Auditory Nerve Loss and Tinnitus: A New Study Suggests New Answers

Auditory Nerve Loss and Tinnitus: A New Study Suggests New Answers

Tinnitus, or ringing in the ear’s, is a complicated and diverse hearing health problem. At RestorEar, we’ve been working on research and product development for a variety of ear disorders, including tinnitus, as part of our mission to provide solutions for hearing related disorders. 

A new study from Massachusetts Eye and Ear was recently published in Scientific Reports and sheds new light on tinnitus pathology in people with seemingly normal hearing.

Researchers found that in patients with tinnitus, connections between the ear and brain are lost or damaged. They cited four different factors that were significantly associated with tinnitus: reduced cochlear nerve responses, weaker middle-ear muscle reflexes, stronger medial olivocochlear efferent reflexes, and hyperactivity in the central auditory pathways. All of these point to loss of neural connections between the ears and brain.

These results suggest that tinnitus may be connected to hidden hearing loss, which is a condition where symptoms of hearing loss may be present for a patient despite their hearing test showing normal hearing function. Both tinnitus and hidden hearing loss relate to damage done to the neural connections, or hair cells, that transfer sound signals to the brain. 

With this information in mind, we are able to better understand tinnitus in order to develop products to help alleviate the ringing in one’s ear. 

In the meantime, you can take steps to support your own hearing health. Shop ReBound here to start your hearing health journey today.

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