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May 16, 2013

Hearing Loss May be Caused by Aspirin, Tylenol, and NSAIDS

Researchers from Harvard and Vanderbilt reported that men who regularly take aspirin, tylenol, or NSAIDS (like ibuprofen) are at increased risk of hearing loss. This increased risk of hearing loss is significantly higher the longer the duration of regular use (defined as 2 or more times per week) and if regular use starts under the age of 50 years.

For women, however, only tylenol and NSAIDS were found harmful to hearing (not aspirin).

Indeed, the conclusion is that regular over-the-counter pain killers may in fact be mildly ototoxic and that such overuse be avoided if possible and would not adversely affect health in other more important aspects (ie, especially in the absence of heart or vascular disease for which daily aspirin is often recommended).

Just goes to show you that too much of any medication is harmful.

Not only does tylenol lead to hearing loss, but it can also cause liver failure and accounts for 400 deaths in the US every year. [more info]

Ibuprofen is even worse leading to bleeding problems and 15,000 to 20,000 deaths in the US every year. [more info]


References:
Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Women. Am J Epidemiol. 2012 Sep 15;176(6):544-54. Epub 2012 Aug 29. [full text]

Analgesic use and the risk of hearing loss in men. Am J Med. 2010 Mar;123(3):231-7. doi: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2009.08.006. [full text]
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

1 comment:

  1. I have found that when I take Ibuprofen, my tinnitus is worse. Tylenol does not have this effect though...strange. considering that I blame whatever is in Neocitren as that is what started my long struggle with tinnitus!

    ReplyDelete

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