About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Simple Treatment can Help Minimize Hearing Loss

by Hannah Joy on May 8, 2018 at 6:06 PM
Font : A-A+

Simple Treatment can Help Minimize Hearing Loss

An easy way to preserve hearing function has been discovered. Injecting a salt- or sugar-based solution into the middle ear can reduce hearing loss triggered by loud noises, reveals a new study.

The study was from the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the results of the study were published in PNAS.

Advertisement


It's well known that exposure to extremely loud noises, whether it's an explosion, a firecracker or even a concert can lead to permanent hearing loss. But knowing how to treat noise-induced hearing loss, which affects about 15 percent of Americans, has largely remained a mystery.

Deafening sound

To develop a treatment for noise-induced hearing loss, the researchers first had to understand its mechanisms. They built a tool using novel miniature optics to image inside the cochlea, the hearing portion of the inner ear, and exposed mice to a loud noise similar to that of a roadside bomb.
Advertisement

They discovered that two things happen after exposure to a loud noise: sensory hair cells, which are the cells that detect sound and convert it to neural signals, die, and the inner ear fills with excess fluid, leading to the death of neurons.

"That buildup of fluid pressure in the inner ear is something you might notice if you go to a loud concert," says the study's corresponding author John Oghalai, MD, chair and professor of the USC Tina and Rick Caruso Department of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery and holder of the Leon J. Tiber and David S. Alpert Chair in Medicine. "When you leave the concert, your ears might feel full and you might have ringing in your ears. We were able to see that this buildup of fluid correlates with neuron loss." Both neurons and sensory hair cells play critical roles in hearing.

"The death of sensory hair cells leads to hearing loss. But even if some sensory hair cells remain and still work, if they're not connected to a neuron, then the brain won't hear the sound," Oghalai says. The researchers found that sensory hair cell death occurred immediately after exposure to loud noise and was irreversible. Neuron damage, however, had a delayed onset, opening a window of opportunity for treatment.

A simple solution

The buildup of fluid in the inner ear occurred over a period of a few hours after loud noise exposure and contained high concentrations of potassium. To reverse the effects of the potassium and reduce the fluid buildup, salt- and sugar-based solutions were injected into the middle ear, just through the eardrum, three hours after noise exposure.

The researchers found that treatment with these solutions prevented 45-64 percent of neuron loss, suggesting that the treatment may offer a way to preserve hearing function.

The treatment could have several potential applications, Oghalai explains. "I can envision soldiers carrying a small bottle of this solution with them and using it to prevent hearing damage after exposure to blast pressure from a roadside bomb," he says. "It might also have potential as a treatment for other diseases of the inner ear that are associated with fluid buildup, such as Meniere's disease."

Oghalai and his team plan to conduct further research on the exact sequence of steps between fluid buildup in the inner ear and neuron death, followed by clinical trials of their potential treatment for noise-induced hearing loss.



Source: Eurekalert
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Black Tea Protects against Blood Pressure and Heart Diseases
Green Mediterranean Diet may Help Repair Age-Related Brain Damages
Cervical Cancer Awareness Month 2022
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Tinnitus Presbycusis Acoustic Neuroma Meniere’s Disease Hearing Aids Hearing Tests in Newborns Hearing Loss Usher Syndrome Alport Syndrome Audiometry 

Recommended Reading
Children with Hearing Loss are Better at Learning Languages
Children with hearing loss have higher capacity for learning languages, even if they have poor ......
Mifepristone – Abortion Drug for Tumor That Causes Hearing Loss
Mifepristone may halt growth of human vestibular schwannoma, an intracranial tumor that causes ......
A Form of Hereditary Hearing Loss May be Prevented
Preservation of hearing, and preventing deafness, in humans with USH3 syndrome could become a ......
Genes Critical That may Cause Hearing Loss Discovered
The cause of a particular hearing loss is important to understand since it factors heavily into ......
Acoustic Neuroma
Acoustic neuroma is a benign intercranial tumor involving the myelin-forming Schwann cells of the ...
Alport Syndrome
Hereditary Nephritis, more commonly known as Alport Syndrome, is a genetic condition that is charact...
Audiometry
Audiometry or the hearing test helps to determine the ability of a person to hear various sounds and...
Hearing Aids
Hearing aid is an electronic device that helps people with hearing loss to hear more and communicate...
Hearing Tests in Newborns
Ideally, screening tests for hearing loss should be conducted before the infant is 1 month of age....
Meniere’s Disease
Meniere’s disease is a condition of unknown cause in which the patient experiences symptoms of verti...
Presbycusis
Presbycusis (age related hearing loss) is the gradual loss of hearing that occurs as people get olde...
Tinnitus
Tinnitus is the perception of ringing, hissing, or other sound within the ears when no corresponding...
Usher Syndrome
Usher syndrome is a rare genetic disease which is the leading cause of deaf-blindness in humans....

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2022

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use
open close
CONSULT A DOCTOR
I have read and I do accept terms of use - Telemedicine

Advantage Medindia: FREE subscription for 'Personalised Health & Wellness website with consultation' (Value Rs.300/-)