A pill to deter hearing loss?

It may sound too good to be true, but according to a new study, scientists may be one step closer to developing a pill to help people prevent age-related hearing loss.

A specific cocktail of vitamin supplements were given to mice prior to being exposed to a single loud noise and prevented hearing loss in the animals. The cocktail contained antioxidants beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, as well as the mineral magnesium.

"What is appealing about this vitamin cocktail is that previous studies in humans, including those demonstrating successful use of these supplements in protecting eye health, have shown that supplements of these particular vitamins are safe for long-term use," said Colleen Le Prell, senior author of the study from the University of Florida.

The U.S.

A pill to deter hearing loss? National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, which funded the study, said approximately 26 million Americans have noise-induced hearing loss, which can lead to permanent hearing loss.

The researchers said by treating temporary hearing problems, it may be possible to prevent permanent damage to one's ear.

"[F]or people in which mechanical devices just aren't enough, and for people who may experience unexpected noise insult, these supplements could provide an opportunity for additional protection," Le Prell said.

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