Beware of Ototoxic Medications

Ototoxic Medications

Most of us understand that there are side effects inherent in medications, both prescription and OTC. However, what many people aren’t made aware of is that certain medications can damage the ears causing loss of hearing. At the best of times this loss is temporary but in worst case scenarios the damage can be permanent. These pharmaceuticals are called “ototoxic medications.’ As if that isn’t bad enough, there are over 200 known medications which can result in ototoxicity, many of which are commonly sold OTC without being labelled as such.

Of course, some of those medications only cause ototoxicity if used in excess of the prescribed dosage. One of the most astonishing of all is the common aspirin! Others include neomycin, streptomycin, or kanamycin, which are members of the Aminoglycoside family of antibiotics. Then there are pharmaceuticals that are used in chemotherapy regimens such as carboplatin, cisplatin, and nitrogen mustard. The good news is that quite often hearing loss is arrested when the medications are discontinued, but the bad news is that sometimes some amount of hearing loss is permanent.

There are a number of hearing aids on the market that can help individuals suffering from ototoxic hearing loss. Oticon, for example, has a number of models which begin at prices less than £500 and each Oticon hearing aid is priced according to features and of course the extent of hearing loss they are enabled to correct. Whilst it is imperative to check with your pharmacist or physician prior to taking any medications for the first time, there are some circumstances which require that you take those medications to sustain life. Do check the known risk factors when taking pharmaceuticals because there may be other alternatives that have fewer side effects. However, if you have already sustained damage from ototoxicity, talk to your doctor about correcting it with hearing aids such as those manufactured by Oticon.

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