Treating medical conditions without creating unwanted side effects – or new conditions altogether – is a delicate situation. And with so many drugs on the market, it’s important to be informed and aware of your course of therapy.

Ototoxicity – sometimes referred to as ear poisoning – results from exposure to drugs or chemicals that damage the inner ear or the vestibule-cochlea nerve. Common medicines that can cause hearing loss include a range of antibiotics, diuretics, chemotherapeutic agents and NSAIDs, as well as environmental chemicals and other substances, like lead, mercury and carbon monoxide.

Whether your medication regimen is temporary or long-term, it’s important to be aware of the signs of ototoxicity and get ahead of any potential problems. The audiologists at Hearing Associates – located in Mason City, Iowa, and Albert Lea, Minnesota – can help. Read on to find out how, or call 888.760.2032 to schedule your hearing evaluation.

Symptoms of ototoxicity might include:

  • Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears
  • Bilateral or unilateral hearing loss
  • Dizziness
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Unsteady walk or gait
  • Oscillating or bouncing vision

There are currently no treatments available for ototoxicity damage. Instead, efforts focus on preventative action to limit further damage.

Those with hearing loss caused by ototoxicity might find relief with hearing aids. Individuals with profound bilateral (two-sided) hearing loss may benefit from cochlear implants, too.

Preventively speaking, you can take several actions to identify and avoid ototoxicity. Mitigate taking multiple types of ototoxic drugs (aspirin, quinine, loop diuretics, and aminoglycosides). When using airborne chemicals that are potentially ototoxic, ensure good ventilation – open windows, turn on fans, and stay hydrated.

Discuss your concerns with your doctor by requesting a hearing and balance test to create a baseline and following up with regular testing every year or as directed by your audiologist.

The audiologists at Hearing Associates in Mason City, Iowa, and Albert Lea, Minnesota, are well-versed in ototoxicity damage. Request an appointment today or call our staff at 888.760.2032 to regain control of your hearing health.