The Effect of Sound Stimulation on Pure-tone Hearing Threshold

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Brief Title

The Effect of Sound Stimulation on Pure-tone Hearing Threshold

Official Title

The Effect of Sound Stimulation on Pure-tone Hearing Threshold

Brief Summary

      The purpose of this study is to investigate if sound stimulation could improve pure-tone
      hearing threshold.

      In the late 1990s, researchers discovered that acoustic stimuli slow progressive
      sensorineural hearing loss and exposure to a moderately augmented acoustic environment can
      delay the loss of auditory function. In addition, prolonged exposure to an augmented acoustic
      environment could improve age-related auditory changes. These ameliorative effects were shown
      in several types of mouse strains, as long as the acoustic environment was provided prior to
      the occurrence of severe hearing loss.

      In addition to delaying progressive hearing loss, acoustic stimuli could also protect hearing
      ability against damage by traumatic noise. In particular, a method called forward sound
      conditioning (i.e., prior exposure to moderate levels of sound) has been shown to reduce
      noise-induced hearing impairment in a number of mammalian species, including humans.

      Interestingly, recent report has suggested that low-level sound conditioning also reduces
      free radical-induced damage to hair cells, increases antioxidant enzyme activity, and reduces
      Cox-2 expression in cochlea, and can enhance cochlear sensitivity. Specifically, increased
      cochlear sensitivity was observed when distortion product otoacoustic emissions (DPOAEs) and
      compound action potentials (CAPs) were measured.

      In addition to forward sound conditioning, backward sound conditioning (i.e., the use of
      acoustic stimuli after exposure to a traumatic noise) has been shown to protect hearing
      ability against acoustic trauma and to prevent the cortical map reorganization induced by
      traumatic noise.

      Based on the results of animal studies, the investigators conducted a human study in 2007 and
      observed that sound stimulation could improve hearing ability. On average, the pure-tone
      hearing threshold decreased by 8.91 dB after sound stimulation for 2 weeks. In that study,
      however, the investigators observed only the hearing threshold changes by sound stimulation.

      To verify the previous ameliorative effect of sound stimulation, the investigators included a
      control period in this study.

Study Type


Primary Outcome

Changes of pure-tone hearing thresholds after sound stimulation


Sensorineural Hearing Loss


Sound stimulation


* Includes publications given by the data provider as well as publications identified by National Clinical Trials Identifier (NCT ID) in Medline.

Recruitment Information

Recruitment Status


Estimated Enrollment


Start Date

May 2010

Completion Date

January 2011

Primary Completion Date

December 2010

Eligibility Criteria

        Inclusion Criteria:

          -  You are a male or female aged between 18 and 70 years

          -  You have 25~70 dB HL hearing loss at any frequency above 1.5 kHz

          -  You are able to use an mp3 player

          -  You are able to read English

        Exclusion Criteria:

          -  Under the medications that could cause hearing loss (such as gentamicin, aspirin,
             ibuprofen, or acetaminophen)

          -  Chronic disease that could affect hearing (such as diabetes or high blood pressure)

          -  Temporal hearing loss

          -  Hearing loss more than 75 dB HL at any frequency

          -  Ear infections, chronic middle ear disease or any abnormality of the ear canal or ear

          -  Hearing aid user

          -  Pregnant females




18 Years - 70 Years

Accepts Healthy Volunteers



Eunyee Kwak, Ph.D., , 

Location Countries

United States

Location Countries

United States

Administrative Informations



Organization ID


Responsible Party


Study Sponsor

Earlogic Korea, Inc.

Study Sponsor

Eunyee Kwak, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, Earlogic Auditory Research Institute

Verification Date

September 2011