Illustrations of scientists in white coats checking beakers full of fluid

Today’s Hearing Research Offers Hope for the Future

Scientists. They’re just like us: always looking for ways to help people hear and live their best. It starts with uncovering the mysteries of hearing loss, which can require a lot of resources. That’s why we love seeing important research initiatives get the funding needed to move forward.

Check out these three exciting developments:  

AUDITORY PROCESSING

Can stress early in life affect children’s ability to make sense of what they hear? A $2.3 million grant awarded by the U.S. National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders at the National Institutes of Health will help Northeast Ohio Medical University explore just that. The funding will help power an investigation into the role of early-life stress on auditory processing — especially among children with conductive hearing loss. Per the school’s website, the research in part “will provide a focus for future experiments to determine how best …

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Illustration of pills for ototoxicity and hearing health

The Silent Hearing Danger

Can Aspirin Hurt Your Hearing?

What Is Ototoxicity?

The definition of ototoxicity, in its simplest form, is ear poisoning (“oto” = ear, “toxicity” = poisoning). A substance is considered ototoxic if it is known to cause hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus after being ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. The drug, chemical, or other agent damages the inner ear or vestibulo-cochlear nerve, which sends balance and hearing information to the brain from the inner ear.  

What Causes Ototoxicity?

Medications Today there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market. These include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease. Some common medications that can cause temporary ototoxicity are aspirin, quinine (to treat malaria), and loop diuretics (to treat specific hearing and kidney conditions).

Pregnant women may be at risk of exposing their unborn child to ototoxic substances, such as Accutane, Dilantin, alcohol, …

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My Tinnitus Has a Melody — Is That Possible?

Musical Ear Syndrome

My Tinnitus Has a Melody — Is That Possible?

You probably know someone who experiences tinnitus — a ringing, buzzing, pulsing, hissing, or humming with no external source. People often call it “ringing in the ears,” and it affects approximately 15% of the U.S. population, according to the American Tinnitus Association.

But did you know some people experience a form of tinnitus in which they hear actual melodies? It’s called musical ear syndrome (or musical tinnitus).

What Is Musical Ear Syndrome?

Musical ear syndrome (MES) is when someone hears music that has no external source. Some people hear a single instrument playing a simple melody; others hear several instruments playing a complex piece of music; and still others hear a voice singing, with or without accompaniment. The most common melodies, however, are hymns, Christmas carols, and patriotic music.

How is this different than when you can’t …

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