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Medical research has taught that temporary hearing loss and temporary tinnitus (brain noise) are tightly related.

If you’re exposed to damagingly loud sounds at a concert or a racetrack, for example, you may find yourself doing everything possible to block them by covering your ears with your hands, or sticking your fingers in your ears and searching for a way out.

Hearing trauma can happen fast in situations like these. Muffled hearing and temporary tinnitus are common symptoms. Your ears may seem clogged. You may feel pressure or numbness. Voices may seem fuzzier, quieter, farther away than normal. You may likely experience temporary tinnitus too, so-called ringing in the ears, chirping, buzzing or sustained high frequency screeching tones.

You’re experiencing ischemia reperfusion injury, similar to having a heart attack or stroke in your inner ear. We know the biochemistry behind those symptoms thanks to three decades of work by our late colleague and friend Joe Miller and his team of auditory neuroscientists at the University of Michigan Medical school and around the world.

Unfortunately, today it’s too easy to put our inner ear nerve cells under severe stress, and we have plenty of choices. But here’s the thing: the exposure doesn't have to be extreme to result in permanent hearing loss. Frequent and routine exposure to loud music, crowd noise or even urban noise can and often does lead to permanent lifetime hearing loss and permanent tinnitus. But you aren’t likely to notice until it’s too late.

If you have permanent hearing loss or tinnitus, you’ve likely discovered your options are limited. You can get hearing aids. Cochlear implants are a possibility if you are severely hearing disabled. There are no cures for permanent tinnitus.

The Soundbites approach to solve the hearing loss problem is new and different. Our approach was stated best by Blake Wilson, Chairman of the Lancet Commission on hearing loss – “…focus on prevention, which usually is far more effective and far less expensive than treatment.” That’s us.

Soundbites, called ACEMg in the medical literature, is the product of three decades of University of Michigan medical research. Dozens of peer reviewed scholarly papers have been published on ACEMg and the science leading up to it. The most recent paper was published in February 2020. Additionally the Soundbites micronutrient cocktail holds eight patents for hearing preservation and a patent for preventing temporary tinnitus and relieving temporary and permanent tinnitus symptoms. We’ll talk about tinnitus – brain noise – in our next post.