It is well known that drugs can sometimes have side effects, but perhaps not everyone knows that some types of drugs can cause hearing damage. Impaired hearing can include symptoms such as tinnitus, hearing loss, dizziness and vertigo. In this article we will find out what ototoxic drugs are, what symptoms they cause and how to prevent them.
Ootoxicity is the toxic property of some drugs, such that their intake can cause problems affecting the hearing system. These hearing damage can occur both during drug treatment and at a later time and can be both temporary and permanent. There are categories more exposed to the risk of suffering hearing problems due to ototoxic drugs, such as:
In all these cases, a medical evaluation of the risk / benefit ratio of taking this type of drug is advisable, in order to determine the possibility of using an alternative therapy, where possible.
There are more than 200 drugs that can cause hearing problems, both prescription-only and over-the-counter drugs. Most of these are used for the treatment of diseases that occur with advancing age, such as heart disease and cancer; however, there are also very common ototoxic drugs, such as some types of antibiotics, some diuretics and aspirin itself. Let's go into detail and distinguish between drugs that cause hearing loss, temporary or permanent, and drugs that cause or worsen the sensation of hearing a ringing in the ears.
The drugs just described have both hearing loss and tinnitus as side effects, but there are some in particular that have less severe effects and cause symptoms that are often temporary and related to the perception of hearing a sound in the ears, better defined as tinnitus. These drugs are:
People with hearing loss should take precautions before taking an ototoxic drug. First of all, it is necessary to inform the doctor who prescribes the drug of any pre-existing hearing problems, so that he can evaluate the possibility of choosing an alternative therapy. If this solution is not feasible, the doctor will evaluate the right dose of the drug to be administered and will monitor the patient throughout the duration of the treatment. It may also be useful to carry out a hearing test before starting therapy, so as to objectively assess hearing capacity and be able to monitor it while taking the drug.
Not only drugs, but also other unsuspected substances that we take every day can have a percentage of ototoxicity, if taken excessively. The main ototoxic substances are: