Hearing Loss

What is Ototoxic Hearing Loss?

Posted by Admin |

A substance that can damage your inner ear, causing hearing loss, tinnitus and in some cases balance problems are known as “ototoxic.” There are over 200 known prescription and over-the-counter medications on the market today that are considered ototoxic. Your hearing is usually only at risk if these medications are given in very high doses. In our blog today, we’re taking a closer look at ototoxic hearing loss to help you understand the signs and symptoms to look out for.

What is Ototoxic Hearing Loss?

Medications that are poisonous auditory nerve or cochlea, are described as ototoxic, and can result in ototoxicity.

As a phrase, ototoxicity could even be described as “ear poisoning.” It’s origins come from the combination of two Latin words:

  1. Oto, meaning “ear”, and
  2. Toxicity, which translates to “poisoning”

Ototoxicity affects the function of your inner ear. In some cases, ototoxic medications may actually damage the cochlea or the cochlear nerve, which can cause balance problems alongside impaired hearing. It’s important if you’re taking any medication to work closely with your general health practitioner who will be able to advise you of any potential drug interactions.

What Are The Symptoms Of Ototoxic Hearing Loss?

Symptoms of ototoxic hearing loss can be mild or severe. The most common symptoms include:

  1. Impaired hearing
  2. Persistent tinnitus, also known as ‘ringing in the ears’
  3. Balance problems, or a loss of balance

What Medications Are Ototoxic?

There are over 200 medications today that are known to be ototoxic. Some of the known ototoxic medications include aspirin, NSAIDs including ibuprofen, antibiotics, and more. Other medications include those used to treat more serious conditions, such as heart disease or cancer. How ototoxic the medication is, depends on how long you’ve been taking the medication, the dosage you’re on, and potential interaction with other medication you may be taking. For a more complete list of ototoxic medications, click here.

Remember, it’s important to work closely with your general health practitioner, particularly if you feel that your medication is causing symptoms of ototoxic hearing loss.

How Can I Prevent Ototoxic Hearing Loss?

Ototoxic hearing loss isn’t very common. In most cases, it’s also not permanent. Your best preventative measure is to work with your health practitioner. Make sure they know any medications that you’re taking, both prescribed or over-the-counter.

In some cases, your physician may advise that you visit a hearing professional, such as the team at Come Hear Greenville. Our team will give you a hearing assessment to establish your baseline hearing, and monitor for any changes. If you’d like to discuss further, or if you feel you need to book in a hearing assessment, call us on (864) 546-5708 today and arrange your next appointment.

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