Ototoxicity is damage to the inner ear due to medications or chemicals that are toxic to the delicate hearing and balancing organs located there. This can lead to balance and/or hearing issues that may necessitate the use of a hearing aid or cochlear implant to enhance an individual’s ability to hear, along with vestibular rehabilitation for those who have lost their sense of balance.
Early symptoms that ototoxicity is affecting your ears are ringing in the ears, dizziness, and sudden change in hearing ability. Because these symptoms overlap with many other inner ear disorders and injuries, it’s necessary to get a diagnosis from a hearing doctor before planning a way of treating it.
The symptoms of ototoxicity may go away upon stopping certain medicines that can be stopped, but continued use can lead to permanent damage.
During a diagnostic appointment, a doctor will ask someone experiencing these symptoms about their medical history, specifically about their exposure to known ototoxic compounds. They will also run a few tests to check your hearing ability and how sound signals are being communicated to the brain. If you are currently taking any ototoxic medications they will talk to your primary care provider about receiving different drugs.
The most common ototoxic drugs are those used during chemotherapy to treat cancer. Specific chemicals include gentamicin, carboplatin, streptomycin, and cisplatin. Drugs called loop diuretics such as Lasix are also ototoxic.
The more common drugs known to be ototoxic are Aspirin and Quinine. While they can be helpful in treating certain conditions, if you notice a change in your hearing or balance, call your doctor to see if the medication can be switched.
Unfortunately, ototoxic chemicals can often lead to permanent hearing loss of varying degrees. If this is the case and you have stopped taking the ototoxic medication, you may be ready for a hearing aid from Georgia Hearing Aid Factory Outlet. We offer three convenient locations to serve patients in communities throughout Georgia including East Cobb, Acworth, Amicalola, and more. Our hearing specialists can give you a hearing test and help you pick out your personalized hearing solution from small and discreet to powerful and high-tech hearing aids. Give us a call or contact us online today to get started.