Hearing loss is an epidemic in the U.S., with over 40 million sufferers. Two of the major causes are age-related and noise-related. With aging baby boomers and young people cranking up their headphones, the problem is only getting worse. Cochlear implants to the inner ear were one step forward, but overall the mainstay of treatment remains hearing aides.
Hearing is an intricate process: Sound travels down the ear canal, vibrates the eardrum, makes its way to the cochlea and its tiny hair cells, which vibrate and send signals to the brain.