Reversing hearing loss

Health Watch

Hearing aids are a solution for some people with hearing loss, but they may not work well for everyone. Now a new medication that may help some recover what they’ve lost.

92-year-old Lois Kander’s story is stocked with love and laughter.

“I always did get up in the morning, take a shower, do my hair, and laugh at myself but I’m having fun doing it,” said Kander.

But it hasn’t been fun not being able to share in conversations like she used to. Like millions, Lois is experiencing age-related hearing loss.

“People are telling you things and they think you’re listening and in a way you are listening but you can’t hear everything that they’re saying and you get disgusted,” said Kander.

Robert D. Frisina, Ph.D., Director, Global Center for Hearing and Speech Research, Univesity Of South Florida said, “You can buy pills that reduce pain, help stomach and help you sleep but there are no drugs or medications to improve hearing.”

But that could soon change. Frisina has found that combining the hormone aldosterone with anti-inflammatory medication can slow hearing loss.

“In a sense, we’re making the ear younger because we’re giving this critical hormone,” said Doctor Frisina.

“I could go give you a list of all the people that I know that I have to pat ‘em on their shoulder when I’m calling out their name because they didn’t hear,” said Kander.

“It could be for everyone because we’re all going to lose our hearing as we get older,” said Doctor Frisina.

In the meantime, Lois loves to dress to impress. She’s a self- described fashionista. A woman with a sharp fashion sense and a savvy scientist whose work may someday sharpen the senses.

Professor Frisina says ideally the medication would be delivered in a patch not pills since pills are systemic and also pills rely on compliance.

A patch could allow consistency and be changed out weekly.

His patent was recently approved for the medication, but still needs FDA approval.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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