Evanston Audiology - Evanston, IL

A new study by the American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology has solidified what researchers already knew about women: that ibuprofen use in women can worsen hearing loss over time. Before this, protecting your hearing involved little more than avoiding very loud situations. Now there is concrete evidence that ibuprofen, a common pain relief medication, can increase incidents of hearing loss in people as they age. As such, you may want to avoid certain medications in an effort to protect your hearing health.

What to Do

It’s a good idea to inspect all labels on cold and sinus medications found over the counter, because they may contain ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor to get approval before taking ibuprofen, so you know how it can potentially incur hearing loss. One alternative is for you to take naproxen instead, which is not thought to affect hearing in any way. You may still ingest non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen if muscle pain or headaches come on but if hearing loss is an issue with you, refrain from taking this medication to be safe.

Conclusive Findings

A study, conducted by the American Journal of Advanced Epidemiology, showed that a quarter of those women who ingested ibuprofen and acetaminophen more than twice in one week experienced hearing loss. The study involved 60,000 women over 14 years to conclusively determine that pain relievers like ibuprofen and acetaminophen can bring on hearing loss in females.


It’s so secret how pain relievers such as ibuprofen can bring on hearing loss. The use of these medications can cut off normal blood flow to the cochlear located in the inner ear. When you ingest acetaminophen, especially, you can harm the ear structures that are in place to protect your cochlea. Tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo can all be brought on through the ingestion of ibuprofen. In addition, it’s possible that analgesics that can damage your kidneys can also damage your ears, characterized by ototoxicity.

While researchers have done studies on ibuprofen and hearing loss occurring in men, no such studies up till now had been done on women. What you can do to improve hearing is to refrain from taking certain medications.

More Research

The need for more research is important, which is why the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is conducting research on 150,000 women country wide to find out the many factors that can contribute to hearing loss. From hormones to diet to alcohol consumption, hearing loss can be brought on by several things.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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