Coffee consumption may hinder the body's ability to heal hearing damage, says a new study. The researchers at the McGill University in Canada found that caffeine consumption can greatly impede hearing recovery from loud noise and can even lead to permanent damage.
"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," said Dr Faisal Zawawi, an otolaryngologist at McGill.
‘Exposure to loud noises cause temporary hearing loss, which is reversible in 72 hours. But caffeine hinders hearing recovery, leading to a permanent hearing loss.’
The researchers conducted an experimental study on guinea pigs. They tested the guinea pigs in environments of noise without coffee and noise with coffee.
The pigs were exposed to loud noise for one hour per day for eight days. The noise was similar to what people hear at a rock concert. The researchers found significant hearing loss between the two groups.
According to the European Food Safety Authority, caffeine intakes from all sources up to 400 mg per day and single doses of 200 mg might be safe for adults in the general population.
However, the current study suggests that exposure to loud noises coupled with daily consumption of 25 mg of caffeine may have a serious impact on hearing recovery.