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Preventing hearing loss in mice

Updated: Aug 3, 2021

Exposing ears to near infrared light (NIR) could be a way to prevent noise-induced hearing loss, according to studies by German and US scientists. Irreparable hearing loss can be brought on when hair cells in the ear are killed after exposure to excessively loud noise. Research published by EARA member Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin, last year showed that shining NIR (a type of infrared light) into the ears of mice for 10 minutes prevented this cell death, and the resulting hearing loss was reduced. It is suspected that the improvement is caused by changes to the metabolism of cells in the ear and an ongoing clinical trial at the University of Miami now seeks to investigate the potential of this treatment in humans.

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