Hearing loss may be partial or total. Unlike blindness, people suffering from hearing loss often gets ridiculed or made fun of. Thus he or she feels isolated from family and friends and may suffer from various kinds of psychological disorders and depression. We, Bengal Speech provide the best hearing loss treatment in India. It has always been our endeavor to stay updated about the latest in hearing loss treatment. In this blog we will make you aware about the latest in the hearing restoration treatments.
The latest in hearing loss treatment
Most of us have the impression that only available option for most types of hearing loss treatment is a hearing aid. It is true that old hearing aids make sounds louder, however they do not make speech clearer. Thus, many people who use hearing aid devices tend to get frustrated. This happens more when they unable to understand and follow what people are saying, particularly in the presence of background noise. One reason for this is in a hearing-impaired cochlea, auditory nerves are not sufficiently stimulated in a normal pattern.
A new study for hearing restoration
A new study is being conducted in this regard at the Stanford University. Here the researchers are studying how the normal cochlea first detects sound, then how it changes the mechanical sound pressure waves before the auditory nerve is even stimulated. This entire process is called as “cochlear amplification”. This happens when outer hair cells selectively amplify and sharpen the frequency response of the cochlea. The age related hearing loss mainly happens when outer hair cells are damaged. The cochlea can still detect sounds but speech is not detected properly. In particular, more neurons are stimulated than should be. Thus the patient is under a severe discomfort when exposed to loud sounds.
The objective of the study at Stanford is to develop a treatment for hearing loss that improves speech clarity. This means that auditory neurons need to be stimulated selectively and in a more targeted fashion. The study is trying to find out how outer hair cells are able to accomplish this naturally within the normal cochlea. The research team has pioneered the development of a new technology. This is called as Volumetric Optical Coherence Tomography Vibrometry. It permits non-invasive imaging of sound-induced vibrations within the cochlea. These vibrations are extremely small. But they are critical for normal hearing.
The research team is hoping to improve the hearing loss treatments by studying normal-hearing and hearing-impaired animal models. They are focusing on recreating a normal vibratory pattern within a hearing-impaired cochlea. This is expected to stimulate the auditory nerve in a more targeted fashion. The technology will be developed for use in humans to guide customized therapies. These would be designed in a way that can be tailored to suit a patient’s disability.
Till now, in case of hearing problems, we go to a hearing aid consultant for hearing aids, which amplify the sound received from environment and deliver to the inner ear so that the damaged inner ear cells can capture the sound and we feel that our hearing ability is restored. But in practical, though modern hearing aids can make sounds louder as well as make the speech clearer, our hearing ability does not gain the normal hearing ability. If this study become successful then in near future we may have gain the normal hearing ability back and it would indeed be a major breakthrough in hearing restoration as well as hearing loss treatment.