TAMPA, Florida – Millions of people suffer from age-related hearing loss.
While there are options for those who are struggling to hear, a new medicine to treat hearing loss may be on the way.
Lois Kander, 92, has problems not being able to share in conversations like she used to.
“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,” Kander said.
“You can buy pills that reduce pain, help stomach and help you sleep but there are no drugs or medications to improve hearing,” said Robert D. Frisina, director of the Global Center for Hearing and Speech Research at University of South Florida.
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,” Frisina said. “It could be for everyone because we’re all going to lose our hearing as we get older.”
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.
Frisina’s patent was recently approved for the medication but still needs FDA approval.