Hormones and Hearing: Too Much or Too Little of a Good Thing Can Be Ototoxic

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hearing loss, hormone, aging auditory system, aldosterone, progesterone

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Hormones regulate and modulate many physiological processes of the body including the nervous, cardiac, respiratory, and gastrointestinal systems. So, it is not surprising that hormonal regulation can manifest itself at the sensory level as well. The present report reviews some recent studies on the relations between several key hormones—including aldosterone and sex hormones—and auditory processing in vertebrate animal models and in human clinical research investigations. Keeping with the theme of this issue of Seminars in Hearing, the present review is not meant to be exhaustively comprehensive but rather to provide synopses and key references of representative research reports that capture the flavor of what we know about important interactions between the auditory and hormonal systems, and how they relate to certain animal and human behaviors. Indeed, the old adage “too much or too little of a good thing is not good” applies here.

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Seminars in Hearing, v. 33, issue 3, p. 231-241