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Ask your doctor about ototoxicity

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posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 05:17 AM
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Did a search already and it pretty much lead me back to any reference I ever made to ototoxicity in the posts. What is ototoxicity? Well, let me break it down for you—‘oto’ means ear, and ‘toxicity’ means toxin. So, ototoxicity is a chemical that is damaging to the ear. More specifically, it is damaging to the organs of hearing.

There are numerous medications and substances that are ototoxic. Some of them can cause hearing loss gradually over time while others take effect literally overnight. Some cases may be temporary and others are permanent. The hearing loss can range in severity from mild loss of specific tonal frequencies (usually higher frequencies) to complete deafness of all frequencies.

Cochleotoxicity symptoms range from mild tinnitus to total hearing loss, depending upon each person and the form and level of exposure to the ototoxin. They can include one-sided or two-sided hearing loss and constant or fluctuating tinnitus.

vestibular.org...
Ototoxicity targets the cochlea and auditory nerve; and it is different from bone-conduction hearing loss and damage to the tympanic membrane (eardrum), which naturally occurs with age.
www.asha.org...

The most notorious ototoxic medications are antibiotics and chemotherapies used in the treatment of cancer. But even more common substances such as aspirin, when taken consistently over long periods of time and/or in high doses, have been known to cause hearing loss. Medications used to treat heart disease are also on the list.

There are more than 200 known ototoxic medications (prescription and over-the-counter) on the market today. These include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease.

www.asha.org...
Here is a more thorough list of ototoxic medications: www.hlaabq.com...

It is worth noting that aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (common over-the-counter NSAID painkillers) are on the list…as are other common substances such as alcohol and caffeine. Now before you pour yourself a cup of coffee in disbelieving protest, bear in mind that the effects can be gradual over a prolonged period of usage.

So far—there is a rule of thumb to consider. Although the connection and causes are not quite clear, it appears that anything that causes impairment to kidney function can also cause impairment to hearing.


Fact is hearing loss is not a self-contained impairment limited just to your ears. Many different studies conducted here and abroad have demonstrated that quite a few serious ailments can impact our hearing. It just goes to show that all the bodily organs and functions are tightly interconnected: When one system or organ fails, it sends rippling effects through the others. Your hearing is not immune to this insidious process.


What is the correlation between the CKD (chronic kidney disease) and hearing loss? According to researchers, "The link can be explained by structural and functional similarities between tissues in the inner ear and in the kidney. Additionally, toxins that accumulate in kidney failure can damage nerves, including those in the inner ear."

www.healthyhearing.com...

How are diabetes and hearing loss correlated? Researchers believe that hearing impairment in diabetics is caused by damage to the nerves and blood vessels of the inner ear, the same damage that causes infections of the feet and damage to the eye's retina.

www.healthyhearing.com...

Other damages to the ear include tinnitus and loss of balance. All three symptoms can occur together or independent, and of course, in various ways with varying degrees of severity.


With cochleotoxicity, hearing loss or the start or worsening of tinnitus (ringing in the ears) can occur through damage to the cochlea (the hearing apparatus) or the cochlear branch of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve. Vestibular ototoxicity or vestibulotoxicity are terms used to describe ototoxicity that affects the balance organs or the vestibular branch of the vestibulo-cochlear nerve.

So, is it as simple as asking your doctor which medications are ototoxic? Usually yes, but sometimes no. The relationships between medications and hearing loss is somewhat elusive, and some doctors are particularly unaware (or unconcerned) about these relationships. As I have mentioned, there are some medications that are quite notorious for causing hearing loss while other suspected substances may not have been studied in depth.

Scientific studies are required to confirm whether a drug is ototoxic. Unfortunately, such research often involves years of study. When assessing the safety of a drug prior to releasing it on the market, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require testing of inner ear function or examination of the inner ear structures. This is one reason it is almost impossible to say with confidence how many and which drugs cause ototoxicity and how many or which people are affected by it.

vestibular.org...
I would like to emphasize the beginning of the very next paragraph:

Problems with a particular drug are usually only discovered after enough people have suffered the consequences and when physicians or other health care professionals can see a probable connection between the symptoms or problems and a drug.

So, why does this concern me? Well, it happened to me and I have seen it affect a lot of children. Those who know me best on ATS know I have a history of cancer. The chemotherapies and antibiotics have left me significantly hearing impaired in one ear and given a slight loss in the other. I got lucky! I have seen children become absolutely deaf in both ears in the blink of an eye and it is very tragic.

