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What? Surgery shows that using Viagra may lead to long-term hearing loss

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Unread 05.31.10, 02:07 PM
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What? Surgery shows that using Viagra may lead to long-term hearing loss

Dear Reader,

I'm sure there's a joke in here somewhere.

A guy goes to his doctor and says he's been having some trouble at home. The doctor gives him a prescription for Viagra. The guy goes home and finds he suddenly can't hear his wife asking him to take out the trash anymore.

You know, on second thought, I'm not going to go down this road.

But, hey, maybe Pfizer could spin it into some kind of marketing campaign. Because otherwise, researchers just dealt another blow to the little blue bedroom booster.

What in the world am I talking about? A study in the May 18 issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery shows that using Viagra may lead to long-term hearing loss.

The study came in response to reports regarding sudden hearing loss among users of Viagra and other similar drugs, and the FDA's decision to label Viagra with more prominent warnings about hearing loss risk.

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham analyzed data from more than 11,500 men over the age of 40. And what they found is pretty serious -- men taking Viagra and other drugs that work in similar ways had twice the risk for developing hearing loss as men who weren't taking the drugs.

That's right -- taking Viagra DOUBLED the risk of losing their hearing. In fact, among men taking the drugs, almost one in three had hearing loss. Even after accounting for other factors, a strong link remained.

The researchers suspect it has to do with an increase of blood flow -- the same reason it was harnessed as a treatment for erectile dysfunction after being developed as a blood pressure drug. They say increased blood flow to tissues in the ear could cause damage and, subsequently, hearing loss.

So what do you do? Pitting a problem that can have serious effect on your quality of life against a potential side effect results in some pretty tough decision-making.

It's a decision you might not even have to consider, though. There are some potent natural options out there, and Dr. Wright has covered a few of them in Nutrition & Healing over the years.

For example, increasing your levels of L-arginine or supplementing with choline (1,000-3,000 mg) and vitamin B5 (500-1,500 mg) could do the trick.

For more possible answers, search the archive at www.wrightnewsletter.com.

Yours in good health,

Christine O'Brien

Sources:
"Viagra could double risk of hearing loss," Yahoo News (news.yahoo.com)
"Viagra Linked to Hearing Loss," MedlinePlus (nlm.nih.gov)
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