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Hearing Loss: A side effect from taking Viagra

Since the recent death of Playboy editor-and-chief Hugh Heffner, the topic of hearing loss as a side effect of taking the prescription Viagra has come up in the news again. We wanted to explore the notices that the FDA has put out and the real facts behind hearing loss and Viagra.

A 2007 study, published in The Archives of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, shows that some individuals who have taken Viagra and other PDE-5 inhibitors reported sudden hearing loss in one or both ears.

The findings prompted the Federal Drug Administration to send out a new warning for Viagra in 2007. The reason for the reported hearing loss isn’t specified, though hearing experts believe that increased blood flow to the delicate hearing mechanism may actually damage parts of the hearing system. Interestingly enough, occasional increase in blood flow through exercise is good for the ears as we’ve covered in a previous blog post, but perhaps excessive

Along with hearing loss, Viagra can cause tinnitus, which leads to the perception of a ringing sound in one’s ears.

Tinnitus is a symptom of ailments such as ear injury, age-related hearing loss and circulatory system disorder.

Viagra isn’t the only drug that can potentially lead to hearing loss. Aspirin in large doses may contribute to hearing loss.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen along with certain antibiotics like gentamicin and neomycin can also contribute to potential hearing loss.

As with all prescribed medicines, it’s important to speak with your doctor about any potential side effects.

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Nick Eugenis
Nick Eugenis is the Digital Content Specialist at Beltone. Nick supports the digital marketing efforts of Beltone along with providing assistance to various Beltone locations throughout North America. He spends his free time with his wife, daughter and Shiba Inu named “Hachi”.

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