Taking Aspirin After Noise Protects Your Hearing

The head of the Kresge Hearing Research Center here at UM (link to the left) is Dr. Jochen Schacht. His team recently discovered that taking the antioxidents Vitamin E and aspirin significantly reduced hearing damage after noise trauma (ie, a rock concert.) Info below the fold..........

From the NIDCD's site:

Exposure to loud sounds or noise can lead to noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) by damaging and/or destroying the inner ear's sensory hair cells. Scientists believed that NIHL damaged the hair cells by the pure force of the loud sound vibrations. In that case, the only NIHL prevention was to reduce the sound exposure and/or use ear protectors. Recent studies, however, have found that noise exposure triggers the formation of molecules (free radicals) known to cause hair cell death. Therefore, scientists may be able to be dampen or prevent NIHL by using antioxidants that scavenge free radicals. Antioxidants, however, were thought to prevent noise-induced cell death only when given prior to the noise exposure.

Advance: Recently, NIDCD-supported scientists have demonstrated that antioxidants, salicylate (aspirin) and Trolox (vitamin E), could be administered as much as 3 days after noise exposure and still significantly reduce hearing loss. In this study, guinea pigs were exposed to noise at 120dB (equivalent to the noise level of a jet engine) for 5 hours and given antioxidants by injection from 3 days prior to 5 days after the noise exposure. The study showed that earlier treatment was more effective than delayed treatment. Aspirin and Vitamin E administration up to 3 days after noise exposure significantly reduced the extent of hearing loss, hair cell damage, and the amount of free radicals produced following noise exposure.

Implications: These results detail a window of opportunity for rescue from noise trauma. Given the probable safety of aspirin and vitamin E and their use in the prevention of other major disorders, scientists hope to begin clinical trials on their efficacy in humans, with the goal of reducing NIHL.

Citation: Yamashita D, Jiang HY, Le Prell CG, Schacht J, Miller JM, Post-exposure Treatment Attenuates Noise-Induced Hearing Loss. Neuroscience 134: 633-642, 2005.

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Hi, much intesting/importnat!!
Do you know the equivalent doses (and E form) for a human?. I assume regular doses of both will help.
As a curious note, no product would be named Trolox in some Spanish speaking countries, sounds like Gayx.
For the problem with noise, I am looking for the best ear plugs that one could take to the gym, recitals or to bed when neighbor are moisy. Do you have suggestions?.
Also, I find the vibrations of traffic a problem, you do not perceive them untill there is more silence at night. I am sure those vibrations are not good.

It seems Trolox is a water-soluble Vitamin E analog, not regular E.

I wonder if lipoic acid would be a protectant do to its dual water/lipid solubility.

Hi Blas-Not sure of the doses, I'd of course talk to a doctor before taking any additional medications to check out the doses with them. But as Vitamin E and aspirin are already so safe, can't hurt to take the usual doses that are in Vitamin E pills. Keep an eye out for Trolox (or whatever it may be called!). Sounds like an effective low-risk drug. As for earplugs, check out Howard Leight earplugs, They're made of tapered foam and their noise reduction rating is 33dB. Thats pretty good.

It seems Trolox is experimental (or was in 2003)…


6-Hydroxy-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-2-carboxylic Acid
A cell-permeable, water-soluble derivative of vitamin E with potent
antioxidant properties. Prevents peroxynitrite-mediated oxidative stress
and apoptosis in rat thymocytes

My doctor recommended silicone ear plugs but I don?t like that they get dirty (expensive for one time use). Like described here

very interesting study. i'll do that next time i go to a radiohead concert. daily dosing of Vit E greater or equal to 400 mcg/daily has been shown to increase all-cause mortality. Who'd have thought.

I dig the parrot by the way :)