New treatments may soon transform lives of people with hearing loss

Charity Action on Hearing Loss has released its latest update on the progress that it is making to accelerate the development of technology and treatments for people living with deafness, tinnitus and hearing loss.

One in six people in the UK have a hearing loss which can have a devastating impact on their ability to communicate, which can make everyday life a real challenge, whether that’s at work, at school or when socializing and spending time with friends and family.

The latest Hearing Progress report highlights the significant progress made by the charity over the last year such as finding ways to study human inner ear cells outside the body, which will help speed up the discovery of new treatments to protect and regenerate cells vital to hearing.

Substantial advancements have been made towards understanding how loud noise leads to permanent changes in brain activity that are linked to tinnitus and how we might be able to prevent these changes. The charity has also supported research that aims to prevent deafness caused by treatment using chemotherapeutic drugs for young cancer patients through a revolutionary new technique using magnetic fields to effectively and non-invasively deliver therapy into the cochlea of an ear.

Action on Hearing Loss Director of Research Dr Ralph Holme said:

We believe cures for hearing loss and tinnitus are within touching distance, with research that we have funded already having an impact by transforming people’s lives through the development of enhanced cochlear implants, better hearing aids and improved diagnosis.

If we are to avoid a looming hearing health crisis both here in the UK and abroad, we must act now to work towards a future in which effective medical devices, treatments and cures for hearing loss and tinnitus are available to everyone who wants and needs them. To reach that goal, we need research, which we need to fund now.

We would like to thank the generous backing of our charity supporters while we continue to work collaboratively with the pharmaceutical and technology sector to increase their involvement – but a chronic lack of funding is slowing progress. Urgent action is needed by public, private and charity funders to address the chronic under funding of this important, but far too long neglected area of research.

Action on Hearing Loss is the largest donor funded hearing loss charity in the world with the charity last year investing £1.7million in funding for more than 100 research projects around the globe to find treatments and technology to support those with deafness, hearing loss and tinnitus to live the life they choose.



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