News & Events
March 30, 2017
Caffeine may worsen noise-related hearing loss

[] Caffeine can significantly affect the body’s ability to recover from temporary noise-induced hearing loss, a study finds.

A study conducted by the Research Institute at the McGill University Health Centre in Canada suggests that caffeine can seriously affect the body’s ability to recover from temporary hearing loss after extremely loud events. Furthermore, the study found that caffeine can contribute to longer-term permanent damage that would originally be repaired.

“When the ear is exposed to loud noise, it can suffer from a temporary hearing reduction, also called auditory temporary threshold shift. This disorder is usually reversible in the first 72 hours after the exposure, but if symptoms persist, the damage could become permanent,” Dr. Faisal Zawawi, an otolaryngologist at McGill University Health Centre in Canada said.

Slows down the recovery time

The study was performed as a 15-day experiment and conducted on 24 guinea pigs divided into three groups. The first group was exposed to caffeine; the other was exposed to noise or “acoustic stimulation” not unlike what you hear at a rock concert (110 dB) for one hour; and the last group was exposed to both caffeine and loud noise on the first and the eight day of the trials.

Results show that guinea pigs that had been exposed to caffeine and loud sounds at the same time had a much slower recovery from temporary noise-induced hearing loss than the group who were only exposed to sounds. In addition to the much slower recovery time, these guinea pigs also experienced hearing loss after day 15.

The researchers have plans to widen their testing involving people in the future, so the findings will be confirmed by human results.

The study was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association