Hough Ear Institutes Doctor Headshots

Have you ever wondered why you seem to have normal hearing, but have trouble in a crowded room? Do you struggle to hear when there is a lot of background noise?

This may be a symptom of mild, increasing loss of nerve connections. These connections send complex sound information from your cochlea to your brain.

Your cochlea has thousands of small nerve connections inside. These are ribbon synapses. They work together to send high-resolution sound information to your brain. Damaged or missing synapses make it hard for your brain to receive and interpret competing signals.

We want to know if the pill will reverse lost sound resolution. Our pill restores nerve connections, and we think this could be a solution. So, we’ve joined with two organizations to examine this exciting research. The first is the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology (OCAST). And the second is Oblato, Inc., our commercialization partner. They have joined HEI to examine how and when information is lost after a mild noise trauma.

This “hidden hearing loss” could be an indicator for progressive hearing loss. It could also warn of other auditory conditions like tinnitus or hyperacusis. Gaining a better understanding of the problem and creating a strategy is important. Then we can create a plan to stop or reverse this early warning sign of other issues. It could have a wide range of benefits for many hearing and communication disorders. And it could work to enrich the way we diagnose and treat even mild symptoms of hearing function.

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