We are doing this to raise money for hearing loss research taking place at the University of Sheffield. Hearing loss is a major public health issue that has an enormous personal, social and economic impact and that currently cannot be cured.
More than 10 million people in the UK have some level of hearing loss with 800,000 people who are severely or profoundly deaf and over 45,000 deaf children. More than 40% of 50 year-olds and 70% of 70 year-olds have some form of hearing loss.
The major causes of hearing loss are age and loud noise though for some people their hearing loss is genetic, caused by viral infections or by some medications such as some antibiotics and chemotherapy treatments.
Research has given some amazing advances over the past 20 years, including the development of cochlear implants, screening for newborn children and improved hearing aids. The UK has been a leading player in significant advances that have been made in understanding the genetics of hearing loss.
However hearing loss is not recognised as a public health issues and is seriously under-researched and as such there are major unmet clinical and social needs. The cost of investment in hearing loss research is small compared to the investment in other health areas with ten times more invested in blindness, twenty times more in diabetes and one hundred times more in heart disease.
The University of Sheffield has one of the strongest and best known hearing research groups in the world. The group has a broad membership including physiologists and physicists who analyse the way in which sensory cells process the variety of sound we experience, biologists who study specific types of hearing loss using zebrafish models and stem cell biologists who have been doing pioneering work in cell transplantation and in understanding the genetics of human hearing loss.
With your donations, the research group can purchase vital equipment and resources and train more young researchers. This will help in the battle to find a cure for this debilitating condition. We also want to develop an outreach programme to help students to value their hearing and to pass this knowledge on as they go out into the world. We are cycling for a sound future and your help on this journey will be deeply appreciated.
From everyone on the research team, THANK YOU for your support.