Clinical trials play a critical role in bringing new medicines to people who may benefit from them. With hearing loss, clinical trials of therapeutics are a very recent development – only in the last few years have we been testing potential medicines (not devices) to restore hearing to those with certain types of hearing loss.
When I share what I do – manage clinical trials of a potential hearing restoration drug – even family and friends are surprised to hear that such technologies are no longer science fiction. In fact, a handful of companies are testing potential drugs for hearing loss currently, with others preparing to begin clinical trials in the next few years.
Here are a few ways to stay informed on new clinical trial opportunities:
- Visit ClinicalTrials.gov, an online resource maintained by the National Institutes of Health
For those living in the U.S., the ClinicalTrials.gov website is a searchable database of clinical research happening across the country. You may search by health condition, sponsoring company, and/or any other terms to find relevant clinical studies that may be of interest to you (As an example, you can find trials of Frequency’s drug candidate, FX-322, by searching for it by name).
- Talk to your ear, nose and throat doctor or audiologist.
Your hearing healthcare provider is also a great resource for you in your treatment journey. Just as you speak with them about the latest advancements in devices and other technologies, don’t hesitate to ask your provider about new research and opportunities for clinical trial participation as a possible option. This includes veterans who receive their care at the VA.
- Grow your network by joining advocacy organizations like HLAA.
Consumer advocacy organizations like the Hearing Loss Association of America play an important role in amplifying the latest updates for their communities. If you’re not already a member of an HLAA Chapter, consider joining one. The strength of this special community lies not just with the national team, but with the presence of chapters spread across the nation. This network can help you to stay informed of innovations that could improve both hearing clarity and quality of life.
If it is of interest to you, I hope you will explore one of the many avenues to finding clinical trials for hearing loss. Of course, every trial has its own criteria for participation, and if you are not a fit for one, it is very possible you could be a fit for another.
By participating and encouraging others to participate in clinical research, you are helping to advance science. Currently, there are no approved medicines for the most common form of hearing loss – sensorineural hearing loss. But there may be some day, and clinical trials are the path that will take us there safely.
If you think you, or a loved one, has a hearing loss, don’t wait! Get your hearing checked today. For more information on hearing health, visit hearwellstayvital.org.
Stay tuned for more information and resources soon. For questions, contact HLAA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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