Every person that cares about their hearing health can name a few ways of preventing hearing loss. Avoiding loud sounds and extended periods of time in a work environment without protective devices are two of the most common ones. However, what if we told you that your hearing could depend on the pain reliever you use? Ibuprofen has been linked to hearing loss in people around the world; an alarming prospect which we will examine here.
A study of people who took acetaminophen or ibuprofen more than twice a week produced results which confirm that there is a link between people who take these medications and hearing loss. There were 60,000 different women used in the study, which took fourteen years to complete, and it found that a quarter of the participants suffered from some degree of hearing impairment by the end of the study. The results of this study were published in the American Journal for Advanced Epidemiology.
There are two different ways that you can incur hearing loss from these medications. The first way is through the medication changing the level of blood flow into your ear. Without enough blood to sustain proper hearing levels, certain structures in your ear begin to dim in their ability to pick up on sound. This is a very subtle process and may take time for you to even notice. The other way is through ototoxicity, where the chemicals in the medication poison the inner ear and prevent sound transferring chemicals from being transferred properly, resulting in ear ringing and a variety of other problems. If you suspect either one of these outcomes are happening to you, stop taking the medication immediately and make an appointment with your doctor.
Researchers have found that the best thing that they can do for understanding how medicine can cause hearing loss is to examine any other contextual factors that could be playing a role in making women more susceptible to this problem. That is why there is currently a study of 150,000 different women that are being examined for hormonal change, diet, and even alcohol consumption to find what role that plays in hearing loss.
What to Do
As an individual that suffers from hearing loss that may have been brought on by medicine, or even if you are simply afraid that it may happen, there are many things that you can do to avoid these complications. The most important thing to do is to consult a physician about the different things that you can take rather than ibuprofen. After all, there are many other different medications that do not have the active ingredients but can still help manage the pain.