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Woman taking pain killers and thinking about her hearing.

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

Many popular pain medicines, including store-bought brands, pose risks to your hearing that you’ll want to weigh when considering taking them. Astonishingly, younger men may be at higher risk.

Pain Killers And Hearing Loss – What The Studies Say

A thorough, 30-year cooperative study was carried out among researchers from esteemed universities such as Harvard, Brigham Young, and Vanderbilt. The researchers asked 27,000 individuals ages 40 to 74, to fill out a biyearly survey that included numerous health and lifestyle questions.

Researchers weren’t certain what to expect because the survey was very extensive. After evaluating the data, they were surprised to find a strong link between hearing loss and over-the-counter pain relievers.

They also faced a more shocking realization. Men 50 or younger were nearly twice as likely to have hearing loss if they frequently used acetaminophen. People who frequently used aspirin had a 50% chance of suffering from hearing loss. And there’s 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 used occasionally were not as bad for your hearing as low doses taken regularly.

It’s significant to mention this correlation, but it doesn’t definitively reveal whether the pain relievers actually were the cause of the hearing loss. More research is required to prove causation. But these results are persuasive enough that we should reconsider how we’re using pain relievers.

Present Theories About The Connection Between Hearing Loss And Pain Relievers

There are numerous theories as to why pain relievers might result in hearing loss which experts have come up with.

Your nerves communicate the sensation of pain to your 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.

Scientists believe this process also reduces the flow of blood in the inner ear. This blood carries vital nutrients and oxygen. When the flow is decreased for extended periods of time, cells become malnourished and die.

Acetaminophen, which showed the most substantial correlation, might also minimize the generation of a specific protein that helps shield the inner ear from loud noises.

Is There Anything That Can be Done?

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

While we aren’t implying that you completely stop using pain relievers, you should acknowledge that there may be negative repercussions. Use pain medication only when you absolutely need to and when using prescription medication, only as prescribed.

Seek out other pain relief options, including gentle exercise. It would also be a practical idea to boost the Omega-3 fat in your diet and minimize foods that cause inflammation. Decreased pain and enhanced blood flow have been shown to come from these methods.

Lastly, is an appointment to see us every year to have your hearing checked. Keep in mind, you’re never too young to have your hearing checked. If you’re under 50, now is the time to begin talking to us about avoiding further hearing loss.

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.
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