Researchers find potential cure for noise-induced hearing loss - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Researchers find a potential cure for noise-induced hearing loss

Researchers find potential cure for noise-induced hearing loss

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A new procedure could soon help people who have noise-induced hearing loss. A new procedure could soon help people who have noise-induced hearing loss.
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

If you know someone who works in a construction site or listens to their music a little too loudly, then this story is for you. Very loud noises are one of the most common causes of hearing loss. Now a new study says that loss of hearing may not have to be permanent.

Almost 50 million Americans are affected by hearing loss. Dr Jennifer Holdman of Livingston Audiology and Hearing Aid Center gives tests to determine noise induced hearing loss.

"We have noise exposure from occupations. Right now, hearing aids are the only solution. Nothing's perfect but we can get people where they need to be able to communicate clearly with their loved ones," says Holdman.

The cause of this type of hearing loss is the destruction of sensory hair cells in the cochlea. A new animal study found that by applying an enzyme-inhibiting drug to the cochlea of deaf newborn mice, they were able to induce supporting cells that transformed into hair cells.

Holdman added, "I think to be able to tell patients there's a cure for your hearing loss would be an amazing thing."

Holdman envisions the new treatment to be an invasive procedure.

"(It would be a) little more of a surgical procedure to get to the sensory region of hearing. It's back behind your skull, basically they would have to get inside," she said.

The door may be open for a cure for noise induced hearing loss as well as deafness.

"I've had patients ask me so many times, ‘Is there a surgery or medicine that we could take to get our hearing back?' The answer always has to be no," Holdman said.

Thanks to medical advances, a 'no' may soon be a 'yes.'

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