The Strange Connection Between Painkillers and Hearing Loss

By: Bel Marra Health | General Health | Thursday, August 08, 2013 - 02:11 PM

cuppingAny condition that sends you reaching for a bottle of painkillers is an unwelcome experience. But while the relief that painkillers offer may seem like a light at the end of an extremely uncomfortable tunnel, there now appears to be a dark side to these over-the-counter pills of salvation, that researchers and the public alike were quite surprised to hear of. New research is showing an alarming trend linking the use of pain relief products such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen to hearing loss. Even more surprising was the fact that the connection between painkillers and hearing loss appears to be stronger amongst women under the age of 50 years old.

The reason for this could be as simple as poor circulation. NSAIDs and other painkillers are known to slow down circulation in the peripheral capillaries. If the ears are not adequately nourished, it could lead to loss of hearing. Thankfully there are nutrients that can improve the blood supply to the ears and reverse the bad effects of poor circulation. You can read more about these nutrients in the link at the end of this article.

Pain Relief at the Cost of Hearing Loss?

Research has noticed trends in pain relief, especially in women who use pain products two or more days a week. This study shows that the test group of women had a much higher risk factor for hearing loss. They say the connection between the two was considerably stronger among women who were younger than 50 years old and got much stronger if the women took these painkillers (such as ibuprofen) more than 6 days a week. In the stressful times we live, it is difficult to get by without taking painkillers. So it makes all the more sense to keep your ears well nourished with nutrients proven to help protect hearing.

Interestingly, the study revealed no link between aspirin use and hearing loss, which shot down the potential for a hypothesis about pain relief and painkillers and the effect on hearing loss. However these results are not accurate for one simple reason – the hearing of the participants was not medically tested during the course of the study. What happened was test participants were asked to fill out a questionnaire about certain symptoms of taking over-the-counter pain relievers, and experts say that while it could provide some insight, not medically testing the hearing of the test participants leaves a huge margin of error. Experts say that accuracy goes down significantly.

RELATED: The Real Truth About Hearing Loss

Beware of Painkillers

antibioticsIt is common knowledge that widespread use of pain relief medications has become a big problem and some form of intervention is needed to keep dependency on these drugs in check. While many think they are safe medications due to their widespread availability and advertising – most doctors and healthcare practitioners say that all instructions, warnings and side effect notices on the packaging should be paid close attention to, and if you have any questions about drug interactions, or are in need of further information, to ask your doctor or pharmacist immediately. And special care should always be taken if the drugs need to be used on a daily basis for an extended period of time.

The Pain Relief Study and the Results on Hearing Loss

Of the women in the study who were being monitored, the ones who said they took ibuprofen two or three days a week were 13% more likely to have some hearing loss. That’s compared to women who took ibuprofen infrequently (which was measured as less than once a week). When it came to women who took acetaminophen frequently – up to 3 days a week – did a bit better, with 11% being more likely to report hearing loss compared with those who took the drug on an infrequent basis.
The most clear and obvious results showed that women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen (almost every day) or more than five or six days a week had risk factors for hearing loss listed at up to 24%.
The pain relief and hearing loss study involved more than 62,000 women from the years 1995 to 2009, with a grand total of 10,000 women reporting they had hearing loss afterwards.

Like I mentioned at the very beginning, poor circulation resulting from overuse of painkillers could be the cause for hearing loss. But there could be other reasons too. Whatever be the reason, protecting your ears with the right nutrients could go a long way in helping prevent hearing loss. And maybe, even help reverse hearing loss.
Click here to learn more about out the perfect nutrient combination that can help improve your hearing in as little as 7 days.

Related Reading: Why men are more prone to hearing loss

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