Hearing loss can occur for numerous reasons. Some people are born deaf or with significant hearing loss. Certain diseases can contribute to hearing loss, as can age and hereditary factors. Other causes of hearing loss include injuries to the ear and jobs with extreme continual noise. Most hearing loss cannot be prevented, but some things can be done to reduce the risk of experiencing hearing loss.
Medication-Caused Hearing Loss
Ototoxic drugs are medicines that are highly toxic to the ears, contributing to hearing loss, which is frequently accompanied by tinnitus. There may be some options regarding the medications you have been prescribed. Talk to your physician if hearing loss is one of the side effects of the medication you have been prescribed, ask if there is another medication that works in a similar manner without the risk of hearing loss. If there is an alternative drug, ask your physician to prescribe it as a replacement. If you are taking any of the following medications, talk with your physician about the risk.
- High doses of over-the-counter drugs, such as aspirin
- A number of antibiotics
- A number of chemotherapy drugs
- Loop diuretics
- A number of anti-inflammatory drugs
Ototoxicity has specific symptoms you need to know. They are listed in the order of their frequency.
- Tinnitus develops in one or both ears
- The tinnitus intensifies and a new sound occurs
- Additional fullness or pressure in the ear
- Hearing loss occurs in the unaffected ear
- Vertigo or a spinning sensation (sometimes with nausea)
More people are experiencing hearing loss in today’s noise-producing world. Frequently listening to loud music blasting through a headset or working with equipment that makes a continual loud noise are two ways that sensorineural hearing loss can occur.
Preventable Hearing Loss
According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, some hearing loss is completely preventable. Noise exposure is a major cause of preventable hearing loss. When the tiny hair cells of the ear are exposed to continual loud noise, they are destroyed and cannot be replaced. The American Medical Association states noise-induced hearing loss afflicts thousands of people. As the level of sound increases, the time a person can be exposed to it is reduced. Loud music is one of the ear-shattering noises causing a drastic increase in adolescent hearing loss.
Are Ear Buds Causing Hearing Loss?
One in five adolescents has hearing loss, and according to a Journal of the American Medical Association study, “Listening to loud music through earbuds – the tiny electronic speakers that fit into ears – is probably the main reason that more adolescents are losing some of their hearing.” Hearing loss has a direct effect on a child’s social development and education progress. Parents should limit the time period their child is allowed to use earbuds. If you can hear the sound coming from the earbuds while the child is wearing them, the music or game sounds are much too loud.
Although we cannot prevent most kinds of hearing loss, we should do everything possible to prevent noise-induced hearing loss.