My own experience with ototoxicity was quite harrowing and life-changing to say the least. One day I could hear fine and the next morning I had to figure out what happened, what changed. There was no warning. After the fact, I remember asking my doctors about medications and hearing loss and if they knew this might happen when administering the meds. I recall an unmoving response, “Oh yeah..that DOES happen sometimes.”

Granted, most people aren’t being treated for serious medical conditions and god-willing, hopefully many never will. But this thread is about awareness. Be aware of what you put into your body and what its side-effects are (especially since most doctors won’t tell you.) So, ask them…always, always ask these kinds of questions when being prescribed a new medication. Do some independent research as well (duh.)

So, why should this concern you?

At present there are no treatments that can reverse the damage.


At this time, there is no approved protective strategy.


Please check out the sources if interested:
vestibular.org...
www.asha.org...
www.hlaabq.com...
www.asha.org...
www.healthyhearing.com...




posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 06:25 AM
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S & F for this very informative thread! I honestly feel as though I just received a Christmas gift and can't wait to share it with my SO! Of course, he won't wake up for another 5-hours, but I'm very, very excited. This information just may be the answer to what caused his gradual hearing loss....although a year ago he miraculously regained about 90% of his hearing after drinking Kombucha tea for 2-weeks. Coincidence? Perhaps, but nothing short of a divine blessing for both of us because at one point 9-years ago he was forced to wear two hearing aids.... and only stopped wearing them four years ago because we didn't have the funds to have them repaired.

Long story short, my SO has been on various medications, including aspirin therapy, for over 20-years due to aggressive heart disease and several heart attacks. Mind you, some of the affects have had horrendous consequences. And although his hearing loss was gradual, I wouldn't have ever thought that medications were the cause! In the meantime, my stress levels went through the roof for a variety of reasons, but mainly because I was practically having to scream in order for him to hear anything I was saying. And even then it was no guarantee that he was hearing what I was actually saying! We were at each other's throats constantly, with him accusing me of saying things that I didn't due to his hearing loss (and cognition problems).

Again, THANK YOU for creating this very informative and enlightening thread!

Merry Christmas!



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 06:29 AM
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Great, informative thread!!!! Thank you.
This is what probably happened to my hearing when my kidneys acted up a few years back.
Definitely will be reading more about this. :0)



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 06:39 AM
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reply to post by Toots
 


I'm glad you found something useful in this thread. Would you care to post more about this tea? I am always on the lookout and trying new things to help with my sensorineural hearing loss (damage to the cochlea and auditory nerve.) Thus far, conventional medicine tells us it is impossible to repair such damage, but I'm not giving up yet.

I guess I should have included a snippet about the hearing loss itself! This kind of hearing loss with damage to the cochlea and nerve isn't like bone-conduction hearing loss. With bone-conduction loss, usually it is a volume issue--those are the ones that you end up shouting at.

Here is an additional source that might be helpful: www.nlm.nih.gov...

BUT

sensorineural hearing loss (like the type that results from ototoxicity) is not entirely a volume issue. The auditory nerve/cochlea loses some ability to process high-frequency sounds. So, it's more like the ears just cannot hear all of what is being said, rather than it being said at too low a volume. (Although, it affects everybody differently.)

Consider the parts of speech, TH's, CH's, SH's, S's etc. sounds. They tend to vibrate at a slightly higher frequency and certain sounds of speech are more difficult to hear with this type of hearing loss. Conversations can become frustrating! It is not always a volume issue, but usually it is a processing issue in the damaged cochlea/ auditory nerve. It's kind of like trying to put a puzzle together without all the pieces.

Unfortunately, some of the frequencies that are first to go--whether due to old age or ototoxicity fall right in the range of human speech.
edit on 23-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 06:57 AM
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Originally posted by Toots
And although his hearing loss was gradual, I wouldn't have ever thought that medications were the cause!

Merry Christmas!


It is definitely difficult to pin down. Is it the organ damage that contributes to the hearing loss? Or is it the medication that causes organ damage? Both?

In some cases we KNOW that the medication is the culprit. And in other cases we assume that kidney damage is the culprit. And, likewise, sometimes the medication causes damage to the kidney function that ate the cat that killed the rat that caused irreparable hearing loss!

