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B. The Importance of Studying and Understanding Hearing Disorders

Narrator: This is Science Today. Researchers at the University of California , Irvine School of Medicine are making a number of breakthroughs on the effective use of hearing devices such as the cochlear implants and are discovering novel treatments for hearing disorders such as tinnitus. Dr. Fan-Gang Zeng is the director of the Hearing and Speech Lab.

Zeng: It is important to study hearing disorders because hearing loss is considered an invisible disability and there are about 30 million who suffer from this particular disorder and not only does it have negative impact on the person's quality of daily life but it also causes social and economic issues.

Narrator: Recently, Zeng and his colleagues effectively and simply treated tinnitus by applying a low-pitched sound using an mp3 player, which effectively suppressed the ringing sound perceived by a tinnitus patient and provided temporary relief. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.