Sound Deprivation May Lead to Irreversible Hearing Loss in Mice Continuous lack of exposure to sound is associated with permanent hearing loss in mice, according to a recent study by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. If left untreated, chronic conductive hearing loss—which can be caused by recurrent ear infections, earwax blockage and otosclerosis that impair sound transmission from the ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   April 01, 2016
Sound Deprivation May Lead to Irreversible Hearing Loss in Mice
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Hearing Disorders / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   April 01, 2016
Sound Deprivation May Lead to Irreversible Hearing Loss in Mice
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 20. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.21042016.20
The ASHA Leader, April 2016, Vol. 21, 20. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.21042016.20
Continuous lack of exposure to sound is associated with permanent hearing loss in mice, according to a recent study by the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.
If left untreated, chronic conductive hearing loss—which can be caused by recurrent ear infections, earwax blockage and otosclerosis that impair sound transmission from the ear canal to the inner ear—may contribute to irreversible cochlear damage, according to lead study author Stéphane F. Maison, a researcher in the Eaton-Peabody Laboratories at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and assistant professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School.

“If left untreated, chronic conductive hearing loss may cause irreversible cochlear damage.”

Over a year, Maison and his team studied a group of mice with chronic conductive hearing loss in one ear. Their research was published in the journal PLoS One.
“We observed dramatic changes in the inner ear—notably, a significant loss of the synaptic connections through which the sensory cells send their electrical signals to the brain,” Maison says. The study results suggest that sound deprivation itself could cause damage to the inner ear in a manner similar to age-related and noise-induced hearing loss.
The findings also suggest audiologists and physicians should advocate for early intervention and treatment of middle-ear conditions that can cause chronic conductive hearing loss, Maison says.
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April 2016
Volume 21, Issue 4