Common painkillers may significantly damage your hearing. In this analysis of the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study, researchers found that men who took acetaminophen at least twice each week DOUBLED their risk of hearing loss. And compared to men who used painkillers infrequently, regular use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen increased hearing loss more than 60 percent.
“Analgesic Use and the Risk of Hearing Loss in Men” The American Journal of Medicine, Vol. 123, No. 3, March 2010, amjmed.com
“Common Painkillers Might Make You Hard of Hearing” Megan Brooks, Reuters Health, 3/5/10, reutershealth.com
Hearing loss is a major health threat and life altering problem. Recent research suggests hearing loss and dementia are related.
Supplements such as folate and vitamin B-12 deficiencies may aggravate hearing loss. Some cases are linked to zinc deficiency. Research has shown that ginkgo biloba supplements may relieve some symptoms.
Extended use of powerful drugs such as chemotherapy, antibiotics and intravenous diuretics can also lead to hearing loss.
Order supplements @ www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com
High blood levels of homocysteine can increase the risk of hearing loss, and low folate levels sharply increase that risk even more.
Elevated homocysteine can obstruct blood flow to the cochlea–the section of the inner ear that converts vibrations to electrical signals. Homocysteine is best known for creating heart problems. Most importantly, an elevated homocysteine level is an independent risk factor for heart disease. High levels of this amino acid are also linked with Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, and vision problems.
So could a couple of B vitamins help?
Well, we know that high levels of vitamin B12 and folate (also known as B9) are associated with low homocysteine levels.
Homocysteine levels tend to rise as we age. So…if folate is low, homocysteine high, and hearing is impaired, can some folic acid (synthetic folate) help?
One study says yes. But don’t expect miracles.
Researchers in the Netherlands gave 800 micrograms of folic acid or a placebo to nearly 730 subjects over the age of 50 with high homocysteine levels. After three years, average rate of decline in hearing low frequencies was significantly less in the folic acid group compared to placebo. But both groups had similar decline in hearing higher frequencies.
But folic acid isn’t your only option.
Vinpocetine is an herbal extract that improves circulation. Ideally, it might help alleviate reduced blood flow to the cochlea–especially when your meal plan contains dietary sources of folate, such as beans, chickpeas, asparagus, spinach, and other leafy green vegetables.
In that hearing loss is a widespread sensory condition that generally impacts with age, Paul Mitchell, from the University of Sydney (Australia), and colleagues analyzed data collected on 2,956 men and women enrolled in the Blue Mountains Hearing Study, surveying the subjects regarding their dietary intakes of fish. The team found that two servings of fish weekly reduced hearing loss in subjects ages 50 years and older, compared with people who average less than one serving per week. Writing that: “There was an inverse association between higher intakes of [omega-3 fatty acids] and regular weekly consumption of fish and hearing loss,” the researchers conclude that: “Dietary intervention with [omega-3 fatty acids] could prevent or delay the development of age-related hearing loss.”
Dr. Tucker recommends EPA-DHA 720 by Metagenics www.DrJeffreyTucker.meta-ehealth.com
Did you know that a side effect of acetaminophen is hearing loss? Can Tylenol really cause hearing loss?
Here’s what we already know: A steady intake of acetaminophen or non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) puts your liver at risk. And regular use of these painkillers to address chronic headaches can actually contribute to the cycle of recurring headaches.
In addition, recently a Boston team examined data from the past 18 years of research conducted through the Health Professionals’ Follow-Up Study which followed medical records of nearly 27,000 men who were at least 40 years old when the study began.
The question was: Is there a link between painkiller use and a toxic reaction in the auditory nerve? Results showed that men younger than 50 who took a painkiller at least twice each week dramatically increased their risk of hearing loss. Compared to men who used painkillers less frequently or not at all, NSAIDs use accounted for increased hearing loss of more than 60 percent. Those who took acetaminophen at least twice each week DOUBLED their risk of hearing loss.
For the average person, hearing loss of about one percent each year is typical. That may sound like a drop in the bucket, but those drops add up. The math is easy: in just the decade between 40 and 50, most of us loose 10 percent of our hearing.
Unlike most other causes of hearing loss, this one can be modified. You can try a non-drug alternative to acetaminophen and NSAIDs called DoloroX by Xymogen. Call 1-800-647-6100 or www.Xymogen.com PIN# TUC 500
Supplementation of 800 micrograms of folic acid daily as in ActiFolate by Metagenics is helpful. In one study that took place over three years, subjects who received placebo instead of folic acid experienced significantly greater loss of low frequency hearing. Men over the age of 60 who reported the highest intake of folate and/or folic acid were significantly less likely to develop hearing loss.
Intake of ActiFolate (1 tab) or Multigenics (6 tabs) will provide folate; folic acid is the supplement form of folate. Beta carotene, vitamins C and E are all useful as well.
You can get more folate in your diet by eating spinach and other leafy green vegetables, asparagus, peas, beans, chickpeas, and liver.