Gels to Repair Hearing Loss? Drugmakers Try New Ear Treatments

Gels to Repair Hearing Loss Drugmakers Try New Ear Treatments

Sarah Povey spent her youth at rock concerts, sometimes going out five or six nights in a row, soaking up the live sound from nearby speakers. By her late 20s, she was diagnosed with severe tinnitus, a ringing in the ear that makes it hard to listen to any music at all.

“I was very, very emotional,” said Povey, now 44. “I felt hopeless because there was no cure, there was nothing in the foreseeable future that gave me hope that it would go away.”

That may change within the next decade as understanding of the intricate inner ear improves. Drugmakers are jumping in to offer innovative treatments like gels and gene therapy to prevent or even reverse tinnitus and hearing loss — which affect 25 million and 48 million people in the U.S., respectively.

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