Recent research has uncovered a potential link between painkiller use and hearing loss.

The study, which examined the effects that acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin had on the hearing abilities of over 62,000 women between the ages of 31 and 48, found that using acetaminophen 2-3 days a week increased the risk of hearing loss by 11%, while taking the painkiller 4-5 days a week elevated the risk by 21%. As for ibuprofen, taking it 2-3 days a week raised the risk of hearing loss by 13%, taking it 4-5 days a week raised it by 21%, and taking it 6-7 days a week raised it by 24%. Aspirin use was not tied with hearing loss. However, aspirin is often linked with temporary tinnitus or ringing in the ears.

The link between over-the-counter medications and hearing loss is quite conclusive. If you have concerns about medications that may be affecting your hearing, call your local audiologist.