Hearing loss is a growing problem around the world. The crux of the issue, according to doctors, is that the modern world exposes our ears to a constant onslaught of sound, resulting in unprecedented levels of noise-induced hearing loss that is poised to affect hundreds of millions of people across the globe.
Fortunately, researchers are working on new hearing loss solutions. Unlike mechanical hearing aids that attempt to compensate for hearing deficiency, these new methods work by actually regrowing the damaged parts of the inner ear.
Without question, in the coming years a lot of people, many in their 20s and 30s, are going to start to lose their hearing. However, the scope of that problem means that there will be tremendous financial upside for anyone who can find a solution. As a result, venture capitalists are pouring millions of dollars into biotech firms working on methods to regenerate the kinds of cells that, when damaged, cause hearing loss.
These solutions include using stem-cell treatments, medications and even gene therapy to repair the cochlea, which naturally starts to break down as people age. Alternatively, other companies are developing methods for destroying the free radicals that build up in our bodies and damage the sensitive hair cells in the inner ear.
Unfortunately though, these next-generation solutions are still years away from becoming reality. So what about stemming the tide of hearing loss now?
One possible solution comes in the form of an experimental drug that can reduce the effects of noise-induced hearing loss. So far, the drug has been tested on soldiers to reduce the ringing in their hears and hearing loss that they incurred as a result of noise pollution, antibiotics and exposure to radiation. In clinical trials, the drug has proven effective, but it still needs to pass several more trials and get approval from the FDA before it can become publicly available.
In the meantime, there are steps that you can take to preserve your hearing. The first step is to figure out whether or not you're at a high risk for noise-induced hearing loss. Without question, military occupations carry a high risk, as do jobs in construction, mining, farming and even working in music venues. For professionals in these fields, investing in high-quality hearing protection, such as custom-made earbuds, is highly recommended.
Next generation solutions to hearing loss may be decades away from becoming reality. But if you remain conscious of your exposure to risk factors and take preventative steps now, you may not even need these solutions once they finally arrive.
If you or someone you know would like more information about hearing loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation at Find Hearing Aids or contact one of our representatives today!