Tinnitus — that buzzing, ringing, whistling, or clicking in the ear that no one else seems to hear — might not yet be curable, but science isn’t taking that lying down!
With some 50 million Americans alone and others worldwide experiencing this sometimes-debilitating condition, researchers are determined to uncover its secrets and find new ways of fighting back.
Check out these three exciting developments:
- The Hearing Health Foundation, a U.S. nonprofit that aims in part “to prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research,” awarded a 2017 Emerging Research Grant to Timothy Balmer, Ph.D., for a closer look at potential causes and approaches to tinnitus. Balmer aims “to investigate whether chronic transmitter exposure in nerve cells of the cochlear nucleus may be a cause of tinnitus, which eventually may lead to clinical tinnitus treatments.”
- The American Tinnitus Foundation, supporting its “decades-long dedication to funding innovative research and initiatives toward finding cures for tinnitus,” approved more than $156,000 last fall for four research projects. One of the projects, led by Sarah Theodoroff, Ph.D., of the National Center for Rehabilitative Auditory Research at the Portland VA Medical Center in Oregon, involves a new approach to diagnosing hyperacusis, or sound sensitivity, in tinnitus patients.
- Horizon 2020, a European Union program dedicated to funding research and innovations, has awarded $12 million to a trio of training networks whose collective projects — Tinnitus Assessment Causes and Treatments, the European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research, and Liaison in Scientific Training for European Auditory Neuroscience — will engage tens of Ph.D. candidates from across Europe, expanding academic exposure to a public-health issue that demands attention.