When you think about chickens, you probably don’t think about hearing loss.

But after a new study by the Hearing Health Foundation’s Hearing Restoration Project, you might start to look at these feathered fowl in a different light. Researchers exposed chickens to an antibiotic known to cause hearing loss for ten days. As with humans, tiny hair cells crucial to hearing were lost.

But then something surprising happened.

Three weeks later, they checked the chickens and noticed nearly all the hair cells had been restored. The researchers believe this shows that supporting cells in the inner ears of some animals can regenerate.

What does that mean for humans?

So far, complete restoration of hair cells has not been seen in mammals. But by using drugs that blocked an auditory pathway that prevents hair cell restoration, researchers have partially restored hair cells and hearing in mice.
Years from now, that same research could help cure hearing loss in humans.

For now, though, hearing aids are still our best weapon against the isolation of hearing loss. If you’re not hearing like you used to, contact Hearing and Balance Centers of West Tennessee today.