Medication Might be Affecting Your Hearing Test
Thousands of medications exist today, and many have side effects that may be affecting your hearing test. This can lead to improper diagnosis, and ultimately reduce the effectiveness of your care.
How many medications affect our hearing?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 75% of adults over the age of 60 take two or more drugs, and those over 90 take five or more medications.
But did you know that over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and more than 200 prescription medications on the market can damage your hearing?!
To make matters worse, the process of aging changes our physiology and makes us more sensitive to the effects of medications while placing us at risk for adverse drug events.
4 hearing-related side effects
Medications can affect so many areas, but some of the most common ear-related symptoms are listed below:
- Your Audiogram – this is a picture, literally of your hearing ability. If your listening skills are poor or you are sleepy and can’t think clearly because of a medicine your test won’t be accurate.
- Hearing and Balance – Medications can have negative effects on both of these.
- Cognitive Effects – Your ability to think clearly and quickly can be affected by medications. Things like word recognition can be slowed causing your hearing test to be inaccurate.
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) – This is a side effect of many drugs and can cause quite a bit of distress.
2 Strategies to Prevent Hearing Loss from Medications
If you can’t understand or follow your audiologist’s instructions, an accurate hearing test won’t be possible. Simple instructions may turn into a complex, confusing, and frustrating experience, or might be too difficult to understand.
- It is important to make sure you understand all medications and their potential side effects. Before you experience any hearing loss, be sure to take a proactive approach, discussing side effects with all your healthcare providers.
- Keep a diary of your medications, why you take them, how you take them, and the date you started them. These details help identify issues that may be medication related and are always a big help to those that care for you.
If you want the best hearing care, be sure to schedule an appointment with your audiologist. The stakes are high. So don’t hold back!