This may be why it isn't forefront on your doctor's mind when prescribing treatments. In fact, I have run into one or two doctors that have never heard of this term 'ototoxicity' and have never heard of this side-effect.
(That's not very reassuring.)

As I said, the relationships between medications and hearing loss are complex and not entirely known in some instances. There IS a relationship, that much I can tell you.

Merry Christmas to you as well
edit on 23-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)
edit on 23-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by NarcolepticBuddha
reply to post by Toots
 


I'm glad you found something useful in this thread. Would you care to post more about this tea? I am always on the lookout and trying new things to help with my sensorineural hearing loss (damage to the cochlea and auditory nerve.) Thus far, conventional medicine tells us it is impossible to repair such damage, but I'm not giving up yet.


I'm more than happy to share my knowledge and love of Kombucha tea. It is not a cure-all for everyone or every thing, but being as you are a cancer survivor, I recommend following up on this tea!

Incidentally, during my research of Kombucha, I came across an anecdotal testimonial of a geriatric gentleman from the Netherlands who'd had his hearing restored after drinking the tea....which in turn, gave my SO a glimmer of hope. My SO had just been drinking it for a little more than 2-weeks when he suddenly blurted out, "Hey, I can HEAR again!" I seriously had my doubts as to whether it was related to the tea, but almost a year later, I'm now more than convinced the tea had something to do with it!

I might also add that I too, have a badly damaged kidney resulting from an uncommon infection, but I can still hear a pin drop! The plus side is that my kidney function increased quite a bit, less than a month after I started drinking Kombucha tea. And the fact I still have my kidney says a lot!

Knowledge IS Power.........



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 09:58 AM
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HI, and thanks...
I am a tinnitus guy.....but it was caused by loud noises i think hearing protection used to be unavailable and thought unnessessary when i started working...
By the time it was a known item i was partially deef.
I too would be interested to hear a little more about this tea.....
maybe it could help...all that ringing keeps me awake at night.



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 10:34 AM
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Originally posted by stirling

I too would be interested to hear a little more about this tea.....
maybe it could help...all that ringing keeps me awake at night.



Just scroll up to my last post and click the bold Kombucha reference.



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 03:19 PM
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Great information, NB! Thanks for sharing.

You have given me more knowledge about hearing loss than my doctor ever has... which would = 0 information. Although I don't have hearing loss (yet), this is good info to know. Maybe I won't have hearing loss after reading this.

I have taken antibiotics every now and then over my lifetime, but I usually refuse them unless I feel like I'm dying and the doctor says the antibiotic is the only way to get rid of the bacteria that has invaded my body.

Thanks again for taking the time to put all this info up for us! Great job!


And, of course, S&F on the thread!



posted on Dec, 23 2012 @ 11:21 PM
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I once knew someone who was diagnosed by a moron as being partially deaf when he was 22, only to find out when he was 25 and moved to a new doctor that he actually just had major wax build up in his ears...

Sometimes I wonder how many other 'deaf' people are walking around in silence for no reason except that their doctor is a moron..


So kids heres the lesson, next time youre at the docs, ask him if your ears need to be syringed (no.. not with a needle, it doesnt hurt/isnt scary) - it will almost certainly improve your hearing that you think is just getting worse with age.



posted on Dec, 24 2012 @ 02:38 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Excellent presentation and info! That side effect from Aspirin had never registered with me before, it's much appreciated.



posted on Dec, 24 2012 @ 09:17 AM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Great thread, thank you for this. I myself hardly ever take any medications - last antibiotics were about 15 years ago for pneumonia, and 3 2-4 week scrips for flexiril and vicodin over the years for my back, but I'm a big not-fan of pharmeceuticals when they can be avoided. My concern is more for my parents, whom ai have to educate every time a doctor wants to give them meds.

Anyhow, I had wondered about connections when Rush Limbaugh suddenly was going deaf, during his well-known oxy spree. I knew the less than 100 much weaker vicodin i've had lifetime wouldn't affect me the same as his prodigious appetite for oxy did, but it seemed there had to be a connection, so without doing any actual research, I always turned painkillers down except during my most excruciating pain.

I'm a big fan of hearing. I know most people would choose being blind over being deaf, and if it came down to it, I probably would too, but my serene/surreal moments are always focused on sound. Standing with my dog(s)outside late at night in or after a blizzard, perfectly still, listening to faint sounds from miles away is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, day to day, I need my sight more, but the listening is where I get that feeling of really tuning in to my senses and the world around me. While I would feel more of a disability if I was blind, I would feel more "disconnected" if I was deaf. Anything that threatens that, I'm not cool with!

