Studies Show Hearing Loss Reversed by Gene Therapy

Joel Eisenberg

The science is in its nascent stages, and studies are yielding optimistic results.

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=0qM4Gn_0i2i8ew900
Hearing TestMark Paton, Unsplash

Author’s Note

No medical advice is offered herein on the part of the author. It is imperative for anyone who suffers from an ear or hearing disorder of any type to visit their doctor. All listed theories and facts within this article are fully-attributed to several medical experts and scientists as listed on the following webpages: Wikipedia.org, Salk.edu, and HealthyHearing.com.

Introduction

Wikipedia offers a highly-attributed and comprehensive overview of hearing loss: Hearing loss is a partial or total inability to hear. Hearing loss may be present at birth or acquired at any time afterwards. Hearing loss may occur in one or both ears. In children, hearing problems can affect the ability to acquire spoken language, and in adults it can create difficulties with social interaction and at work. Hearing loss can be temporary or permanent. Hearing loss related to age usually affects both ears and is due to cochlear hair cell loss. In some people, particularly older people, hearing loss can result in loneliness. Deaf people usually have little to no hearing.

In terms of causality, medical doctors and scientists have determined, per various studies as elucidated on the page: Hearing loss may be caused by a number of factors, including: genetics, ageing, exposure to noise, some infections, birth complications, trauma to the ear, and certain medications or toxins. A common condition that results in hearing loss is chronic ear infections.

Let us explore.

Hearing Loss, 2022

On August 8, Salk.edu published “Discovery Advances the Potential of Gene Therapy to Restore Hearing Loss,” an article that elaborated upon a lauded recent medical discovery: Scientists from the Salk Institute and the University of Sheffield co-led a study that shows promise for the development of gene therapies to repair hearing loss. In developed countries, roughly 80 percent of deafness cases that occur before a child learns to speak are due to genetic factors. One of these genetic components leads to the absence of the protein EPS8, which coincides with improper development of sensory hair cells in the inner ear. These cells normally have long hair-like structures, called stereocilia, that transduce sound into electrical signals that can be perceived by the brain. In the absence of EPS8, the stereocilia are too short to function, leading to deafness.

In terms of the science, the article further states that the hair cell function required for healthy hearing have been restored in mice for certain cells.

HealthyHearing.com, in its June 21st piece entitled “Hearing Loss Treatments,” lists several orthodox hearing loss treatments as determined by audiologists, such as hearing aids and cochlear implants, and repercussions if not treated: If you have trouble hearing, the first step is getting a hearing test and a thorough evaluation from a hearing care professional. In children, untreated hearing loss negatively impacts language development, learning, and social engagement. In adults, hearing loss makes communication a challenge, severely impacting quality of life. In fact, for people entering their retirement years, untreated hearing loss has been linked to several physical and psychological issues, ranging from cognitive decline and depression to an increased risk of trips and falls.

Interestingly, in a measure of how quickly science advances, the article also states, contrary to the promise of the aforementioned gene therapy study: Sensorineural hearing loss is permanent; hair cells can't be repaired once they're damaged.

Conclusion

To reiterate, only a medical professional can determine proper casualty and treatment for your ears. If you do not wear a hearing aid for any reason and yet are concerned that you may need one, contact an ear professional imminently.

If you believe ear drops, as another example, may be right for you, they are available only under a doctor’s prescription.

Contact your doctor for all related medical needs.

Thank you for reading.

Comments / 1

Published by

I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

Northridge, CA
131965 followers

More from Joel Eisenberg

Comments / 0