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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My Tinnitus Has a Melody — Is That Possible?

Musical Ear Syndrome

My Tinnitus Has a Melody — Is That Possible?

You probably know someone who experiences tinnitus — a ringing, buzzing, pulsing, hissing, or humming with no external source. People often call it “ringing in the ears,” and it affects approximately 15% of the U.S. population, according to the American Tinnitus Association.

But did you know some people experience a form of tinnitus in which they hear actual melodies? It’s called musical ear syndrome (or musical tinnitus).

What Is Musical Ear Syndrome?

Musical ear syndrome (MES) is when someone hears music that has no external source. Some people hear a single instrument playing a simple melody; others hear several instruments playing a complex piece of music; and still others hear a voice singing, with or without accompaniment. The most common melodies, however, are hymns, Christmas carols, and patriotic music.

How is this different than when you can’t …

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Tinnitus-Friendly Recipes

Tinnitus-Friendly Recipes

From sound-based therapies to mindfulness-based exercises, new ways to manage or reduce the sounds associated with tinnitus — a ringing, buzzing, or pulsing that has no external sound source — are being developed every day.

  Though there’s no cure, treatment options abound. One promising option: nutrition.  

Recipes With Tinnitus-Friendly Ingredients

A growing body of research is linking not food but nutrition with tinnitus. For example, people with Ménière’s disease-related tinnitus should keep their salt intake from fluctuating to control tinnitus symptoms. Some encouraging studies have shown that folate, B12, and certain antioxidants are linked to improved tinnitus symptoms.   In honor of National Nutrition Month, enjoy these recipes bursting with tinnitus-friendly nutrition!

Beef With Broccoli

Whether you serve it over chow mein or skip the noodles for a low-carb option, this hearty and healthy recipe can’t …

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Can Prescription Drugs Cause Ringing in the Ears?

Can Prescription Drugs Cause Ringing In the Ears?

Tinnitus, or a ringing in the ears (this can also be a whooshing or pulsing), is generally the first symptom of ototoxicity and is generally short lived, but it can have more permanent symptoms.

About Tinnitus

Simply defined, tinnitus is a phantom ringing, whooshing, or buzzing noise in your ear that only you can hear. People experience tinnitus in a variety of ways: In some, a headshake will make the annoyance vanish; others, however, describe the condition as debilitating. Though research is ongoing, there is currently no cure. But relief can come from a variety of treatments.

About Ototoxicity

Ototoxicity is a poisoning of the inner ear due to exposure to or ingestion of medications or chemicals that can cause tinnitus, hearing loss, and/or balance disorders. High doses or long-term use of certain antibiotics, antidepressants, loop diuretics, pain relievers, and prescription or over-the-counter medications can cause ototoxicity.

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Is It “TIN-uh-tis” or “tin-EYE-tis”?

Is It “TIN-uh-tis” or “tin-EYE-tis”?

Americans love to debate how to say certain words: Is “tomato” pronounced “tuh-MAY-toe” or “tuh-MAH-toe”? Does the “ee” in “creek” sound like “sneak” or “pick”? By the 1930s, this kind of debate had become so common that it was immortalized in the song “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.” Now we can safely add another word to the list of popular debates: tinnitus.

If you search the web for ways to say “tinnitus,” you’ll find that dictionaries disagree, language experts disagree, and medical experts disagree, with passionate, well-reasoned defenses on all sides. How is anyone supposed to know the right answer?

At our practice, you can pronounce “tinnitus” however you’d like. Our concern is helping you get relief from your tinnitus — that persistent ringing, buzzing, or pulsing in your ears.  

What Is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus affects more than 50 million Americans, but not everyone experiences it in the same …

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