A new study has been released that links hearing loss to erectile dysfunction medications such as Viagra, Levitra and Cialis. These medications are all classified as phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors, which means they hinder negative action in the blood vessel cells that border the penis. A 2007 order by the FDA called for these medications to clearly proclaim the risk of hearing loss on the packaging.
However, there is no need for panic—this hearing loss study requires further research in order to be proven certain. The flaw in the study is that it was only conducted on older men, who may have already been predisposed to hearing loss through genetics.
More research is being done on the topic, but experts speculate that for the same reason phosphodiesterase type 5 inhibitors are successful in achieving an erection, they can be damaging to hearing. Increased blood flow to the penis is positive, though elevated blood flow in the ear is hazardous and may result in hearing complications.
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