NIDCD National Temporal Bone, Hearing and Balance Pathology Resource Registry

Temporal Bone Research

Help Find New Treatments and Cures

If you have hearing loss, a balance problem, or facial nerve paralysis, this information is for you. Temporal bone research aims to further explore

what is known about hearing and balance, especially the problems related to each. Having the support from people like you can help physicians and researchers find new treatments and cures for ear problems.

Why is this Important?

Inside the Ear: Still a Mystery

Millions of people across the globe are affected by hearing loss and other ear problems. Research into the causes of these problems is difficult because our hearing and balance organs are found deep within the skull, hidden and protected inside the temporal bones. For researchers trying to learn about different ear conditions, it is not easy to examine these hidden organs directly in living people; therefore, studying donated temporal bones after death is one of the best ways to learn about the causes of ear disorders and to devise new treatments and cures.

Hearing or balance disorders are more common than you think:

  • One of every 10 Americans has some degree of hearing loss.
  • By age 65, 1 of every 3 persons experiences some hearing loss.
    • After age 75, this rises to 1 out of every 2 persons.
  • An estimated 12.5 million Americans over age 65 have dizziness that significantly interferes with their lives.
  • At least 12 million Americans have tinnitus (they hear a ringing, hissing, or buzzing in their ears when there is no external sound).
  • About 2 to 3 out of every 1,000 children in the United States are born deaf or hard-of-hearing.
    • This does not include others who develop hearing problems during childhood.
  • An estimated 615,000 individuals have been diagnosed with Ménière’s disease in the United States (symptoms include attacks of dizziness, tinnitus, and hearing loss that recurs and progresses).