Research provides best ways to treat people deafened by immune system attackThe immune system can protect the body from many diseases besides destroying invading microbes with a swarm of attacking cells. But this system can go haywire for no apparent reason wreaking havoc.

The immune system attacks the inner ear, which is home to delicate structures allowing us to hear, in many people. Some of the affected individuals can get relief with steroids, while many others are left to cope with partial or total deafness without knowing what caused it.

This research based at the University of Michigan’s Kresge Hearing Research Institute could help patients ascertain quickly if they can benefit from steroids or not, or if they can live without harsh side effects of the drugs.