Our research

NIHR Nottingham BRC offers some of the best infrastructure in the UK for supporting research in the hearing sciences, with on-campus access to clinical research infrastructure and world-leading laboratory facilities. Our commitment is to pursue research through multi-disciplinary collaboration that can be translated into practical benefits to improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Our translational research encompasses six specific, linked areas:

Mild-to-moderate hearing loss

Hearing aids don’t offer a perfect replacement for normal hearing but they really do help. We are exploring ways to make things easier for hearing aid users. We are also developing other ways of improving support for people with hearing loss.

Severe-to-profound hearing loss

Cochlear implants are one of the major success stories in restoring a sense of hearing to profoundly deaf people. Our research aims to improve the benefit that children and adults gain from these devices.

Tinnitus and hyperacusis

Tinnitus is ringing or other noises in the ears. Hyperacusis is sensitivity to sound. We are exploring new treatments and looking at how to maximise the benefits of current NHS management options.

Clinical hearing sciences

Some treatments (for example, platinum-based cancer drugs) can damage hearing and cause tinnitus. We shall work to understand the impact this can have on patients and ways to try and reduce the effects.

Objective measures

We are investigating the effects of hearing loss on the make-up and organisation of the brain. We do this using functional Near-infrared Spectroscopy (fNIRS) to see the brain in action.

Outcome measures for clinical trials

We want to improve the quality of evidence for hearing-related treatments. We are doing this by developing consensus among patients and professionals about what is important to measure and how to measure it. The list of measures is called a Core Outcome Set.