Hearing loss can be caused by a number of things, from illness to loud noise. Did you know that medications, both over-the-counter and prescription strength, have been found to cause hearing loss as well?
The term for medication-induced hearing loss is ototoxicity. When we are sick, doctors often prescribe medications, and these medications can be life-saving, but some of these medications can also damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear and cause temporary or permanent hearing loss.
As medications accumulate in the body, ototoxicity becomes a greater risk. The ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) has cited over 200 medications and chemicals that cause hearing loss and balance disorders such as vertigo. If you regularly take any of these types of medications, you may want to ask your doctor if hearing loss is a concern.
Diuretics are prescribed to treat conditions such as glaucoma, high blood pressure, and edema. These drugs can sometimes cause a temporary hearing loss or tinnitus.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and aspirin are often taken to reduce swelling and inflammation that cause pain. It was found that regular use of these drugs, even at over-the-counter dosages, can cause hearing loss. The hearing loss was found to be temporary and stopped when the medications were no longer taken, but with long-term use more permanent damage could occur.
Antibiotics are great for killing bacterial infections and often save lives. One class of antibiotics, however, aminoglycosides, have hearing loss listed as a possible side effect. This class of antibiotics is usually only prescribed to treat serious infections such as meningitis when other antibiotics aren’t working.
Platinum-based chemotherapy drugs, such as Cisplatin, can be used to treat metastatic cancers like testicular, ovarian and bladder cancers. This chemotherapy drug has been found to damage the hair cells in the inner ear and can cause tinnitus, vertigo, and temporary or permanent hearing loss. Scientists are currently studying ways to deliver the medication to the cancer without affecting hearing.
Even if you are taking one of these medications, you may not experience hearing loss. It is important to understand the risks, and to look for hearing loss symptoms, so hearing loss can be slowed or prevented.
Check with your doctor to assess the risks to your hearing with any medication, and have regular hearing screenings to evaluate your own hearing and prevent damage.
The first step to halting hearing loss and preventing further damage is to recognize your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
You’re invited to our 3-Day Open House to Experience the Latest Hearing Technology! It’s FREE – May 15, 16, 17 Tue-Thurs
Dr. Jane Petersen, a Nationally Known Doctor of Audiology is visiting. She will help you with a FREE hearing screening and examination, and to help you experience the latest hearing devices. Technology designed for easler, more enjoyable listening, plus connectivity to your Apple devices. Special discounts will be available!
Limited appointments available. Call on the date of your choice. (925) 480-7901