Posted by: Maria | 2007/08/03

Ototoxic medication

We recently found out that our 5 year old daughter is completely deaf in her one ear. The audiologist mentioned that we must steer clear of ototoxic medication. Can you please explain why some medications are damaging to hearing? Does this only apply to antibiotics?

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Our expert says:
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Dear Maria

No there are other medications like malaria medication ( quinine), Disprin, diuretics ( "water tablets") and even topical oils that can damage the ear. The ear can also be damaged in the inner ear in different places. The inner ear includes both the organ of hearing (the cochlea) and a sense organ that is attuned to the effects of both gravity and motion (vestibular apparatus). Damage to the cochlea will cause hearing loss and damage to the vestibular apparatus may cause ringing in the ear and dizziness.


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