Anyhow, thanks again for the great post!



posted on Dec, 24 2012 @ 01:11 PM
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Originally posted by dogstar23
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 

While I would feel more of a disability if I was blind, I would feel more "disconnected" if I was deaf. Anything that threatens that, I'm not cool with!


I 'hear' ya (no pun intended ha!) I used to be a big fan of crickets in the evening and birds chirping in the morning. I can't hear either now. I can still enjoy music for the most part, but I agree with you about that disconnectedness. Luckily, hearing loss doesn't entirely destroy those with music in their soul. I still listen to music as best I can. Heck, even Pete Townshend of The Who was deaf in one ear and had hearing loss for like 90% of his career.

With a little knowledge, hopefully we can preserve our hearing. I am much more aware of which medications I take, and I am always more suspicious of any brand-new meds that doctors want me to try. I am more keen to try something that has been on the market for a few years and has long-term data regarding side-effects.

Music is precious and it's everywhere. The music of silence without tinnitus, the sound of nature, or your favorite rock album--take care of your hearing by being aware of ototoxicity.

I had to live with severe hearing loss before I became appreciative of the ability to hear well. I can't hear as well as I used to, but I LISTEN much better now
Take none of the special gifts given to us for granted
edit on 24-12-2012 by NarcolepticBuddha because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 24 2012 @ 02:09 PM
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Gingko might help; it may take six months of daily pill use to see a difference, but it's reported to increase capillary circulation in the ear and may help with tinnitus, at least. I've used it and I think it helps but the most important thing for me was getting out of a job that required me using headphones all day long (medical transcription) and moving out of the city into a quiet country location. Nuthin' like living miles from traffic to give your ears a rest.



posted on Dec, 29 2012 @ 02:04 PM
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I made the mistake of deleting uploaded images from my profile. This means that the pics that were originally in this thread have been removed.



posted on Jan, 1 2013 @ 08:36 PM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 
Thank you for posting this NA! Hopefully it will bring awareness to some and they will pay better attention to what could possibly affect their hearing. I was struck by lightening in my late teens and as a result lost over 75% hearing in my left ear. It has made me appreciate what hearing I still have and made me very protective of it.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 12:27 PM
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reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Why you wrote something when you dont have even small idea what you saying.
"It is worth noting that aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen (common over-the-counter NSAID painkillers) are on the list…as are other common substances such as alcohol and caffeine. Now before you pour yourself a cup of coffee in disbelieving protest, bear in mind that the effects can be gradual over a prolonged period of usage. " How incompetent you are caffeine was describe as is mildly ototoxic. Caffeine can cause tinnitus, dizziness and vertigo if you get too much of it But new research deny this correlation. www.sciencedaily.com... Show me one study with one person who have hearing loss from caffeine.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 04:05 PM
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Very good information here. Now I have something else interesting to research. I am going to dig deeper into the actual chemical cause and learn what should be avoided and what chemistry could be added to combat this condition. Hopefully there are research articles addressing repairing of this condition. Maybe repairing the kidney and liver will help the hearing a little.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 10:19 PM
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You know, this turned out to be a very good subject. I did some research on this. It appears that you can get tinnitis from a salicylates sensitivity. The doctors had me on Bextra and other NSAIDS after I had my accident. When you take these for a while, even aspirin, you may wind up intolerant to salicylates, even in foods. Now, Even though my head noise does not appear to be coming from my ears, there still could be something to this. It could also effect the auditory part of the brain. I have noticed that eating certain foods caused the head noise to increase. This may be a clue, it might not be the sugar after all, but corn syrup has more salicylates than sugar. I am wondering about HFCS, I haven't been able to find if it has it in it or not.

salicylatesensitivity.com...

I guess I now have a new experiment to preform on myself to see if this is the case. I noticed that the diet I have been evolving to has less of this, it may be a coincidence also but it is worth doing a study on. It could just be the sugar in food that exites the brain, but the problem with sugar alone is that cane sugar does not raise the sound at all. Most times homemade bread does not either.



posted on Mar, 13 2014 @ 10:41 PM
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darek10001989
reply to post by NarcolepticBuddha
 


Why you wrote something when you dont have even small idea what you saying.


Welcome to ATS. I think you'll find that's normative here





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