Headache? Back pain? At the first sign of pain, you reach for the painkillers to sooth your body woes.
Analgesics are the most commonly used drugs in the United States and is commonly used to treat a variety of medical conditions. But despite popping a pill pain go away, it may do some damage to your ears.
According to a study by researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), the women who took ibuprofen or acetaminophen for two or more days per week had increased risk of hearing loss. The more often women taking one of these drugs, the higher her risk for hearing loss.
Also, the interaction between drugs and hearing loss tended to be greater in women younger than 50 years, especially for those taking ibuprofen six or more days each week. There is no relationship between the use of aspirin and hearing loss. A study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.
Hearing other women
The researchers prospectively evaluated the relationship between the frequency of use of aspirin, ibuprofen and acetaminophen and risk of hearing loss in women nurses’ Health Study II. Data from 62 261 women aged 31-48 years at the beginning of the study. The women were followed for 14 years, from 1995 to 2009. Ten thousand and twelve women who self-reported hearing loss.
Compared with women who used ibuprofen less than once per week, taking ibuprofen 2 to 3 days per week are 13% increased risk for hearing loss, while women who took the drug 4 to 5 days per week had a 21% increased risk. For users of ibuprofen six or more days per week, the increased risk was 24%.
Compared with women who used acetaminophen less than once per week, women who had used acetaminophen 2 to 3 days per week of 11% increased risk of hearing loss, while women take medication 4 to 5 days Each week had a 21% the risk.
“The mechanism may be possible that NSAIDs can reduce blood flow to parts of the body and fed hearing undermine its function,” says first author of the study by Sharon G. Curhan, MD, BWH Division of Medicine Channing Network. “Acetaminophen can cost factors that protect the cochlea from damage.”
Curhan noted that although analgesics are widely available without a prescription, they are still drugs carry potential side effects. “If people find the need to do these types of drugs regularly, they should consult their health care professionals to discuss the risks and benefits and to explore possible alternatives,” Curhan said.
More than 50% of American adults suffer from high frequency hearing loss by the time they reach 60 years of age. A third of women in their 50 and almost two-thirds in their 60s have a hearing loss.
According to the World Health Organization, adult onset hearing loss is the sixth most common disease burden in high income countries.