Did you know that hearing loss can be caused by certain drugs, including over the counter medications? There are several common medications in use today that are known to be ‘ototoxic’, meaning that they can cause hearing loss. Ototoxic literally means ear poisoning, and these drugs can cause a variety of hearing loss conditions including temporary or permanent hearing loss, tinnitus, and problems with balance or the pressure in the ears.
Here at Hidden Hearing, we treat people with all types of hearing loss, many of whom have developed hearing loss as a result of a preventable cause, such as exposure to loud noises or taking ototoxic medications. We believe it is very important to educate people about the risks these pose to their hearing, especially if they have a history of hearing loss in the family.
Which Drugs Cause Hearing Loss?
There are more than two hundred medications considered to be ototoxic on the market today, and these include very common drugs such as Aspirin. Most people do not realise that their medications have potential side effects that include hearing loss, and it is always worth asking your doctor to check this when you are given a prescription.
Some medications can cause temporary damage that will be reversed once the medication is no longer being taken. These include:
• Salycilates, which are usually taken for heart conditions or for pain relief, and include Aspirin and Acetaminophen.
• Anti-inflammatory medications, which are usually prescribed for arthritis and for pain relief
• Quinine, which is used to treat and prevent Malaria
• Loop Diuretics, which are prescribed for some conditions of the heart and kidneys
• Medications for erectile disfunction, such as Viagra.
However, some medications can lead to hearing damage that is permanent, and will be untreatable except with hearing aids. These include:
• Aminoglycosides, which are powerful antibiotics such as Streptomycin
• Chemotherapy drugs that are used to treat cancer, such as Cisplatin and Carbolatin
• Strong pain killers, which may be used in conjunction with other medications.
Checking with your doctor or pharmacist about your individual prescription is the only way to be certain whether your medication is ototoxic or not, and you should be aware that a family history of hearing loss, especially if related to medications, is likely to place you at increased risk of hearing damage.
Book A Free Hearing Test at Hidden Hearing
Hearing loss is a complex and frustrating condition to live with, and taking care of your hearing when you can is very important. A healthy diet, regular exercise and an awareness of how to protect your ears against loud noises and harmful medications can be very helpful in keeping your ears healthy and preventing hearing loss from developing or worsening as you age.
If you think you may have hearing loss, make an appointment for a free hearing test with us as soon as possible. Hidden Hearing is Ireland’s leading private provider of hearing care solutions, and our national network includes over seventy-five branches and clinics. Simply contact Hidden Hearing online today, or pop into your local branch.