Some Medication can Damage Hearing – Ototoxicity

Medication that can damage hearing - Ototoxicity - audiologist in pretoria

What is Ototoxicity?

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Certain medications can damage the ear, resulting in hearing loss, ringing in ear, or balance disorders.  These drugs are considered Ototoxic.

Factors affecting Ototoxicity include:

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  • Co-administration with other drugs having ototoxic potential
  • Dose
  • Duration of therapy
  • Concurrent renal failure
  • Infusion rate
  • Lifetime dose
  • Genetic susceptibility

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Some Drugs that Cause Ototoxicity include:                                                       

  • Antibiotics
  • Aminoglycosides
  • Vancomycin
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Platinum containing drugs eg. Cisplatin
  • Diuretics
  • Ethacrynic acid
  • Flurosemide
  • Malaria medicine
  • Quinine
  • Salicylates

Prevention

  • Ototoxic antibiotics should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Elderly and people with pre-existing hearing loss should not be treated with ototoxic drugs if other effective drugs are available.
  • The lowest effective dosage of ototoxic drug should be used and levels should be closely monitored.
  • The risk of ototoxicity increases with the use of multiple drugs with ototoxic potential.
  • If possible before treatment with an ototoxic drug, hearing should be tested and then monitored during treatment.

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5 Signs you’re going deaf

Hard of hearing or think you’re going deaf? Here’s how to spot the signs and how to look after your hearing.

  • You’re asking people to repeat themselves or using “what?” or “huh?” frequently.
  • You increase the TV or music volume to unreasonably loud levels or sit close to the TV when the volume is adequate for others.
  • You intently watch the faces of speakers or can’t locate the source of a sound accurately.
  • You have difficulty understanding what is said in noisy places such as in pubs or restaurants, even though other people manage to have conversations. You may also actively shy away from participating in conversations.
  • You don’t respond to voices over the telephone or switch ears continually when using the phone.

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How to look after your hearing

The ear is a very fragile structure and while it’s not always possible to prevent hearing loss from developing as a result of age, illness or a genetic hearing impairment, it’s predicted that around half of hearing loss cases could be prevented by following a few simple steps:

  • Use ear protection if you work in a noisy environment where it’s too loud to hold a normal speaking-volume conversation.
  • Wear earplugs at loud concerts or night clubs – you should never be left with a ringing in your ears after listening to music.
  • Wear ear protection when shooting/hunting.
  • Don’t insert objects such as fingers, cotton buds, cotton wool or tissue into your ears.
  • Monitor volume levels on your TV, home stereo or car system.
  • Get your hearing checked regularly, especially if you have a family history of hearing loss.
INTERESTING FACT: The majority of individuals suffering from hearing loss are under the age of 65.

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5 Tekens van gehoorverlies

Is jy hardhorend of is jy besig om doof te word?  Hier is hoe jy die tekens van gehoorverlies kan identifiseer, asook riglyne oor hoe om jou gehoor te beskerm.

  • Vra jy gereeld vir mense om hulself te herhaal of reageer jy deur die volgende te sê: “wat?”, “ekskuus?”, “sê weer.”
  • Sit jy die TV of radio/musiek se volume uitermatig hoog, of sit jy naby die TV wanneer die volume aanvaarbaar is vir ander.
  • Jy liplees, hou die spreker se gesig fyn dop en sukkel om te lokaliseer waar klank vandaan kom.
  • Jy sukkel om spraak te verstaan in ‘n raserige omgewing soos restaurante. Jy onttrek jouself van gesprekke.
  • Jy sukkel om sekere stemme oor die telefoon te hoor en ruil dikwels ore terwyl jy op die telefoon praat.

 

Riglyne oor hoe om jou gehoor te beskerm

Die oor is ‘n delikate struktuur en dis nie altyd moontlik om ‘n gehoorverlies as resultaat van ouderdom, siekte of genetiese oorsake te voorkom nie.  Daar word wel voorspel dat minstens die helfte van gehoorverlies gevalle voorkom kon word deur die volgende stappe te volg:

  • Maak gebruik van gehoorbeskermers indien jy in ‘n raserige omgewing werk, waar die geraas so hard is dat dit moeilik is om ‘n gesprek te voer.
  • Dra gehoorbeskermers of oorpluisies tydens musiekvertonings waar die klank baie hard is. Jy moet nooit ‘n gesing/gesuis in jou ore hê na jy na musiek geluister het of blootgestel was aan harde klanke nie.
  • Dra gehoorbeskerming as jy jag of skiet.
  • Moet nooit enige voorwerpe soos vingers, oorstokkies of watte in jou ore druk nie.
  • Monitor die vlak van die TV of radio se volume.
  • Laat jou gehoor op ‘n gereelde basis toets, veral as jy ‘n familiegeskiedenis van gehoorverlies het.

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INTERESSANTE FEIT: Die meeste mense wat ‘n gehoorverlies het is onder die ouderdom van 65.