Hearing loss treated with a vitamin pill

Tuesday 23rd December, 2008

People who have suffered hearing loss due to loud noise could soon find treatment from a formulated vitamin pill, according to new research.

Trials of the pill will begin soon with early research suggesting that damage could be reversed up to three days after the event.

Hearing loss from noise is the most common reason people lose hearing with factors such as loud music and factory machinery affecting 15% of people aged 20-60.

Continuous loud noise or exposure to loud sound over a longer period is more likely to lead to hearing loss but a sudden loud noise (explosions etc.) will also cause hearing loss.

Hearing loss affects hair cells which convert sound into the electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted. Once damaged by loud noise, these hair cells are unable to grow back properly and hearing is reduced. Scientists believe that vibrations release free radicals (destructive molecules) that enter the bloodstream and damage the hair cells.

The pill that has been developed contains antioxidants which can protect against the damage caused by free radicals. By giving antioxidants before, or directly after, exposure to loud noise hearing loss may be prevented.

The hearing loss pill contains Vitamins C & E plus betacarotene -all three are known antioxidants. Magnesium will also be added to the pill to boost blood supply which is known to fall when free radicals are present.

Early research suggests the pill is only effective within a three day window.



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