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Hearing loss research gains momentum in 2015

New studies focus on drugs for the ear

2015 hearing loss research update from CHC's Laurie Hanin

Laurie Hanin, Ph.D., CCC-A Executive Director

2015 marks a year of unprecedented hearing loss research into a wide variety of drugs for the ear.

Pharmaceutical companies are finally embracing this field in anticipation of the growing hearing healthcare needs of an aging population. The Hearing Health Foundation is also doing important work through their Hearing Restoration Project, a consortium of 15 researchers with expertise in hair cell regeneration and ties to leading institutions worldwide.

The most significant developments are highlighted in a story in The New York Times that is suggested reading for all our CHC clients and friends.

Drugs that are being explored range from those designed to improve hearing after a hearing loss is already present or preventing hearing loss due to trauma from loud noises or ototoxic medications such as types of chemotherapy drugs or a class of antibiotics known as aminoglycosides.

While these drugs are still in the early stages of development and one has not yet been produced that truly restores lost hearing, it is reasonable to expect that the work will, ultimately, result in products that could potentially help thousands and thousands of people.

Hearing aid and cochlear implant technology has improved so dramatically over the past few years that there are very few people we cannot help hear better. However, there still is no replacement for the natural ear and drug treatment is an exciting new frontier.

Stay tuned for further updates in hearing loss research!

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