General Question

sunrunner's avatar

How close is "science" to a cure for hearing loss?

Asked by sunrunner (120points) December 22nd, 2010

In terms of restoring one’s lost hearing.

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10 Answers

crisw's avatar

There are many different causes of hearing loss. Some can already be reversed. Was there a specific type you were thinking of?

crisw's avatar

Which makes me think, check out this picture if you have never seen it- it’s pretty awesome.

heresjohnny's avatar

I believe cochlear implants can restore some hearing for some children with congenital hearing problems. Not sure how much, but it’s something.

ETA: Here is a good link from the FDA on cochlear implants. Apparently it’s not just children, but adults, too. There’s some good infor on the site, poke around if you’d like.

kess's avatar

They are as far away as when they first begin.

filmfann's avatar

My wife was born profoundly deaf. She is to have a cochlear implant done soon.
Her current hearing is measured at 2%. After the surgery, it could go as high as 60%, though we don’t expect that.
If she had this surgery when she was a child, her brain would have had an easier time understanding the new signals it is getting from the ear. Now, it will be like your computer recieving a data file, but not knowing if it is a jpg, or a gif, or an exe, or something else. It will take work to train her brain to understand it is getting sound signals.
The cost of the unit and surgery is in the neighborhood of $80,000 I am told, but my health provider is paying for it, which is cool, since they won’t pay for normal hearing aids.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
crisw's avatar


Why do you say that?

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

It really depends on what’s causing the loss in the first place, and if it’s an actual loss or if it was never there in the first place.

jurassicnemesis's avatar

There’s no cure by now. All the compounds used to treat it or the treatments itselves are almost useless and very expensives. The best is to accept it.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Not true, @jurassicnemesis my nephew has cochlear implants and it is like night and day. Before he got them you could fire a gun right behind him and he would not hear it. Now he can hear crickets chirping across the room.

They have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. Good luck to your wife @filmfann.
Right now the biggest obstacle seems to be the nerves, if they are not damaged the implants have a high success rate, if they are damaged it can lead to failure of the implants.

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