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Woman taking pain killers and thinking about her hearing.

You might not be aware that there are risks linked to ibuprofen, aspirin, and other over-the-counter pain relievers according to new studies.

Many popular pain relievers, including store-bought brands, carry risks to your hearing that you’ll want to consider when using them. Amazingly, younger men might be at greater risk.

What Studies Say About Hearing Loss And Pain Killers

Esteemed universities, including Vanderbilt, Harvard, and Brigham Young, conducted a thorough 30 year study. The researchers asked 27,000 individuals ages 40 to 74, to fill out a biyearly survey that included numerous lifestyle and health questions.

Researchers were not certain what to expect because the questionnaire was very extensive. But the data demonstrated that over-the-counter pain relievers and hearing loss had a solid connection.

They also faced a more shocking realization. Men who are under the age of 50 who routinely use acetaminophen were nearly twice as likely to have hearing loss. Those who frequently used aspirin had a 50% chance of suffering from hearing loss. And there is a 61% chance that hearing loss will develop in individuals who use NSAIDs (ibuprofen and naproxen).

Another unexpected thing that was revealed was that high doses taken occasionally were not as bad for your hearing as low doses taken frequently.

It’s relevant to note this correlation, but it doesn’t definitively demonstrate whether the pain relievers in fact were the cause of the hearing loss. Causation can only be demonstrated with additional study. But we really should reconsider our use of these pain relievers after these persuasive findings.

Hearing Loss And Pain Relievers – Current Theories

Researchers have several plausible theories as to why pain relievers could cause hearing damage.

When you experience pain, your nerves convey this sensation to the brain. Over-the-counter pain relievers work by decreasing blood flow to particular nerves. This interrupts nerve signals that normally communicate with the brain, so you feel less pain.

There might also be a reduction of blood flow to the inner ear according to researchers. Less blood flow means less oxygen and nutrients. When the flow is decreased for extended periods of time, cells become malnourished and die.

Acetaminophen, which showed the most substantial connection, could also reduce the production of a particular protein that helps protect the inner ear from loud noises.

What You Can do?

The most remarkable revelation was that men younger than 50 were the most likely to be impacted. This is a solemn reminder that hearing loss can occur at any age. But as you get older, if you take the proper steps you will have a better chance of preserving your hearing.

While we aren’t advising you entirely stop taking pain relievers, you should acknowledge that there may be unfavorable effects. Take pain relievers as prescribed and decrease how often you use them if possible.

If you can discover alternative solutions you should consider them as a first possibility. You should also minimize the consumption of inflammation-causing foods and boost Omega-3 fat in your diet. Reduced pain and enhanced blood flow have been demonstrated to come from these practices.

Lastly, is an appointment to see us every year to get your hearing checked. Don’t forget, you’re never too young to get your hearing checked. The best time to begin speaking with us about preventing further hearing loss is when you under 50.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.