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(c) 2016 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

New Drugs to Treat Hearing Loss and Ear Disorders

A multitude of workers have occupational hearing losses induced by either sudden trauma or prolonged occupational exposures to loud noise. Some workers have hearing losses associated with age and fail to address the issue and create a potential safety concern in the workplace. In the past many have gone undetected and/or treated.

Workers' Compensation insurance provides for benefits for hearing losses and disorders associated with both traumatic (sudden) and occupational (exposure to loud noise) hearing losses occurring in the workplace. The insurance also allows workers to obtain hearing aids, treatment and  medication(s).

Many of these conditions are not diagnosed or treated at an early stage for lack of attention. This is changing because of  recent changes in medical delivery associated with the Affordable Care Act and Medicare. The new laws will afford millions a new opportunity to be diagnosed and treated.

Recent developments in pharmaceutical medicine may allow for restoration of hearing losses as well elimination of associated tinnitus, commonly known as ringing in the ears. Today's post is shared from nytimes.com/


Driving to a meeting in 2008, Jay Lichter, a venture capitalist, suddenly became so dizzy he had to pull over and call a friend to take him to the emergency room.

The diagnosis: Ménière’s disease, a disorder of the inner ear characterized by debilitating vertigo, hearing loss and tinnitus, or ringing in the ears.

But from adversity can spring opportunity. When Mr. Lichter learned there were no drugs approved to treat Ménière’s, tinnitus or hearing loss, he started a company, Otonomy. It is one of a growing cadre of start-ups pursuing drugs for the ear, an organ once largely neglected by the pharmaceutical industry. Two such companies, Otonomy and Auris Medical, went public in 2014.

Big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and Roche are also exploring the new frontier. A clinical trial recently began of a gene therapy being developed by Novartis that is aimed at restoring lost hearing.The sudden flurry of activity has not yet produced a drug that improves hearing or silences ringing in the ears, but some companies are reporting hints of promise in early clinical trials.


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Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thompson-Reuters). For over 4 decades the Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  jon@gelmans.com  have been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Read more about work-related hearing loss and associated illness:

Exposure to Cadmium and Lead Linked to Hearing Loss
Aug 06, 2012
The results of a recent study published in Environmental Health Perspectives suggest that low-level exposure to cadmium and lead found in the general U.S. population may be important risk factors for 

Cell Phone Hearing Use Results in ...
Mar 27, 2012
Workers suffering from noise-induced hearing loss may also experience continual ringing in the ears, called "tinnitus". In addition, workers who are exposed to noise sometimes complain of nervousness, sleeplessness and ...

Can You Repeat That Please?
Mar 25, 2010
Worse than that, most works may have a hearing loss but not be considered impaired. The wave of compensable occupational hearing losses of the 1980s was restricted across the country by stringent reforms imposed by the ...

Passive Noise is Hazardous to ...
Jul 20, 2012
Workers suffering from noise-induced hearing loss may also experience continual ringing in the ears, called "tinnitus". In addition, workers who are exposed to noise sometimes complain of nervousness, sleeplessness and .

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