A new method for restoration of sensorineural hearing loss: a prospective clinical study

Summary

Background 

Sensorineural hearing loss, one of the most common diseases, has historically been regarded as an incurable and irreversible condition. The number of people with hearing loss has grown rapidly in recent years, because of the prevalence of environmental noise and the increase in the elderly population...

... Although hearing aids are provided as an alternative device to help hearing impaired people, no fundamental treatment is currently available. Several studies have shown that noise-induced hearing loss can be prevented by prior exposure to low-levels of acoustic stimuli, a procedure known as sound conditioning. However, to our knowledge, this is the first clinical study to evaluate the effects of sound conditioning on hearing restoration. 

Methods
Nine patients with high-tone hearing loss were subjected to modified sound conditioning for 2 weeks. In all, 63 samples (i.e., frequency regions) were obtained. Acoustic stimuli consisted of frequency-modulated tone and amplitude-modulated narrow band noise. Behavioral hearing thresholds were compared before and after treatment to investigate the effects of modified sound conditioning.

Findings
Our findings demonstrate that modified sound conditioning improves hearing ability. On average, the behavioral hearing threshold decreased by 8.9 l dB (ie., approximately 15%) after sound conditioning for 2 weeks, followed by a 2 week break (p = 0.0001, Wilcoxon's signed-rank test with Bonferroni's correction). Twelve of the 63 samples exhibited hearing improvements in excess of 15 dB, whereas 27 samples showed hearing improvements of to dB.

Date: 06/24/2012
Author: Eunyee Kwak, Sangyeop Kwak, Sookjin Song, Seonwoo Kim, and Sung Hwa Hong
Organization: Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Republic of Korea
Reference: http://www.thegoodear.com/docs/restoration_of_hearing_loss_.pdf
Only for Members: No
Content type: Scientific publications
Tags: hearing impaired, hearing loss, journals, senior generation, sensorineural hearing loss, rehabilitation
Categories: Medical & Functions