A recent study reveals that a daily caffeine intake could have a damaging effect on consumer’s hearing.
The research data was gathered by scientists at the McGill University in Canada and it focused on the effects of caffeine in regards to the body’s ability to recover its hearing after being exposed to loud noises for a repeated amount of time.
Auditory temporary threshold shift is the ear’s ability to reduce overall hearing when it is exposed to loud sounds and noises for a continuous and lengthy amount of time. When the shift does kick in, adults require about 72 hours for their hearing to revert to normal.
Medical specialists have stated that if the hearing does not full recover in 72 hours, then the damage could be permanent.
Data gathered from the study is pointing towards caffeine impeding with the recovery time from auditory temporary threshold shift.
Of Caffeine and Guinea Pigs
The study was laboratory performed and guinea pigs were used to gather the data. McGill University Otolaryngologists initially split the guinea pigs into just two groups. Both groups of guinea pigs were exposed to different noises and sounds that stayed in the range of 110 decibels.
The exposure was limited to one hour every day. For comparison, a construction jack-hammer is 95 decibels loud, while a motorcycle easily hits 100 decibels. Power-saws usually hit the precise 110-decibel mark.
Caffeine was administered to only one group of guinea pigs. Every day, each of the subjects was given coffee with a caffeine concentration of 25 milligrams per kilogram. For comparison, a single regular adult-sized cup of coffee has a concentration of 400 milligrams per kilogram.
Guinea pigs are however considerably smaller than human adults, which is why the concentration was proportional to their height and weight.
Observation and data show that caffeinated guinea pigs were still experiencing the reduced hearing from the auditory temporary threshold shift even eight days after exposure to the noise stopped.
McGill University conducted the experiment due to previous observation of a potential correlation between caffeine consumption and loss of hearing during a different previous experiment.
On average, adults in the United States in urban environment consume more than one cup of coffee per day. A majority are also exposed to noises that surpass 90 decibels for more than one hour.
Avid caffeine consumers are advised to protect their hearing.
Image Courtesy of Flickr.