Medication may prevent hearing loss

June 30, 2008 3:29:34 PM PDT
A medical researcher says he has found secret to preventing hearing loss from noise.

An Oklahoma doctor says he's unlocked the secret to preventing hearing loss from loud noises. That's something that could be invaluable on the war front in Iraq & Afghanistan.

Dr. Robert Floyd May.... of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.... is testing a combination of two drugs... that stops cells in the ear from dying when loud noises cause trauma.

Dr. May says, "If we can get the drugs in 4 hours after the trauma, then they're protected - completely protected. It's pretty remarkable."

Dr. May hopes saays the drug combo scored impressive results in tests with chinchillas - animals which hear the same sound frequency range as humans. He hopes to begin clinical trials with service men & women soon.

The military had been working on its own version of the drug, but progress on that is stalled.

In the meantime, the government spends about a billion dollars a year helping troops who lose their hearing on the battlefield.