Hearing loss in all age groups

Awareness on hearing loss in the USA
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The Chicago Sun Times recently ran a piece in its lifestyles column on the prevalence of hearing loss in all age groups and some of the technology and research that is expected to start providing solutions.

Hearing loss affects all age groups, including younger adults. The article gives the example of 19-year-old musician, Matt Rusinek, who has been into music since he was 12. He says that ringing in his ears got worse and worse so he decided to act quickly and buy a pair of custom-molded silicone earplugs.

“As a DJ, you can have the most expensive mixer, digital turntable and MacBook, but it’s meaningless if you lose your hearing,” Rusinek says. “Music is the way I live. My life revolves around music. Not to mention, I enjoy waking up and hearing the birds and going to bed and hearing the crickets.”

Alongside prevention initiatives, biotech companies are also working on regenerative solutions, such as experimental drugs, gene therapy and stem cell approaches. The article cites the Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield where Kathleen C.M. Campbell and her team are testing precisely this type of drug.

“We’ve used the experimental drug in clinical trials with no adverse effects,” says Campbell. Her group has been awarded a USD 2.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to further develop the drug, along with a USD 2.6 million grant to administer the drug to military personnel at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, as part of a clinical trial. Many other biotech projects are receiving financial backing from venture capitalists and venture-funding groups.

Source: Chicago Sun Times