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SIU Researcher Promotes Treatment For Hearing Loss

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(Duration: 7:01)

Dr. Kathleen Campbell

Dr. Kathleen Campbell (SIU School of Medicine)

A researcher at Southern Illinois University is working on a pill that could restore hearing loss.

Dr. Kathleen Campbell, director of audiology research at SIU's School of Medicine, said the treatment involves a drug that "donates" electrons to make sure the hearing loss is not permanent. She said the U.S. Army is interested in her research and is involved in the clinical trial.

“The military is spending over $2 billion dollars a year for noise induced hearing loss and tinnitus,” Campbell said. “So, we would really like to reduce that so that these people who do serve our country do have good hearing in the long-run, but also from a financial standpoint for the U.S. government. The other thing is that hearing loss for the soldier on the battlefield increases their risk of mortality.”

Campbell noted that the treatment would not be a substitute for hearing protection, like earmuffs or earplugs.  If all goes well, she said the treatment could be widely available in five-to-six years.

Categories: Health, Science