Researchers at Harvard University have used gene editing to fix a recessive disease causing mutation that can ultimately restore hearing.*
“Most better polices include deafness as one of the different critical illnesses that are will trigger a benefit payment.”Jesse Slome, director of the American Association of Critical Illness Insurance
One Million Americans are functionally deaf
Deafness and critical illness insurance – new study; June 34, 2020. Nearly 10 million Americans are hard of hearing and close to one million are functionally deaf. Just under half of those with hearing loss are age 65 or younger.
One in eight people aged 12 years or older has hearing loss in both ears according to another study. Technologies like hearing aids and cochlear implants can amplify sound. But they can not correct the problem.
Genetic anomalies contribute to half of all hearing and deafness cases. Researchers noted that most genetic diseases are not caused by dominant mutations. They stated that such conditions are often caused by recessive mutations. The speculation was that this was also true for most genetic hearing losses.”
As an undergraduate student at Harvard University, Wei Hsi (Ariel) Yeh witnessed a close friend go from normal hearing to complete deafness in the span of one month. He was 29 years old. Doctors could not ascertain the reason for his deafness.
Critical illness insurance pays upon diagnosis of deafness
Dr. Yeh and researchers at Harvard University, the Broad Institute, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have accomplished a first. They have restored partial hearing to mice with a recessive gene mutation that causes complete deafness. Their work is the first successful example of genome editing used to fix a recessive disease-causing mutation.
“Hopefully it is merely a matter of time until researchers are able to take what they have learned and apply it to humans,” shares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Critical Illness Insurance. “Deafness is a terrible condition that people associate with aging but that’s not completely true. Younger people are afflicted and unfortunately dramatic scientific advances take time before they might one day be covered by health insurance.”
That where critical illness insurance policies can be beneficial. Most better polices include deafness as one of the different critical illnesses that are will trigger a benefit payment. Slome urged more consumers to see What do critical illness insurance policies cover.
A comprehensive policy for critical illness insurance costs anywhere from under $100 a year to around $500 a year. Costs will depend on multiple factors including age and health conditions. The AACII director noted that many employers make available employer critical illness insurance on a voluntary basis. Compare your offered group coverage to an individual coverage available directly from insurance companies can be worthwhile.