A recent study found that caffeine may actually prevent hearing recovery after being exposed to loud noises, like at a rave or concert. Which means it's probably best to stick to drinking water when looking to bounce back.
Published via JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surgery (through PubMed) and conducted at the McGill University Auditory Sciences Laboratory, the study involved three groups of guinea pigs. One group would be exposed to 110-dB “pure tone sound,” another group would be exposed to caffeine, and the last group would be exposed to both. For the groups that were exposed to caffeine, 25 mg/kg were administered for each of the 15 days, while the groups exposed to sound were administered an hour of noise on days 1 and 8.
Although the sound was only administered for an hour on just 2 days out of the 15, researchers found that the group that was exposed to both caffeine and sound recovered hearing at a much slower rate than the group that was just exposed to sound. On day eight the group that was exposed to both had trouble hearing 8-, 16-, and 25-kHz frequencies while the group only exposed to sound was fully recovered, except for 20 kHz frequencies.
These findings could prove to be troubling for many avid concert-goers who are exposed to overstimulation of sound and like to enjoy their coffee in the morning. We recommend finding an alternative as the frequencies experienced at concerts are much greater than the the frequencies used in this study. Read more of the results below.
"The day 1 post-AOSE measurement resulted in a similar threshold shift in all animals in groups 2 and 3 at all frequencies tested (8, 16, 20, and 25 kHz). The maximum threshold shift was at 16 kHz, with a mean of 66.12 dB. By day 8, the threshold shift in group 2 recovered completely at all frequencies except 20 kHz, where a mean threshold shift of 20.63 dB of sound pressure level (SPL) was present. Hearing impairment in group 3 persisted in 8-, 16-, and 25-kHz frequencies with thresholds of 21.88, 28.13, and 26.25 dB SPL, respectively (P = .001). After a second AOSE at day 8, similar threshold shift and outcome were recorded on day 15 compared with day 8, with a mean threshold shift at 20 kHz of 29.38 dB SPL in group 2 and mean threshold shifts at 8, 16, 20, and 25 kHz of 29.38, 35.63, 40.63, and 38.75 dB SPL, respectively, in group 3. The difference in ABR threshold recovery was in concordance with scanning electronic and light microscopy findings for each group."
[photo by Julius Schorzman]