Many of us reach for the ibuprofen or acetaminophen when we have aches or pains. However, new studies have shown that regular use of household painkillers including ibuprofen and paracetamol can lead to an increased risk of hearing loss in women– a study 2 years ago had already confirmed this connection in men.
The study of more than 62,000 women found that taking the drugs just twice a week increases the risk of hearing loss by up to 13 per cent. Using ibuprofen six times a week makes women up to 24 per cent more likely to develop some degree of hearing problem as compared with those who do not use the medication.
Those using paracetamol up to five times a week increase the risk of hearing loss by 21 per cent. However, the same effect was not seen for women who regularly take aspirin.
Researchers who carried out the US study say they do not yet know why there is a link, or whether the damage caused is permanent. In the latest study, data was taken from the Nurses’ Health Study in the US, a national survey of 116,430 female registered nurses conducted over 14 years from 1995 to 2009.
Women were asked how often they took paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin. The final results were adjusted to take into account other factors such as health problems, weight, vitamin deficiency and alcohol intake. The study identified more than 10,000 reported cases of hearing loss.
If you believe that your hearing may be at risk, we recommend a hearing evaluation with a board certified audiologist, like those at Timpanogos Hearing & Balance. You can call to schedule your free initial evaluation at 801-770-0801.