(STUDY FINDS) -- We’ve all experienced that ringing feeling in our ears after a loud concert or construction work. For some, the effects are temporary; for others, the hearing damage is permanent. Now, new research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has uncovered the molecular mechanism behind noise-induced hearing loss, pointing to possible treatment options. That includes a potentially game-changing over-the-counter medication that’s now under development.
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh say they are testing a drug that has the potential to reverse hearing impairment due to loud noise and also offer protection against future damage.
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The researchers identified that noise-induced hearing loss is a result of cellular damage in the inner ear, linked to an excess of free-floating zinc — a mineral crucial for cell function and hearing. They discovered that medications acting as molecular sponges to absorb excess zinc can either recover lost hearing or, when used preemptively, can safeguard against hearing loss.