the study and collection of information on species that are able to regenerate and cure hearing naturally. Some of the species being observe which successfully restore hearing, include most amphibians, zebra-fish and even mammals such as young chicks. The leading scientists work for a group called The Hearing Restoration Project (HRP).

The HRP have a 3 phase mission in completing their hopes in curing hearing. Phase I is comparative analysis or in other words, comparing several types of species’ genes that are responsible for inner ear hair cell regeneration and comparing those to other species that cannot regenerate inner ear hair cell function. This phase is almost complete! Phase II will be data collection about âpathway validationâ or identifying the actual genes that can repair hearing through specialized replication of hair cells. They will then attempt synthesizing these genes and processes in mammals who naturally cannot replicate hair cells, such as mice. Phase III is clinical trials or developing ways to implement them successfully in humans with known hearing loss due to inner ear damage.

If we see phase III completed in our lifetime then ear plugs, TV ears and hearing aids will become obsolete. But until then, we sure love seeing you and having you in our offices. As of now, a correctly fit hearing device is the best resolution for communication for those with permanent hearing loss. Talk with us today regarding any questions you have about hearing, clarity and tinnitus. We are all earsJ

*information taken from http://hearinghealthfoundation.org/?pg=blog&blogid=133

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