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One of the central activities of the Hough Ear Institute team is to pioneer new research that targets distinct patient groups with different types of hearing loss and inner ear disorders.  In doing this, we generate ideas and conduct initial proof-of-concept studies to test the validity of new technologies or approaches.  If these studies are successful, they can provide evidence that our treatment strategy or medication may be clinically useful for one or more patient populations experiencing auditory dysfunction.

An emerging and very common problem is something called “hidden hearing loss.” Patients with “hidden hearing loss” have a great difficulty understanding words or speech, particularly with background noise like in a loud restaurant or with background music playing. These individuals can often have difficulty hearing or making out words on the television.

This loss of hearing clarity is called “hidden hearing loss” because the types of auditory tests performed in the clinic often do not recognize this kind of hearing loss, leading to “normal-looking” test results for hearing function.

This type of hearing loss can result from noise exposures, aging, or toxins. The toxins can damage the tiny nerve endings that transmit the signals from the inner ear hair cells to the brain. Very interestingly and surprisingly, our pill technology appears to be able to successfully regrow these lost nerve endings and restore hearing in initial animal modeling studies.  As a further proof-of-concept for this, we want to determine if the pill technology can restore these important nerve connections in animals with long-standing “hidden hearing loss.”  If successful, the results from these studies would be very exciting, because many people with this condition could be treated with our proprietary pill technology and possibly avoid the need for hearing aids.

A key component to staying relevant in today’s research environment is to continue to adapt our ideas and therapies to emerging issues in the sphere of hearing loss. The commitment of HEI remains to restore hearing worldwide, and this includes exploring the newest problems encountered by patients and hearing loss professionals. We believe that through continued research and support we can further improve the lives of those suffering from hearing loss and the effects thereof.

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7 Comments, RSS

  • Matt Tyykila

    says on:
    November 1, 2018 at 12:42 PM

    I’ve been living with severe hyperacusis, tinnitus and hearing loss for years due to military service. Your drug sounds like an answer to many prayers. Is HEI accepting volunteers to test this regenerative medicine? If so, how can I sign up?

    • Admin

      says on:
      November 2, 2018 at 8:00 AM

      Hi Matt, and thanks for asking great questions. At this time we are still in laboratory phases for our research. Once the trials move to FDA clinical process, the tests will be regulated by a third party outside of HEI. As such, we can’t guarantee anyone a place in these trials. But we encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter, like our Facebook page, and check the website often. These are the best and fastest ways to get breaking news on research!

      • Tyykila Matt

        says on:
        November 2, 2018 at 9:42 AM

        Thanks for your quick reply! I’ll follow your advice to stay informed.

        I’m hopeful that your hearing regenerative product comes to market soon.

  • Elizabeth Schad

    says on:
    November 2, 2018 at 10:02 PM

    My hearing loss and tinnitus is due to noise, water, and extreme pressure changes. Had fun doing it, but now it is hard to live with. Tonight my ears are buzzing and ringing quite loudly ! It takes concentrating on something else very hard in order to ignore it. Very difficult to hear people talk, especially my grandchildren.
    Grew up on Lake Erie: swimming, diving, skiing, and scuba diving. Played first chair trombone in front of percussion for nine years. Topping it off with a steep, high speed dive with extreme reverse thrusters into LaGuardia Airport. Haven’t heard right since.
    Please consider me for your program. Dr. Dyer put a tube in my ear which has kept it infection free for four years. Thank you.

    • Admin

      says on:
      November 5, 2018 at 8:01 AM

      Thanks for your comment Elizabeth. It’s stories like yours that keep us motivated and working hard in the lab. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us!

  • John Luis

    says on:
    November 10, 2018 at 12:18 AM

    Good advice. I’m hopeful that your hearing regenerative product comes to market soon.

    • Admin

      says on:
      November 12, 2018 at 8:08 AM

      Thank you John! We appreciate you saying so.