Drugs Can Damage Hearing
, which are medications that are toxic to the ear, have
the potential to cause permanent or temporary hearing
loss. Approximately 200 prescription and over-the-counter
drugs are recognized as ototoxic. Some common
prescription and over-the-counter medications that are
known to be ototoxic include aminoglycoside antibiotics,
select chemotherapy medications, anesthetics, cardiac
medications, glucocorticosteroids, mood altering drugs,
and some vapors and solvents. A hearing loss caused by
ototoxic medications initially affects high-level
frequencies above 9,000 Hz.
It is important to discuss the possibility of
ototoxicity with any prescription or over-the-counter
medication you are taking with your physician and/or
pharmacist. Hearing can be tested before, during and
after treatment to monitor hearing function.
For more information on ototoxic drugs, or a
referral to an ASHA-certified audiologist, consumers
may call 800-638-8255.
Hearing Loss in Older Americans
Nine million Americans over the age of 65 experience a
hearing loss. Presbycusis, or age-related hearing loss,
can result from changes in the inner or middle ear, or in
the neural pathways that connect the ear to the brain.
Age-related hearing loss is slow and progressive, and
normally affects both ears equally. Because the hearing
loss initially affects high-pitched frequencies,
conversations are more difficult to understand and may
sound muffled or slurred. Individuals who have a past
history of hearing loss have an added risk of
communication problems as their age increases.
It is important to treat a hearing loss as individuals
may withdraw from social activities that they once
enjoyed and are more likely to suffer from depression and
For more information about age-related hearing loss,
or referral to an ASHA-certified audiologist, please
ASHA Consumer Brochures
Consumers who are interested in additional information
on hearing loss may contact ASHA at 800-638-8255.
Bilingual representatives are available to answer any
inquiries. Brochures on such topics as "Noise: Bad for
your hearing, Bad for your health" and "Preventing
Hearing Loss" are available free of charge to consumers.
Most brochures are available in both English and
B-roll on noise and hearing loss and newborn hearing
screening is available for broadcast stories. Members of
the media may contact
ASHA's media relations
for more information or help with stories.
are hearing health care professionals who specialize in
preventing, identifying and assessing hearing disorders
as well as providing audiologic treatment including
hearing aids and other assistive listening devices.
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
is the national professional, scientific and
credentialing association for more than 127,000
audiologists, speech-language pathologists and speech,
language, and hearing scientists.
ASHA is part of a national campaign called
WISE EARS! Â®
, a coalition organized by the National Institute on
Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), and
in partnership with the National Institute of
Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), to help prevent
noise-induced hearing loss. For more information go to: