Many people who learn that they have hearing loss often struggle to come to terms with their new condition. While it can be difficult to adapt to hearing loss, it is comforting to know that there are a variety of different treatment options available to help people live a high-quality life.
Although your hearing healthcare professional will walk you through your hearing loss treatment options, it’s always helpful to know what might be available to you. Typically, when people think of hearing loss treatment, the first thing they think of is hearing aids. While hearing aids are certainly great devices, many people forget that there are other potential hearing loss treatments available.
One of the lesser known of these treatments is hearing restorative drugs. Although this medical advancement is still in its infancy, new studies are showing promising potential for the use of medication to treat hearing loss.
A New Study
A new study by researchers at the University of Iowa, Iowa City and the National Institutes of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) demonstrated the effectiveness of a new hearing restorative drug.
The study, which investigated the use of a small-molecule drug in preserving the hearing abilities of mice with a genetic form of progressive deafness (classified as DFNA27), found that the drug was able to partially restore hearing and save some sensory hair cells.
The drug worked by creating a template for the formation of a protein that is integral to the activation of inner ear hair cell survival and function. Without this protein, the hair cells in people with this condition would essentially die and cause deafness.
Genetic breakthroughs ultimately led to the success of this study and they allowed researchers to problem-solve their way to an effective drug. The researchers believe this is a major advancement in this type of medical technology because if it’s possible to treat this type of deafness in people, then similar approaches might work for other genetic forms of progressive hearing loss.
Ultimately, this study sets the foundations for future advancement in hearing restorative drug technology. With this newfound information and concepts, researchers can investigate the causes behind other forms of hereditary deafness to develop appropriate medications. Moreover, this technology could eventually pave the way for future drugs that treat non-hereditary forms of deafness or perhaps age and noise-related hearing loss.
Although this technology is still in its very early stages, the possibilities are limitless. That being said, there are a number of stages that any such medical advancement must go through before it will be readily available for consumer use. Thus, while the thought of this type of medication is exciting, it’s important to be realistic about your treatment options when talking with your hearing healthcare provider.
If you’re concerned about your hearing health, don’t hesitate to reach out to a hearing healthcare professional today. They can help diagnose any issues you might have and help you understand what treatment options might be available to you.