This is still strictly in the lab, but a pharmaceutical pill could possibly replace earplugs to prevent heading damage caused by noisy concerts, clubs, or just turning your iPods volume up too high. Not that you would ever do that.
Researchers in America and Argentina are working on pills that chemically alter the protein in the sensory cells of the ear. Playing around with the genetic components of mice, the scientists have been able to prevent damage from sounds at about 100 decibels - a level that could cause hearing damage without protection.
The whole study can be found here.
A pill or a patch could be developed, but will people just end up turning up the volume even higher if they know it won't cause permanent damage? --Leslie Shapiro
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