by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition
This report discusses a simple treatment that may minimize hearing loss triggered by loud noise.
It’s interesting that the sense of fullness in the ear after loud noise exposure is actually caused by swelling in the inner ear. Many people report this sensation, and a decreased ability to hear, after attending a rock concert or using loud power tools.
I have the same comments about this report as I made about the many similar previous reports of treatments to prevent hearing loss after noise exposure:
1. This is a very preliminary report. Even if this report is confirmed by other studies, it will take years if not decades for the treatment to be approved for human use.
2. In this case, injecting a solution through the ear drum into the middle ear isn’t as easy as one might think. The ear drum is very sensitive and contact causes pain. So I’m not sure how people are going to be able to do this.
3. Finally, other than for the soldiers who may not be able to avoid noise exposure, for most people it’s easy to avoid noise exposure–avoid loud noise or use hearing protection if you can’t.
Prevention of a problem is a whole lot better than trying to treat it.
Dr. Daniel Fink is a leading noise activist based in the Los Angeles area. He serves on the board of the American Tinnitus Association, is the interim chair of Quiet Communities’s Health Advisory Council, and is the founding chair of The Quiet Coalition, an organization of science, health, and legal professionals concerned about the impacts of noise on health, environment, learning, productivity, and quality of life in America.