Medications that harm your hearing are surprisingly widespread. From tinnitus medications that stop the ringing in the ears to drugs that could cause hearing loss, here’s some information on medicines that impact your hearing for better or for worse.
Your Ears Can be Impacted by Medicines
Pharmaceuticals are an almost $500 billion industry and the United States accounts for close to half of that usage. Do take over-the-counter medications regularly? Or maybe your doctor has prescribed you with some type of medication. It commonly happens that people ignore the warnings that come with virtually all medications because they think they won’t be impacted. That’s the reason why emphasizing that some medications could increase your risk of hearing loss is so relevant. But on the plus side, some medicines, such as tinnitus treatments, can in fact, help your hearing. But how do you know which drugs are safe and which ones are the medications will be detrimental? And what do you do if a doctor prescribes drugs that lead to loss of hearing? A little knowledge on the subject can really help.
1. Over-the-Counter Pain Relievers That Damage Your Hearing
The fact that such a common thing could cause hearing loss. How regularly loss of hearing took place in individuals who were using many different kinds of painkillers was analyzed by researchers. This link is backed by a number of studies of both men and women. A collaborative study among Harvard, Brigham Young and Women’s Hospital revealed something alarming. Over-the-counter painkillers, if used on a regular basis, will damage hearing. Regular use is described as 2 or more times a week. You typically see this frequency in people with chronic pain. Temporary loss of hearing can result from taking too much aspirin at once and eventually can become permanent. NSAID medications that contain ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen seem to be the most common. But you might be shocked to find the one with the strongest link. The culprit was acetaminophen. For men under the age of 50 there’s almost double the risk of hearing loss if they were using this drug to deal with chronic pain. To be clear, prescription drugs are just as bad. Here are some prescription drugs that could cause loss of hearing:
The precise cause of the hearing loss is not clear. The nerves in the inner ear that detect sound could be destroyed by the reduction of blood flow possibly caused by these medications. That’s why prolonged use of these medications could lead to irreversible hearing loss.
2. Some Antibiotics Are Ototoxic
If your not allergic, most antibiotics will be relatively safe if used as directed. But some forms of antibiotic may increase the danger of hearing loss: Aminoglycoside. Studies are in the initial stages so we haven’t seen solid facts on human studies as of yet. But there have been a few individuals who appear to have developed loss of hearing after using them. It’s persuasive enough to recognize the results of the animal tests. There could be something to be concerned about according to the medical community. Mice that took these antibiotics, over a period of time, ultimately lost their hearing for good, every single time. Aminoglycoside antibiotics are frequently used to treat:
- Tuberculosis (TB)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Bacterial meningitis
- Some other respiratory diseases
More persistent conditions are managed over a longer time period with these. Pneumonia and children’s ear infection were, until not long ago, frequently treated with Neomycin. Alternate options are now being prescribed by doctors because of concerns about side effects. Why some antibiotics contribute to hearing loss still requires more investigation. It would seem that they may cause swelling in the inner ear that creates long-term injury.
3. How Quinine Impacts Your Hearing
Have you ever had a gin and tonic? If so, you’ve had quinine. Quinine is the key ingredient that creates the bitterness in tonic and is sometimes used to treat people with restless leg syndrome or malaria. While research that investigates the correlation between quinine use and hearing loss aren’t that widespread. Reversible loss of hearing has been observed in some malaria patients.
4. Your Hearing Can be Harmed by Chemo Medication
You understand there will be side effects when going through chemo. Attempting to destroy cancer cells, doctors are loading the body with toxins. Cancer cells and healthy cells are commonly indistinguishable by these toxins. These medications are being looked at:
- Carboplatin commonly known as Paraplatin
- Cisplatin commonly known as Platinol
- Bleomycin commonly known as Blenoxane
Regrettably, chemo-induced hearing loss is a required trade off when dealing with cancer. You might need to talk with your hearing care professional about monitoring your hearing while you’re dealing with cancer treatments. Or you might want to look into whether there are any recommendations we can make that might help in your individual situation.
5. Hearing Loss And Loop Diuretics
You might be taking diuretics to help manage fluid balance in your body. As with any attempt to manage something with medication, you can take it too far in one direction, dehydrating the body. This can cause salt vs water ratios to become too high in the body, causing inflammation. Even though it’s normally temporary, this can cause loss of hearing. But if the imbalance is allowed to go on or keeps occurring, hearing loss could be permanent. Using loop diuretics at the same time as ototoxic drugs (the drugs listed in this article) could make the permanent damage a lot worse. Lasix is the most commonly known loop diuretic, so if you’re prescribed this medication, you should check with your doctor concerning any side effects that might happen in combination with other medications you’re taking.
What Can Do If You’re Taking Drugs That Could Cause Loss of Hearing
You should talk to your doctor before you stop using any drugs they have prescribed. Before you talk to your doctor, you will need to take stock of all your medications. You can ask your doctor if there might be an alternative to any drugs that trigger loss of hearing. You can also reduce your need for medications with a few lifestyle changes. In certain cases, small changes to your diet and exercise plan can give you a healthier life. These changes may also be able to lessen pain and water retention while enhancing your immune system. You should schedule an appointment to get your hearing screened as soon as you can particularly if you are using any ototoxic drugs. It can be hard to detect hearing loss at first because it advances very slowly. But don’t be mistaken: you might not realize the ways it can affect your health and happiness, and you will have more possibilities for treatment if you catch it early.