Do you take multiple medications or are you considering medical treatments which require them?
It is remarkable that most drug ads seen on television spend so much time explaining side effects as compared to potential quality of life advantages. To be well-informed healthcare consumers, how many read and understand the fine print of our Rx informational pamphlets? While pharmaceutical therapies can help manage acute or chronic conditions, as with many things in life, it is important to evaluate potential benefits and risks of care plan pathways.
You should know that Ototoxicity is the manner in which certain drugs can cause side effects such as ringing in the ears (tinnitus), hearing loss or dizziness. By definition, Oto means ear and toxic indicates poison. While evidence-based treatment decisions are primary, awareness and management of related concerns is relevant.
Did you know? …
It is estimated that over 100 classes of drugs commonly used to treat pain and infections, as well as cancer, heart or kidney disease can damage the inner ear.
From pain relievers such as aspirin to NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, from antibiotics to diuretics and chemotherapy drugs, exposure to potentially ototoxic medications can damage inner ear sensory hair cells, often permanently. It is important to learn more about potentially ototoxic medications and if you are taking them, to get a baseline hearing evaluation for future comparison.
To see a comprehensive list of potentially ototoxic medications, click here: Ototoxicity Awareness and Education
For those receiving chemotherapy treatments, earlier referrals to hearing care professionals will facilitate faster identification of ototoxic hearing loss, compassionate counseling and discussion of amplification’s potential advantages. Closer collaboration of your healthcare team may reduce ototoxic risks and improve quality of life outcomes.
Especially with social distancing and daily challenges associated with taking multiple medications or caring for loved ones who do, optimal communication ability is vital. For example, consider the importance of “at the counter” conversations with your dispensing pharmacist. From experience, we recognize those not hearing and understanding effectively may suffer anxiety in stressful ways that are not mentally or physically healthy.
Beyond talking with your primary care doctor, oncologist or pharmacist, please see us and encourage your loved ones to get periodic evaluations which accurately assess type and degree of hearing loss. These personal consultations will enable us to get key baseline information and provide useful information on possible side effects of treatment-related medications. You should know and we will share.