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Study: Caffeine may worsen hearing loss

Coffee’s effect on one’s health has seen both positive and negative reviews, but one recent study is again claiming it’s drawback: it can dramatically affect the body’s ability to recover from hearing damage.

The study, which was conducted by the Research Institute at the McGill University Health Centre, and published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, claims that caffeine impairs the body’s ability to recover from short-term hearing loss.

The research involved two groups of unfortunate guinea pigs, with both subjected to extremely loud noise for a prolonged burst (specifically to mimic a live show at 110 db).  The first group of lab animals were given lots of caffeine, the second group abstained. 

“Our research confirmed that exposure to loud auditory stimuli coupled with daily consumption of 25 mg/kg of caffeine had a clear negative impact on hearing recovery,” says Dr. Faisal Zawawi, an otolaryngologist at the McGill Auditory Sciences Laboratory, according to Digital Media News.

“This disorder is usually reversible in the first 72 hours after the exposure but, if symptoms persist, the damage could become permanent,” Zawawi stated.

The guinea pigs were given 15 mg of caffeine per day. A cup of coffee (8 fl oz.) has about 95-200 mg of caffeine, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“Although caffeine intake is common in people involved in noise-related environments, the effect of caffeine on the recovery of hearing after a temporary threshold shift requires further understanding,” according to the study. 

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