A new study published in in the journal PNAS claims that a a simple salt or sugar based solution – injected directly into the eardrum after a noisy rave – can help prevent a lifetime of noise induced hearing loss (NIHL).
Researchers at the University of Southern Califronia’s Keck School of Medicin built a device that would allow them to capture detailed photos of the inner ear when exposed to loud noises. The images showed that hairs inside the cochela, the part of the ear which transforms sound into something your brain can interpret, died off, followed by a liquid build-up in the ear that contains high levels of potassium.
This liquid – which makes your ears feel “full” after being exposed for loud noises over an extended period of time – is the same liquid that ends up killing the neurons in your ears. Now understanding that this liquid contains high levels of potassium, researchers came up with a brilliant and basic solution. Knowing that both sugar and salt offset the effects of potassium, they created a salt and sugar-based solution that can counteract the fluid’s neuron-killing effects if injected into the middle ear three hours after a noisy event.
Important is that the human trials have not yet started, so it’s better you stick with earplugs for now.