Side Effects

Most people don’t realize the adverse impact on a person’s hearing caused by many medications.  These drugs, in both prescription form and un-prescribed, are known as oto-toxic.  There are far too many to list.  However, the most common are from chemo-therapy, steroids, and painkillers, various types of antibiotics, nicotine, and alcohol over a period of time.

The stronger the drug, the sooner it may have a negative impact on an individuals ability to hear and understand speech.

Chemotherapy patients are especially vulnerable in some cases suffering from sudden onset, or bilateral progressive hearing loss.

Steroids, painkillers, and antibiotics also are responsible for forms of hearing impairment.  Some hearing loss from these drugs is temporary, and some are permanent, causing irreparable damage to the cochlea of the inner ear.  This is where the cilia, or hair cells, transmit electrical impulses to the auditory portion of the brain for speech intelligibility.  Once these nerves of the inner ear are damaged, there is no way to repair them.  Consequently, the individuals suffering from this type of impairment will have difficulty with speech discrimination eventually, if not immediately.

Once this occurs, the only way to overcome this malady at present is hearing instruments.

The good news is that hearing instrument technology has never been better!  Advancements in digital devices have allowed millions of hearing impaired individuals to overcome their deficits through State of the Science technology.

Unlike previous hearing instruments of the past which incorporated analog technologies, everything was either loud or soft, depending on the manual manipulation of a volume control.  Current technology (digital), allows us to pick and choose where we amplify, and where we don’t.  These devices are “prescription” fitted to each individuals hearing loss.  However, unlike your vision, when the person’s vision changes, new lenses are required to compensate for any further deterioration.  When additional hearing loss occurs, digital instruments can be reprogrammed on a computer to compensate for any further hearing deficiencies.  Many models also come with multi-memory, allowing for more than one setting in each device.  This gives the listener a distinct advantage over previous types of instruments.  Multi-memory can be used if a person encounters various listening environments, enabling the user to switch the settings either louder or softer depending on their surrounding environment.  They are like tiny little computers in your ears, compensating for loud or other background noises that previously would have been uncomfortable or intolerable with technologies of the past.

Directional microphones can also be a distinct advantage, especially in more challenging listening environments like a noisy restaurant.  Directional microphones enable the wearer to pick up sounds in front of them, without being annoyed or overwhelmed by unwanted noises in the background.

Hearing healthcare professionals play a critical role in the process of ototoxic monitoring.  Within the healthcare team, the hearing healthcare provider is the advisor to the patient, and sometimes physician, providing them with reliable and current data.  This is how the physician and patient obtain vital information for consideration as part of an overall healthcare plan.

Contact Us

Leonardi Hearing Center
16251 N. Cleveland Ave. #8
Corner of Littleton Road
North Fort Myers, FL 33903

Phone: 239-997-8288

Toll-Free: 866-332-0566

Fax: 239-997-8084

Email: leonardihearingcenter


Monday thru Thursday
9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Friday and Saturday by Appointment

"The Best 10 Years"