An individual can experience hearing loss for a variety of reasons. Sometimes individuals are born with hearing loss, while others may experience hearing-related problems due to earwax buildup, ear infections, or noise exposure. However, ear poisoning from exposure to chemical cleaners, antibiotics, and metals can also cause an individual to experience hearing loss.
Keep reading to learn more about “ear poisoning,” otherwise known as ototoxicity. El Dorado Hearing shares what it is, its causes, its symptoms, and treatment recommendations.
What Is Ototoxicity?
Individuals may experience hearing loss due to ear poisoning, also referred to as ototoxicity. This occurs from exposure to chemicals or drugs that cause damage to the inner ear and vestibulocochlear nerve. The damage can occur from ingestion, absorption, or inhalation of these substances. As a result, the patient may experience problems related to their hearing and balance that are temporary or permanent.
Ototoxicity can occur from prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, and common chemical products. When taking antibiotics or dealing with chemicals, take note of any negative side effects of the exposure so you can avoid ear poisoning. Luckily, health issues related to ototoxicity are often temporary and if there is permanent damage, an audiologist can help you determine the best plan of action for treatment.
Symptoms of Ototoxicity
To reduce the likelihood that hearing loss from ototoxicity becomes permanent, it’s important to recognize the symptoms early on and get treatment right away. One of the most common indicators is a ringing sensation in the ear due to the impact the poisoning has on the cochlea and the vestibulocochlear nerve. Similarly, the individual may begin experiencing balance problems. The severity of the symptoms will be dependent on the individual’s level of exposure to the chemicals or pharmaceuticals. Other symptoms to watch out for include:
- Loss of coordination
- Vibrating vision
- Fullness within the ears
- Ringing in the ears
- Sensitivity to high-frequency sounds
- Hearing loss in one or both ears
The patient’s symptoms may gradually develop over time or appear rapidly depending on the scenario surrounding their ototoxicity.
How to Treat Ototoxicity
Ototoxicity has a lot of similar symptoms to other common hearing-related issues, which can make it difficult for hearing specialists to diagnose right away. There isn’t currently a test that can be taken to confirm if a patient has ear poisoning, which is why you must be away from any potential chemical exposure. While treatment will not reverse the damage that has been done, it can help to minimize the symptoms and restore your hearing. Depending on the severity of the damage to your ears, a hearing specialist may recommend hearing aids or a cochlear implant. If you are experiencing balance problems as well, they can connect you with a physical therapist to help alleviate those symptoms.
Schedule a Hearing Test with El Dorado Hearing of Tucson
We provide complete evaluations at El Dorado Hearing to assist in managing your hearing loss from ear poisoning. Our hearing specialists are highly experienced and offer an in-depth hearing assessment to evaluate whether you have hearing loss and the extent to which the loss affects you.
Depending on what your hearing evaluation uncovers, a hearing specialist may recommend hearing aids, which are one of the most effective hearing loss treatments. Hearing aids are available in many sizes, styles, and technologies, allowing individuals to find a pair that meets their specific needs. If hearing aids aren’t suitable for you, a hearing specialist can review many alternatives to hearing aids to help restore your hearing.
We strive to make our hearing offices comfortable where everyone feels welcome. We’ll help you find the proper hearing aids to restore your hearing. For personalized hearing testing in Tucson, AZ, make El Dorado Hearing of Tucson first on your list.
If you are ready to regain control of your hearing, visit us at one of our hearing clinics. Contact us today to set up an appointment with one of our caring and expert hearing specialists!