New Protections Against Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Developed

Major Research Breakthrough Discovers New Way Of Preventing Hearing Damage

06.02.2015

Research into curing noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) took an important step after the discovery of a new method for protecting against damage caused by loud noises, researchers announced last month.

Joint efforts between the Weill Cornell Medical College and the Gladstone Institute led to the breakthrough following experiments with lab mice. The researchers found that they were able to protect the nerves around the cochlea from damaging sound waves by giving the mice doses of nicotinamide riboside (NR).

NR, described as a “precursor to vitamin B3”, increases activity of the protein sirtuin 3 (SIRT3). The protein naturally decreases as the body ages, leading to problems such as natural hearing loss.

Despite only providing a preventative measure at present, rather than a cure, researchers plan to develop a potential drug therapy from the research in the hope that it will lead to an effective treatment for NHL.

Speaking of the potential for the research, Dr. Eric Verdin of the Gladstone Institute said the success of the study meant: “Targeting SIRT3 using NR could be a viable target for treating all sorts of ageing-related disorders - not only hearing loss but also metabolic syndromes like obesity, pulmonary hypertension, and even diabetes.”

If you or a loved one has suffered from hearing damage such as acoustic shock, tinnitus, and noise-induced hearing loss caused by conditions at work our solicitors could help you claim compensation. See our Industrial Disease Claims page for more information.

Expert Opinion
New development and research into noise-induced hearing loss is always welcome and we hope that this new technology will help reduce the number of people suffering with hearing damage in the future. In our work we see the impact noise-induced hearing loss can have on individuals, as well as their loved ones, which makes the research being conducted so important.

“While it is still early days in the research, we hope it will eventually be implemented to cut the number of people that suffer with the problem. However, there is still a lot that can be done now and we would urge all employers to take the necessary steps to reduce the potential for noise-induced hearing loss in a working environment. Providing ear protection to workers is a simple measure, but it can prevent people suffering for years with poor hearing and tinnitus.”
Matthew Currie, Partner