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Solutions, Side-Effects & Sensibilities

Do you take multiple medications or are you considering medical treatment options which require them?

Did you ever notice how many drug ads on television spend more time explaining side effects than potential quality of life benefits?

As healthcare consumers, how many of us read and understand the fine print of informational pamphlets included with our prescriptions?

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 healthcare decisions.

As it relates to ears, 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 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 these potentially ototoxic medications can damage inner ear sensory hair cells, often on a permanent basis. 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.

For 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 health care team may reduce ototoxic risks and improve quality of life outcomes.

With all the daily challenges associated with taking multiple medications or helping care for someone who does, the ability to communicate well is vital. In addition, those who don’t hear and understand effectively may become more socially isolated in stressful ways that are not mentally or physically healthy.

Whole person care matters and in addition to talking with your oncologist or pharmacist, please see us or encourage your loved ones to get periodic evaluations to accurately assess type and degree of hearing loss. This personal consultation will enable us to get crucial baseline information and help educate you about the possible side effects of treatment-related medications.

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