Illustration of pills for ototoxicity and hearing health

The Silent Hearing Danger

Can Aspirin Hurt Your Hearing?

What Is Ototoxicity?

The definition of ototoxicity, in its simplest form, is ear poisoning (“oto” = ear, “toxicity” = poisoning). A substance is considered ototoxic if it is known to cause hearing loss, balance disorders, or tinnitus after being ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin. The drug, chemical, or other agent damages the inner ear or vestibulo-cochlear nerve, which sends balance and hearing information to the brain from the inner ear.  

What Causes Ototoxicity?

Medications Today there are more than 200 known ototoxic medications on the market. These include medicines used to treat serious infections, cancer, and heart disease. Some common medications that can cause temporary ototoxicity are aspirin, quinine (to treat malaria), and loop diuretics (to treat specific hearing and kidney conditions).

Pregnant women may be at risk of exposing their unborn child to ototoxic substances, such as Accutane, Dilantin, alcohol, …

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Drawing of ear and hearing aid types

You Need Hearing Aids. Now What?

Q: It turns out I need hearing aids. What’s my next step?

A: Hearing aids aren’t one-size-fits-all devices, so your question is a good sign you’re approaching this with the right mindset. Your first step is to confirm you’ve had a complete audiological evaluation.

An online “hearing test” can’t determine whether you need hearing aids — it simply reports whether you’re hearing certain sounds. Only an audiological evaluation can determine if you have hearing loss that requires hearing aids. If you haven’t had one, this is your next step. If you have, it’s time to schedule your hearing aid consultation.

Choose Your Provider Any hearing aid is simply a tool. It has to be selected, customized, and fit to your ear by an experienced professional in order treat your specific hearing loss. Then it’s your key to a better quality of life.

A clinical audiologist or doctor of audiology has …

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Woman investigates link between hearing and brain function

Hearing Aids + Your Brain

You won’t “mind” this news about better hearing and improved cognition!

Does hearing aid use help your brain? A growing amount of research associates hearing technology with improved cognition and slowed or decreased risk of cognitive decline. Get the latest on research that supports your better-hearing health — and your mind.

 

Have you heard? Yet another study links hearing aid use to reduced risk of cognitive decline!

We’ve long talked about connections between hearing and the brain. They work together to help keep you empowered and engaged, so it’s no wonder that hearing difficulties could go hand in hand with cognitive problems.

The good news? An increasing volume of research links hearing loss treatment to improved brain function or reduced risk of cognitive impairment.

A University of Melbourne study published in early 2020, for example, suggests that “more frequent use …

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10 Celebrities With Hearing Loss

10 Celebrities With Hearing Loss

What You and Rob Lowe Might Have in Common

Hearing loss affects everyone — even the rich and famous. The hearing loss issues of these celebrities shine a light on the different ways you can lose your hearing and how to overcome it.

Rob Lowe

Lowe lost his hearing to undiagnosed mumps when he was a baby. Mumps is a viral infection that frequently causes hearing loss by inflicting damage to the cochlea (inner-ear organ of hearing). “Really loud restaurants drive me ballistic,” Lowe told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “I live in a mono world. I wish I could [hear in] stereo.’’

Some hearing aid styles offer directional sound for 360° hearing, feedback cancellation, and enhanced noise reduction for noisy or windy environments to help you enjoy your restaurant experience.

Stephen Colbert

Though there’s nothing funny about hearing loss, Colbert is able to accept and even …

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Hearing Loss Affects Mental and Social Health

Hearing Loss Has a Negative Impact on Our Mental and Social Health

Hearing loss isn’t often thought of as a condition that can harm our mental health, but research has shown that it can make an impact on our self-confidence and relationships with others — our social health, in other words — in ways that impact our mental well-being.

Several large-scale studies have revealed how hearing loss might affect our mental health.

A National Council on the Aging survey of 2,300 adults (and more than 2,000 of their accompanying loved ones) found that those with untreated hearing loss are more likely to report feelings of depression, anxiety, and paranoia; and they are less likely to participate in social activities than those who wear hearing aids. These depressed or anxious feelings become more severe as the individual’s hearing loss becomes more severe.

It’s common for someone with even a mild hearing loss (a loss in the ability to hear …

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