What is Noise Induced Hearing Loss NIHL

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INTRODUCTION: Currently available auditory prostheses have improved quality of life for hearing-impaired and deaf patients to a significant extent, yet these devices still do not afford "natural hearing." For users of these technologies, cumbersome shortcomings include the reduced understanding of speech in noise and the limited resolution of music. Thus, new ways to prevent or at least minimize damage to cells in the inner ear and the auditory nerve have to be discovered in combination with novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to identify and repair the affected areas.

AIM AND METHODS: This thesis aims to address the above-mentioned topics based on identified shortcomings of current state-of-the-art patient care and prior clinical observations in general. In vitro and in vivo experiments in mice and guinea pigs, as well as analysis of human tissue, are some of the approaches that are employed.

RESULTS: New methodological insights, diagnostic and therapeutic advances are presented; Topics of specific interest include vestibular schwannoma tumors, noise-induced hearing loss, and cochlear gene therapy. In summary, this thesis provides detailed instructions to replicate experiments, challenges the role of the audiogram as the gold standard assessment for hearing loss, deepens understanding of the function of glucocorticoids in the inner ear, identifies a novel mechanism by which vestibular schwannomas cause cochlear damage , and describes the first use of a novel, synthetic adeno-associated virus in the inner ear.

CONCLUSION: The thesis lays the groundwork for clinical studies as translatability of many of the presented findings has been established and will hopefully lead to improvements in patient care. Basic science research is integral to the discovery of solutions to clinical problems and holds the potential to change the lives of many patients.