May 9, 2018. Lately, it seems as though every day there is some bit of ‘information’ on how you can improve your hearing – preferably without a hearing aid, thank you – or new research to ‘cure’ or ‘reverse’ hearing loss. In this blog posting, we’ll look at some of these initiatives, and you can decide for yourself if they have merit or are simply too good to possibly be true.
First, some new products, all of which have an app to be downloaded onto your smart phone:
- You know how you can go to a Dollar store and buy yourself a cheap pair of readers, which basically magnify what your eyes can see? They don’t replace prescription eyeglasses, but for those with mild vision loss, the readers can do the trick. You won’t be surprised to learn that there is a hearing loss version of readers, called ‘hearables’, which you can access via smart phone technology. Not as inexpensive as readers, they are still less expensive than hearing aids, and the app gives you a mini hearing test which then allows the app to customize itself for your needs. Interested? Read this man’s story: https://www.mnn.com/green-tech/gadgets-electronics/blogs/dont-call-iqbuds-boosts-hearing-aids-but-try-them.
- An Australian company offers a similar product, called ‘bluetooth buds’ that basically does the same thing as ‘hearables’, and they look the same. For that story, see this link: https://search.app.goo.gl/SB2QS.
- A third version of ‘hearables’ is called ‘Sonic Cloud’, which says it’s app can help you hear better when you use your smart phone to make a phone call, by allowing you to change the tone of a sound. Some of us hear lower tones better, others hear higher tones better, so it appears this app does more than amplify sound. See https://techcrunch.com/2017/10/12/soniccloud-raises-4m-to-bake-a-hearing-aid-into-phone-calls-through-an-app/ and https://www.soniccloud.com/.
Now, some new areas of research:
- An astonishing treatment by a team of researchers at the University of Southern California is proposing that hearing loss triggered by loud noises can be reversed by a salt and sugar solution. The premise? Fluid builds up in the inner ear a few hours after it’s been exposed to loud noise, and this fluid contains high concentrations of potassium. According to an article in Medical Xpress: “To reverse the effects of potassium and reduce the fluid buildup, salt- and sugar-based solutions were injected into the middle ear, just through the eardrum, three hours after noise exposure. The researchers found that treatment with these solutions prevented 45-64 percent of neuron loss, suggesting that the treatment may offer a way to preserve hearing function.” See https://search.app.goo.gl/Ft84o and http://neurosciencenews.com/noise-hearing-minimized-9002/.
- Researchers at the University of Southern California and Harvard University are working on medication, in the form of a liquid or gel, that attaches onto the inner ear to target damaged cells and encourage regeneration. Read more:
b)https://news.usc.edu/140224/new-study-shows-hope-for-hearing-loss/ and c)http://www.techtimes.com/articles/224649/20180407/hope-for-hearing-researchers-working-on-novel-approach-to-treat-hearing-loss.htm
- 70% of patients who take a chemotherapy drug, cisplatin, experience irreversible hearing loss. Now, researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital have published a research article in the March 7, 2018 Journal of Experimental Medicine, outlining a preventative treatment they hope will prevent cisplatin- and noise-induced hearing loss in patients. Read more: https://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/medication/new-drugs-could-help-prevent-hearing-loss.htm and https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/researchers-identify-drug-that-protects-mice-and-rats-against-hearing-loss.
- And finally, if you still didn’t have enough reasons to quit smoking, here’s another one. A Japanese study has found that smokers were 70% more likely to develop hearing loss than those who never smoked. Read more: https://www.sciencealert.com/smoking-causes-higher-risk-of-hearing-loss.
If you’ve tried any of these products or treatments please share your experience! And if you’ve tried any other treatments or products, let us know. You can email us at email@example.com or comment on our blog at https://theauralreport.wordpress.com. You can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI
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