Hearing management

Updated 30 January 2015

CF treatment may cause hearing loss

A common antibacterial treatment for cystic fibrosis can cause sensorineural hearing loss, finds a new study.


A common antibacterial treatment for cystic fibrosis can cause sensorineural hearing loss, finds a new study.

Researchers reviewed the medical records of 50 cystic fibrosis patients treated over a 13-year period at Children's Hospital Boston and found that seven (14 percent) of them suffered from sensorineural hearing loss. Of those seven patients, 43 percent had received more than 10 courses of aminoglycosides intravenously.

Patients who underwent more than five treatments with nasal irrigation of aminoglycosides were also at risk for sensorineural hearing loss, the study found.

Pulmonary and sinonasal infections are common in cystic fibrosis patients. Because of their potency against bacteria, aminoglycosides are often given to cystic fibrosis patients, even though the treatments are known to cause side effects such as hair cell loss, which leads to hearing loss, according to information in a news release from the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Cystic fibrosis patients should have regular hearing tests that specifically assess sensorineural hearing loss, especially when patients have undergone repeated courses of systemic or intranasal aminoglycoside treatments, the researchers concluded.

The study appears in the July issue of the journal Otolaryngology--Head and Neck Surgery. (HealthDay News, July 2009)

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Francis Slabber is a Speech & Language Therapist and Audiologist who has owned and run The Hearing Clinic in Wynberg, Cape Town for the last 17 years. Francis and her team have extensive experience in fitting and supplying hearing aids as well as assistive living devices. Francis has served as the Western Cape Chairperson for the South African Association of Audiologists for three years and has given many talks on the topic of hearing loss and amplification. The Hearing Clinic has a special interest in adult and geriatric hearing impairment, hearing aid fittings and hearing rehabilitation.

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