Less than six years after its initial description, Scientists may have found a cause of hidden hearing loss.
Hidden hearing loss manifests itself through the inability to hear and understand speech in noisy environment, without affecting patient’s ability to pass a traditional hearing test. Researchers at the University of Michigan believe that the disruption of the cells that create myelin, which helps protect neurons in the ear, might be one of the causes of the hidden hearing loss.
As the ear is exposed to loud noise over long periods, the synapses that connect neurons and hair cells in the inner ear are lost. This loss is the primary cause of hidden hearing loss. Since a quiet audiologist’s office means you need less synapses to pick up sounds, the hidden hearing loss can be very hard to detect even in a professional setting.
Researchers have finally found a way to regrow these synapses in mice, which means a potential treatment for hidden hearing loss could be on the way soon.
As with any newly-discovered condition, there is still much to learn on hidden hearing loss. Despite it still being early days in the scientific community’s understanding of the condition, positive steps are being taken to help those dealing with the condition. To learn about more hearing loss, you can follow us on our Facebook. If you’d like to schedule a visit at one of our clinics, call (877) 426-0687.