In a turn of events that has left everyone at Tone Deaf HQ absolutely terrified, scientists have discovered that drinking caffeine after a loud concert could actually be detrimental to your hearing.

As Consequence of Sound reports, a study conducted by researchers at McGill University and published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery suggests caffeine impacts how ears recover from loud noise damage.

The study involved three groups of female albino guinea pigs, who were exposed to caffeine, 110db “pure tone sound”, or both. The caffeine groups were given caffeine every day for 15 days.

Meanwhile, the ‘noise groups’ were exposed to “acoustic overstimulation events” on days one and eight for one hour. Researchers found that those subjects given caffeine recovered their hearing at a significantly slower rate than the control group.

For example, on day eight, the group exposed to loud noise but not given caffeine almost fully recovered their hearing, bar the 20 kHz range, whilst the group given both had issues at multiple frequencies.

This is particularly worrying for us at Tone Deaf, since drinking coffee and listening to loud music is pretty much all we do. The sound levels used in the experiment were set at 110db and most concerts range between 100-120db.

So what does this mean for you? Well, if the venue you’re attending offers free ear plugs, definitely take advantage and probably skip the morning coffee the day after, even if you have to go in to work that morning.

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