Frequent and long-term use of pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or acetaminophen (Tylenol), may be a risk factor for hearing loss. Researchers say the pain relievers may damage the cochlea, the snail-shaped hearing mechanism in the inner ear. Ibuprofen can reduce blood flow to the cochlea, which could result in cellular damage and cell death. Acetaminophen may deplete the antioxidant glutathione, which protects the cochlea from damage. It’s important to take these medications mindfully and to limit their use as much as possible.
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