Recent research has revealed that some women who take common painkillers are more likely to be diagnosed with hearing loss. More precisely, those who took acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) for around six years or more had an elevated risk of suffering hearing loss compared to those who took painkillers for twelve months or less, according to a group of experts from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.
Dr. Gary Curhan, the lead researcher of the study, underlines that even the smallest increase in risk might have detrimental health effects. By taking account of the causes, it means that roughly 16.2 percent of hearing loss which occurs in women might be caused by acetaminophen and ibuprofen use.
Nevertheless, the scientists explained that they didn’t find a direct association between common pain relievers and hearing loss. During the survey, the researchers reviewed the medical records of over 54,000 women ages between 48 and 73 involved in the Nurses’ Health Study.
Based on the study findings, women who used acetaminophen and ibuprofen for a longer period were more likely to suffer impaired hearing. The scientists added that the majority of study participants were white and older.
As such, only a comprehensive study would reveal whether women who take common painkillers have indeed a higher risk of suffering hearing loss later in life. Such a study would involve other groups of participants.
The experts previously discovered that younger women and men who took nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDS, and acetaminophen for a longer period were more likely to suffer hearing loss.
It means that the side-effects are not limited to women only, as they can take their toll on men too. Curhan stresses that hearing loss has become a public health concern in the country because it is very common.
This preventable condition has a devastating impact on the life quality of many Americans who are unaware of the risks of taking too many pain relievers. Curhan’s team aims to identify the main factors causing hearing impairment.
This way, the researchers will be able to prevent hearing loss among men and women. Also, they will develop a treatment which will slow the progression of this impairment in patients.