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Caution: Painkillers Can Increase Hearing Loss

hearing loss and pain killers for back pain

Over-The-Counter Pain Killers linked to Hearing Loss

If you suffer with chronic pain, before reaching into your medicine cabinet, read this. Past studies have shown that side effects of pain killers can including nauseu, kidney problems, memory loss, depression, and more. Now, recent studies have shown a surprising, yet significant, link between the use of over-the-counter (OTC) painkillers and hearing loss. Both men and women who regularly use acetaminophen or ibuprofen (whether generic brands, or with the brand names Advil, Motrin, or Tylenol) have increased levels of hearing loss compared to people who do not take these medications.

The risks are higher for people younger than 50 years old. Researchers also discovered that people who take OTC painkillers 2-3 times per week had a 10% higher risk for hearing loss than people who take them less than once per week.  And for women — who generally take OTC painkillers more frequently than men — their risk of hearing loss jumped 21% higher if they take the painkillers 4 or 5 days a week.

Neither aspirin nor naproxen have yet been found to have any effect on hearing.

The scientists believe that acetaminophen and ibuprofen have qualities that may reduce blood flow to the cochlea (the the snail-shell shaped part of the inner ear). Reduced blood flow would impair the cochlea’s ability to function properly.

Researchers are not suggesting that all use of these OTC pain medications cease. As the lead author of the report states, “We want people to know that these are medications with potential side effects. If you need to take them regularly, consult with a health care professional to discuss the risks, symptoms, and benefits.”

Drug-Free Neck and Back Pain Treatment in Fort Wayne

As with all medications, it is important to be up front with your medical professional about how much you take, how often, and why. If chronic back pain or neck pain is an issue that leads you to regularly and frequently self-medicate, the pain relief specialists at Busch Chiropractic urge you to visit their office to speak with Dr. Busch about their drug-free back and neck pain treatments. At Busch Chiropractic, we customize treatments to meet each patient’s symptoms, needs and lifestyle. You don’t have to live with pain! Contact Busch Chiropractic today for a drug-free approach to pain relief.

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