Hearing Health Foundation

Hearing Health Foundation (HHF) is the largest non-profit funder of hearing research. Since 1958, HHF has given away millions of dollars to hearing and balance research, including work that led to cochlear implant technology and now through the Hearing Restoration Project is working on a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus. HHF also publishes Hearing Health magazine, a free consumer resource on hearing loss and related technology, research, and products.

Our Mission:

To prevent and cure hearing loss and tinnitus through groundbreaking research and to promote hearing health. 

Our Vision:

A world where everyone has the opportunity to enjoy life without hearing loss and tinnitus. 

Our Values:

The core values of HHF are forged by our commitment to the highest ethical standards, and drive our priorities and decisions. Our values guide our behavior, judgments, and how we accomplish our mission.
Integrity: We assure and maintain transparency in our relationships with each other and with all our stakeholders.
Accountability: We uphold our commitments and deliver results.
Commitment to Excellence: We strive to remain a reputable leader, supporting new and innovative approaches to research, and relentlessly increasing our knowledge that will help achieve our mission.
Constituent Focus: We seek to understand, learn from and meet the needs of individuals with hearing loss and tinnitus, their families, and caregivers.
Inclusiveness: We operate in the spirit of inclusiveness by providing opportunities for our stakeholders to be represented and heard across activities and initiatives.


363 Seventh Avenue, 10th Floor 
New York, NY 10001-3904 
(212) 257-6140 
(866) 454-3924 


Unique Research Model to Accelerate Path to A Cure

“Progress towards a successful strategy for restoring hearing has been hampered by the scattershot approach to the problem taken by individual investigators. In the HRP, a consortium of outstanding scientists has chosen to work together collaboratively towards this common goal, an approach that should substantially shorten the time needed to devise a way to restore hearing in people with hearing loss.”
– Peter G. Barr-Gillespie, Ph.D., Director of the HRP Consortium, Oregon Health & Science University
The Hearing Restoration Project Accelerates Timeline to a Cure!
The Hearing Restoration Project (HRP) is the first international consortium whose purpose is to cure hearing loss through hearing restoration. It began in 2011 after researchers funded through our Emerging Research Grants program discovered that birds have the ability to spontaneously re-grow inner-ear hair cells after they are damaged and restore their hearing. In all mammals including humans, hearing loss is permanent once these hair cells are damaged. Our HRP researchers are applying what we know about birds, mice, and fish to people. Its goal is to regenerate inner-ear hair cells in humans and permanently restore hearing the millions of Americans and people worldwide who have hearing loss.
Our HRP scientists are going about their research in a unique way. Most science is done competitively, where the best researchers compete for funding dollars. In the HRP consortium, collaboration with other scientists is part of the criteria for funding. This collaboration lessens the likelihood of duplicative work and accelerates the timetable toward a cure through the sharing of research, data, and materials.
Our HRP scientists work on research projects together, share their unpublished data and tools, and collaborate on the development and refinement of the HRP’s strategic research plan. The group meets bi-annually in person, monthly by conference call, and communicates frequently by email. This continual dialogue is helping to eliminate repetitive work across the team, saving time and research dollars, and most importantly, accelerating the timetable to a cure.   


Since our inception in 1958, Hearing Health Foundation has awarded nearly $30 million through more than 2,000 grants to hearing and balance research. This money has led to dramatic innovations that increase options for those living with hearing loss, as well as protecting those at risk. With the potential for hearing restoration through regeneration biology, the scope of Hearing Health Foundation-funded research has expanded enormously.
Over the years through our Emerging Research Grants program, Hearing Health Foundation has funded emerging investigators in the following disciplines:
  • Hearing Loss & Tinnitus: age-related, noise-induced, drug-induced, otosclerosis and otitis media.
  • Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD): causes, diagnosis, and treatment for disorders that affect the way the brain processes auditory information.
  • Hyperacusis: Extreme sensitivity to sound.
  • Vestibular and Balance Disorders: Dizziness, vertigo, Ménière’s disease, inner-ear and balance disorders. 
  • Congenital Deafness: Usher syndrome.
  • Fundamental Auditory Research: genetics, molecular biology, regeneration biology, physiology, anatomy.
  • Hearing and Balance Restoration: cochlear implants, sensory hair cell regeneration, and auditory nerve regeneration.
  • Stria vascularis: research that will increase our understanding of strial atrophy and/or development of the stria.
For more more information on our Emerging Research Grants program, please contact grants@hhf.org
Help us change the course of hearing research and find a cure for hearing loss and tinnitus! Hearing Health Foundation’s “Name a Research Grant” program enables donors to name and fund a specific research grant in their name or in honor or memory of a loved one.
We're currently planning for our Emerging Research Grants 2017 grant cycle. If you're interested in naming a research grant in any discipline within the hearing and balance space, please contact development@hhf.org



Hearing healthcare professionals diagnose hearing loss according to the nature of the hearing loss, which comes in three types.
Conductive Hearing Loss: Sound is not conducted efficiently through the outer ear canal to the eardrum and the small bones of the middle ear. With conductive hearing loss, there is typically a reduction in sound levels or the ability to hear faint sounds. This type of hearing loss can usually be corrected medically or surgically.
Sensorineural Hearing Loss: Hearing loss that results from damage to the inner ear, or to the nerves from the inner ear to the brain. This type of hearing loss is usually not able to be corrected medically or surgically and is the most common type of permanent hearing loss.
Mixed Hearing Loss: Sometimes conductive hearing loss occurs in combination with sensorineural hearing loss. In other words, there may be damage in the outer or middle ear and in the inner ear (cochlea) or auditory nerve. When this occurs, the hearing loss is referred to as mixed hearing loss.

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