The hope of tackling the root cause of hearing loss has been raised as scientists used a novel approach to get to the root of the impairment. Using the new approach, researchers at the of University of South Carlifonia (USC) in Los Angeles and Harvard University succeeded in making the new medication to latch onto the inner ear so that it could carry out its function without being flushed out.
These are contained in the findings of a new study which was published in the journal ‘Bioconjugate Chemistry’. Although, the researchers have tested the drug which is in the form of a gel or liquid, on animal tissues in a petri dish, their next step would be to test the drug on animals and thereafter move on to human clinical trials, once the second stage of the trial proved successful.
Should the researchers succeed in creating the drug, it could help millions of people suffering from hearing problems, the study findings showed. The hearing aids continue to help many people to communicate and participate fully in daily activities without addressing the root cause of the hearing impairment. Some 900 million people could suffer from disabling hearing loss by 2050, according to new estimates released by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Currently 466 million people worldwide suffer from disabling hearing loss, 34 million of whom are children. This is up from 360 million people five years ago.
The main reasons for this increase is a growing ageing population and the persistence of risks such as ear and vaccinepreventable infections like measles, mumps and rubella; the use of medicines that can harm hearing such as those used to treat drugresistant tuberculosis (TB) and malaria; and exposure to loud sounds through personal audio devices and in entertainment venues and workplaces.