Noise-Induced Hearing Loss Can Be Prevented with Medications

In cases of exposure to high levels of noise, some may experience ringing in the ears, while others may suffer temporary or permanent hearing loss.

However, researcher Thanos Tzonopolous from the Hearing Research Center at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine conducted a series of studies to investigate and develop medical methods to overcome this problem.

In a recent study, Thanos and his research team found that hearing loss due to noise exposure is the result of changes at the molecular level inside the inner ear. The study suggests that the effects of this issue can be alleviated by taking certain medications.

Moreover, the study revealed that hearing loss due to noise affects millions, resulting from an increase in the level of zinc within the inner ear. Zinc is a crucial mineral for cellular functions in the body, particularly for hearing.

Experiments on test mice showed that certain medications could absorb excess zinc within the inner ear, aiding in the restoration of hearing.

Moreover, researchers found that taking these medications before noise exposure primarily protects the ear from hearing loss.

During the experiments, researchers observed that hours after noise exposure, zinc levels within the inner ear of the mice increased. This led to cellular damage in the ear and interference with cell communication.

The researchers note that noise-induced hearing loss can be debilitating, as some individuals hear nonexistent sounds, known as tinnitus, significantly impacting the quality of life for those affected.

Furthermore, Thanos stated that “the issue of noise-induced hearing loss was not entirely understood at the biological level, making it a challenge to treat.”

He added that “this discovery opens the door to finding a solution to this problem, especially since the experiments showed that injecting mice with chemical compounds that absorb excess zinc from the ear helps preserve hearing and reduce noise-induced damage.”

Al Jundi

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