Published On: April 6, 2023By
Learning About Ototoxicity, the Right Prescription

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

Chief among the marvels of modern medicine is how pharmaceutical therapies can help manage acute or chronic conditions. Whatever one’s personal opinion, who would have imagined Covid-19 vaccines would be developed so quickly?

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? To be sure, it is important to evaluate potential benefits and risks of treatment plan pathways.

Speaking of which, 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 expertly guided treatment decisions are primary, awareness and management of related concerns is relevant.

Did You Know...

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 inner ears? 1

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. 2

1 American Academy of Audiology Position Statement and Clinical Practice Guidelines Ototoxicity Monitoring. 2009

2 Ototoxic Medications, Drugs that can cause hearing loss and tinnitus. League for the Hard of Hearing 2000

Ototoxicity Risk Awareness

Whether currently taking them or considering doing so, it is crucial to understand the tradeoffs of potentially ototoxic medications and get a baseline hearing evaluation for future comparison. For those receiving chemotherapy treatments, earlier referrals to hearing care professionals can facilitate faster identification of ototoxic hearing loss, evidence-based diagnostics, empathetic counseling and discussion of personalized hearing solutions. In fact, closer collaboration of your health care team may reduce ototoxic risks and improve quality of life outcomes. Further, as some insurance policies cover your essential exam, please review benefits carefully.

For a comprehensive list of potentially ototoxic medications, click here.For a comprehensive list of potentially ototoxic medications, click here.

To assist in identifying various pills, please see this handy resource:

While discussing Ototoxicity and particularly chemotherapy treatments, cancer awareness and prevention cannot be emphasized enough. For easy reference, here is a reputable resource on cancer screening guidelines by age and information on healthy lifestyle choices. Click the ACS logo below.

ACS Logo

While we take your hearing care seriously, a little laughter goes a long way.

Good Humor, Healthy Hearing

What does the fine print say?

Especially with social distancing and daily challenges associated with taking multiple medications or caring for loved ones who do, optimal communication ability is vital. 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.

Dr. Peter Marincovich

Meet Our Doctor

Since 1985 when I lost hearing in my left ear, I personally experienced the gaps in treatment options and necessary methodology to keep those affected by hearing loss connected. It has since been my focus to develop systems, processes, and methods, like THE MA5P METHODTM, to address the individual needs of my patients and create a solution that fits their lifestyle. If you are experiencing issues with your current Prescription Hearing Aid, I invite you to visit us to discuss ways to keep you connected to the things you love.

To health and staying connected,

Dr. Peter Marincoivch